ReelGirl changes its tagline

I started Reel Girl because I wanted to create a resource for parents on the internet where they could go to find great stories, movies, and toys that support girl empowerment. I’m the mom of three young daughters, and I wasn’t able to find the kind of information I was looking for in one place.

I also wanted to recognize how messed up our movie rating system is– and the values associated with that rating system. So many G movies perpetuate the absolute worst kinds of gender stereotypes, yet they are supposedly “for kids.” In my opinion, this kind of repetitive imagery is way more dangerous for children than hearing the word “shit.”

So ReelGirl’s rating system is S for stereotype and G for girlpower, 1- 3 possible.

Here’s the problem: I’m a ranter, not a rater. I’m not organized enough to pull this off. I need logos, to go through all the movies, books, and toys out there, and I don’t have the time. Any free time I get, I have something new to write about. So while I will continue to rate media and products, I’m going to recognize that mostly, I haven’t been.

I’m changing ReelGirl’s tagline from “Rating kids media and products for girl empowerment” to “Imagining gender equality in the fantasy world.” That’s mostly what ReelGirl is about. My hope is that ReelGirl supports and encourages real imagination (ha ha) instead of the same old recycled stories.

Since having these three kids, I really get how fantasy creates reality and reality creates fantasy in an endless loop. That’s pretty much what this blog is about. So the new new tag line is supposed to reflect that. Still, not perfect, because it leaves out politics, sports and other issues. More accurate might be:  “Imagining gender equality” but too vague? I could go more specific, something like: “Imagining gender equality in media, merchandise, and politics.” If you’re good at titles, let me know your ideas.

6 thoughts on “ReelGirl changes its tagline

  1. you know, it’s not like the male character designs are super-enlightened either

    comic book superheroes and heroines both present terribly unhealthy body images to both sexes, but no one ever seems to pick up on that when it comes to boys.

  2. I applaud you for taking the bull by the horns with this stuff. I have ranted about very much the same things, that our movie industry is thoughtless, uncreative, tends to pump out the same bilge over and over again and it’s not good for our kids. Although I disagree like the dickens with you over where to put the blame, and as the father of 1 son I very often get the feeling you’re digging your well by pulling the dirt out of the ground and putting it in the hole I’m trying to dig for my well. People like you and people like me, I think, should work hard on inspecting the things we have in common rather than our differences.

    On the other hand, isn’t “We are very much alike, you and I” yet another retread movie trope? 🙂

    There’s one rant I’ve seen at my place and not at yours: People who watch movies, or perhaps people who create movies (I have a very strong opinion it’s the former although I can’t explain why) seem to want handsome men to figure things out for themselves by means of following trails of clues; but gorgeous women should more passively ask questions, get answers back, and believe what they’re told. This has changed somewhat with the “interrogation scene” on crime television shows and in Batman the Dark Knight. The tough-as-nails interrogator is a woman in a sharp looking suit. That addresses the problem somewhat, but it’s still a vocal forum albeit a hostile one. We seem to like to watch chicks talk.

    We don’t see women focusing sunbeams on small landscape replicas to find out where the Ark of the Covenant is buried. We don’t see them taking rubbings off of paper pads to find out what was written on the sheet that was torn off. We don’t see them deciphering hieroglyphs…unless, as they do so, they murmur aloud to themselves, because, again, we like to watch females talk. We seem to view females as auditory creatures. If you have a really cool x-ray machine you can press up against a safe door and watch the gears and tumblers engage as you spin the knob — observantly and quietly — for some reason, that’s a dude’s job.

    Oh, and ghost movies. The ghost is getting angrier and angrier waiting for someone to find out why the ghost is a ghost, who killed the ghost, etc. Women have to solve that one. They can follow trails of clues, but they have to say each clue out loud because they’re women. And they have to be blonde, with blue eyes, wearing long pants and bulky sweaters. Movie people are not even close to creative anymore.

    • Morgan,

      Thanks for all these great, specific examples of gender inequity. So often people think its about men using their bodies to do stuff women “can’t” do (which is so dumb, I mean James Bond? Batman? Bruce Willis? Yeah, the CAN do all that.) But its not even about bodies, its all the brain stuff too.


      • Mind you, it would do my sexist heart some good if I saw you help me bash away at the “Doofus Dad” trope. You know, where the Dad figures out at the end of the movie what a jerk he is, how he spends too much time at work, lies all the time, estranging his kids who don’t believe what he says anymore…gah…makes me crazy. And there’s always some school play or sporting event Dad missed. Doesn’t that tick you off Margot? It reflects poorly on the Mom when you think about it — like, hey, Mom made it, but what difference does that make, I’m emotionally scarred because (Austin Powers Goldmember reference) “Daddy wasn’t there.”

        I’d just like to choke people sometimes. They even used this one with Billy Bob Thornton’s character in “Faster”…and it had nothing to do with the story at all! Not a single, blessed thing!

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