After I posted asking what the world would be like if we hadn’t been experiencing it through male artists for thousands of years, commenters respond that not all women are feminists. I agree, absolutely, and many men are feminists. Also, art is derivative, responding to what came before, as Marian writes:
women artists (and writers) being capable of playing into negative gender stereotypes. Even feminist artists, often in unexpected and subtle ways. We’ve all been conditioned and it’s very hard to get beyond it, consistently.
Very true and makes me think of Gloria Steinem’s comment on Miley Cyrus:
“I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed … But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states … the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, “This is why China wins.” You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.”
I doubt the world will ever be dominated by the vision of one group the way it has been for so long by white men. But what I was imagining in my post is: what if our worldview had always been dominated by women as a group, the way it has been dominated by men? Men’s roles in narratives would repetitively show up as lovers, sex objects, prizes to win after a quest. When we don’t have diversity, we get stereotypes.
Women, just like men, come in all shapes and sizes. The problem is, right now, we are allowed to exist only within extremely limited parameters. Why animation fascinates me is that it’s a clear intersection of art and story, and also, a fantasy world where anything is possible, marketed to children. It’s clear to see how sexism is packaged, recycled, and sold to a new generation. Or at least, clear to me.