Female pilot speaks out against sexism

I got this comment on Reel Girl today:

I just wanted to say thank you so much for making this post on female pilots and the lack of recognition towards important female war heroes. As a female pilot in training, hearing about great female pilots is always encouraging especially when aviation is so dominated by males. It’s disgusting with what happened to the WASPs, it just goes to show the existing sexism towards females in our North American society. I’m so sick of it, but I’m really glad I found your blog.

 

Thanks again for making this post, shortly after I found it I used the WASPs’ story and made a poem about them for an English Language Arts assignment.

 

Oh and regarding the movie “Planes” I tried watching it despite having little hope for the story and characters being any bit original. Let’s just say that I gagged when the one female plane glomped the sidekick male plane, and covered him in kisses after he “whooed” her with music the previous night. It made me sick on so many levels, I’m so glad I only watched it online…

 

Here is the poem she wrote, I love it.

We are the WASP

The women who flew,
60 million miles or more.
Two years of service,
the men demand our lore.

Status denied,
but we didn’t quit.
The men may take glory,
but we still flew in our story.

Our achievements forgotten,
only known by few.
In history books erased,
schools without a trace.

Lest we forget,
The first women of wings.
We are the WASP,
the women who flew.

See how real life inspires art inspires real life?

I assume this commenter is a young woman. Imagine how kids feel when they see sexist scenes like the one in “Planes” again and again, like it’s normal and okay and cute. What kind of art do they make? What kind of imaginary games do they play? At my daughter’s preschool, a three year old girl told the teacher she couldn’t be a pilot, but a pilot’s wife. A three year old. Those limits on her imagination are our fault, grow-ups. Do we really want to train a new generation of children to accept gender stereotypes?

One more time, here’s the preview of Disney’s “Planes.”

Plane One: What’s taking this guy so long? Is he really as good as he says he is?

Plane Two: No, better.

Plane One: Whoa! Who was that?

Plane Three: (Descending fast on top of the other two) Well, hello ladies! Ready to lose?

Plane Three goes on to leave the “ladies” in the dust.

As the commenter points out, that’s just one example of the sexism rampant in “Planes.” Sexism that is mirrored in so many movies made for children in 2013.

And here’s a photo of the real life WASPs

wasp3

Women, please tell your stories, real and fictional, and tell them publicly. It will change the world.

5 thoughts on “Female pilot speaks out against sexism

  1. OK seriously, enough with the Planes thing already. This is the fifth time I’ve seen it in a post on this site. Surely you can come up with examples to illustrate your point other than a throwaway line from a bad movie.

    • Hi William,

      I know its repetitive but there are two reasons for that. (1) Hardly any one seems to get it, that sexism is shown to children (2) Sexism is a REPEATED pattern in children’s movies, it happens again and again and again, and kids watch it again and again and again, and so I will continue to repeat my message as well.

      That said, I get for regular readers of this blog, who ‘get it,’ it can be annoying. I’ll try to lighten up on the Planes preview.

      Margot

      • And its not a “throw away line!” That is the point of all my post, so I hope you understand that, or I may have to keep it coming : )

  2. Here’s the poem I wrote regarding the WASPs, I feel so honored to have been asked to show it :)

    WE SERVED TOO
    by 25Tachigami

    We are the WASP

    The women who flew,
    60 million miles or more.
    Two years of service,
    the men demand our lore.

    Status denied,
    but we didn’t quit.
    The men may take glory,
    but we still flew in our story.

    Our achievements forgotten,
    only known by few.
    In history books erased,
    schools without a trace.

    Lest we forget,
    The first women of wings.
    We are the WASP,
    the women who flew.

    I’m working towards becoming a pilot through my Air Cadet squadron. I love flying, I love being a cadet, and again seeing your post about the WASPs was as inspiring as it was frustrating. The reasons I wanted to try out the movie “Planes” was because I myself love airplanes(kind of a given for any aspiring pilot right? :D ) and I love animated movies, as well as I like giving most movies a chance. When I saw the first trailer I was crossing my fingers that some(or even better 1/2) of jets would be female. Since I was 5 and went to my first airshow, I fell in love with the F18 Hornet that I saw there. I knew then that I wanted to be a pilot. Today it’s still my favorite aircraft, even animated jets will get me excited!

    I knew it was a lost cause hoping to see some female jets in a kids movie like “Planes”, I wasn’t surprised when there weren’t any. Most of all it’s just frustrating, so very frustrating to continually see little to no change in the way females are portrayed in media, movies, games, TV shows, anime, etc.

    Once again I thank you for making this blog. I look forward to reading new posts from you and sharing my thoughts on more of these topics. I’ve already read a lot about what you’ve said on movies, I agree with you 100% on all of it! I know your blog focuses mostly on issues in the United States, but I feel like Canada(which is were I’m from) and the USA are close to one in the same. A lot of the issues in the USA that you’ve brought up are probably issues in Canada too. This blog has made me want to take more action in changing these inexcusable problems.

    Oh and thank you so much for sharing my comment, I truly feel so flattered, I really didn’t know what to think when I saw this :)

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