Geena Davis wants to know why we see so much Dick

This video by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media is amazing!

Our goal at the institute is to dramatically increase the percentage of female characters and reduce gender stereotyping in film ans television that is made for kids, little kids, 11 and under, and what we found is very disturbing. For every one female character, there are 3 male characters. Not only that, male characters get to do stuff. They get to have fun and have adventures. Females, not so much. We also wanted to know what the percentage of male and female characters was in crowd scenes in movies. We found only 17% of characters in crowd scenes are females. Women make up 50% of population in the world…

Meet Jane. She’s an animated character. She’s adorable, quirky, and has spunk. Her special skill is that she can do absolutely anything that an animator can think of for her to do. Except stand around in a bikini. Not because she can’t, but because she doesn’t want to. So why does Jane look sad? It’s because she has never been cast in an animated film or television show. Why is that? It seems like it would be so easy to cast Jane in some interesting and challenging role for her. I want to see Jane. I mean, we see Dick. We see Dick all the time.


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3 thoughts on “Geena Davis wants to know why we see so much Dick

  1. When a fictional work does manage to have female characters and at least some of the characters are human, the female characters are usually human and the female animal characters go missing. If the fictional work doesn’t have any humans, then you may have a few female animal characters.

    You say that girls have “gone missing” in fictional works, and that is true, then animal girls have “gone missing” in fictional works more so than human ones.

  2. If you were talking about animal characters, this situation is even worse, whether it is kid/family shows or adult shows. Both kid/family shows and adult shows have worse gender ratios than for human characters. You already don’t see human character Janes that much, but you’d see animal character Janes even less.

    There are two examples of adult shows with an animal character in the main cast. Family Guy has Brian the dog and Brickleberry has Malloy the bear cub, both of whom are male. The two shows also have two female characters in the main cast, Meg and Lois in Family Guy and Ethel and Connie in Brickleberry, all of whom are human.

    Is it really too much of a stretch to have a female animal character in the main cast? People already think it is a stretch to have a human female character in the cast. People keep thinking it is even more of a stretch to have a female animal character in the cast than it is to have a human female character in the cast.

    Both shows have two female characters and four male characters. The dog in Family Guy and the bear cub in Brickleberry could have been female. In the two shows’ case, making the animal characters female in their respective show’s main cast would have made for a gender equal cast (three female, three male).

  3. I’ve always watched Geena Davis movies because I knew she’d be representing women in an empowered/insightful/meaningful/multi-layered manner. As a parent I was thrilled that my young daughter had Cutthroat Island to counter the millions of male action characters. She’s great! I did donate…wish it could have been more. We need this work – the media is god awful at portraying girls and women in any constructive way. And the sad/stupid/ thing is that the “powers-that-be” don’t realize just HOW MUCH MONEY they could be making! Thanks for the link.

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