Cheerios box shows kids girls gone missing

My four year old daughter loves Cheerios, and last night, my husband brought home a new box. Excited for breakfast this morning, we got it out. Here’s what we saw on the front: Shrek, Puss In Boots, and Donkey, 3 male characters from “Shrek.”


“Shrek,” a movie starring a male and titled for the male, has two sequels. Where is Fiona, Shrek’s co-star (though I admit that moniker is stretching it) on this package? Puss In Boots got his own eponymous spin off movie. Perhaps that’s why he made it on the DVD/ package? “Puss In Boots” is a buddy movie starring Puss’s frenemy, Humpty Dumpty. Kitty Softpaws is a great Minority Feisty in that film, but where is her own movie, titled for her? Have you ever heard of her? Do your kids remember who she is?

Besides “Shrek,” there are 3 other Cheerios collectible DVDs where we can “catch up with all our favorite DreamWorks characters.”

Unlike other cereal brands that have their own mascots, a cast of no less than 100% male characters, Cheerios borrows its crew from DreamWorks. But, apparently, these favorites don’t privilege females either, to say the least. “How to Train Your Dragon” pictures a boy and his male dragon, the two stars. We do see a girl riding bitch. Then, there’s “Kung Fu Panda” starring…Kung Fu Panda! And finally, Madagascar showing 6 male characters: the zebra, lion, and 4 penguins. Where is the hippo, the Minority Feisty in that movie?

Hippo does show up in the “fame game” on the reverse side of the box.



See, there she is down on the left. There are 8 characters and she is the only female. The game your kids play is “match each character to what they are famous for.” While characters are known for “Training the Furious Five” or “Being the Dragon Warrior,” what’s the hippo known for? “Loving a Giraffe.” No joke. Incidentally, my six year old daughter told me that hippo’s feelings are not reciprocated; giraffe never wants to dance with her.

See that little box to the right with the Croods character? He’s one the males from that movie too.

I write this a lot, but if this Cheerios box were one of many images kids see, it would not be a big deal. But again and again, kids see females go missing. It’s totally normal in their world. They don’t think anything of it and neither do we. But females are half of the population, so why are they presented as a tiny minority in kidworld practically everywhere outside of the Pink Ghetto? It’s an annihilation that acclimates a whole new generation to expect and accept a world where females go missing. Hey, Cheerios, can you make at least half of the characters on your box female? There’s no reason for the imaginary world to be sexist.


If DreamWorks is ‘female driven studio,’ where are female protagonists?

The headline and photo from Hollywood Reporter:

“How DreamWorks Animation Became One of Hollywood’s Most Female-Driven Studios”


DreamWorks Animation's Dream Team

Jeffrey Katzenberg now employs far more women producers than men: “You can have a life and still work here.”

Great photo, nice quote, but I have two questions. How many directors of DreamWorks movies are women? How many protagonists in DreamWorks movies are female?

I think I can answer the second question.

Here’s a list of films from Hollywood’s “most female driven” studio. Out of 21 movies, 2 feature female protagonists. TWO. “Chicken Run” and “Monsters and Aliens.”

That’s great, Jeffrey! Awesome job.

The movies:

Shrek 1, 2, 3, all starring…SHREK!

Puss In Boots (Shrek spin off, giving another male protagonist his own film)

Prince of Egypt (Obvious, right?)

Wallace and Gromit (2 males)

Chicken Run (females in this one)

How to Train Your Dragon (Boy trains male dragon)

Kung Fu Panda 1, 2

Madagascar 1,2,3 (gang of 3 males, 1 female)

Over the Hedge (centers on male raccoon)

Bee Movie (Jerry Seinfeld, need I say more?)

Flushed Away (stars male rat)

Antz (stars Woody Allen)

Shark Tale (centers on a fish voiced by Will Smith)

Monsters versus Aliens (Reese Witherspoon stars in this one!)

Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas (Obvious?)

Rise of the Guardians (Guardians are 4 males/ 1 female; centers on Jack Frost)

Did I miss something?