“You pillow fight like a bunch of little girls!”

Which new movie do you think this line comes from?

Could it possibly be in an animated film where the intended audience is little girls? Little girls who probably love to pillow fight? Who are probably awesome at it? Yep, it’s in the new “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”

Why would kids need to hear a line making fun of how girls fight? What writer or producer or director could possibly think perpetuating that stereotype would be funny for girls to hear? Or were they, more likely, not thinking about little girls at all?

Here’s the preview:

I saw this with my daughters just before “The Lorax” preview came on which features– surprise, surprise– an ugly woman joke. Both were shown before the Tintin movie which, as I’ve blogged about, gives the impression females hardly exist.

“Madagascar 3,” by the way, features the same 4 main characters as in 1 and 2. Guess how many are female? One, Gloria the Hippo. She has hardly any lines in this preview. There is a female villain played by Frances McDormand who is featured prominently in the preview. I hope she has a big part in the movie as well.

This frat boy mentality that looms over kids movies has to end. Hollywood, please stop programming sexism to kids. It’s not funny.

10 thoughts on ““You pillow fight like a bunch of little girls!”

  1. Hi Aninha !

    You could only boykott that movie because the offense is heard and seen in the trailer.

    Statements like that are mostly coming as a surprise catching you unawares.

    Better not to make those shit up in the first place ! Or have more people object against it in case it slipped through.


    • Sadly, that’s true. If this wasn’t in the trailer, a lot would have to know when it was too late to not spend the money.

  2. Just after making the remark about the feeble abilities of little girls to pillow fight, the speaker is clobbered by a girl penguin. That is exactly the message we want our daughters to see:

    The clip shows the female character as the most effective pillow fighter.Moreover, she has her retribution, clearly communicating that such words at not allowed.

    Looks to me like the movie set up the situation to show that girl penguins are effective using a pillow to express their displeasure with sexist behavior.

    You missed the mark this time, Margot.


  3. I don’t believe it is necessary to call them out on it, why not simply compromise ourselves to not go see a movie when we see such a thing? Seeing movies is not a basic necessity like eating is, we’re not gonna die from it, so I think we can and should use it to choose to stop going to the movies before taking whatever they give us.

    It is depressing, to a degree, to think obvious sexism is all over the place yet people consume it as if it were unimportant, and in an age where prejudice and negative sterotypes aren’t that promoted or generally accepted anymore. For example, would parents take their kids to a movie which trailer had the lines “you speak broken english like a black”, or, directed at an african american:”you look like a monkey”? No, they wouldn’t, because audiences would recognise just how utterly racist and pervasive these statements are, how degrading they are to african americans. Yet when it comes to sexism, all you hear most of the time is:”It’s just entertainment”.

    Why prejudice against females isn’t as serious or bad as prejudice against anyone else, I don’t know.

    • Hi Aninha,

      Others have asked me that too: Why don’t I just not see movies? I should boycott them and not give them my money.

      I certainly understand that sentiment, but actually, one of the reasons I started Reel Girl is because I’m not the kids of mom who only lets her kids play with wooden toys, or eats all organic food, or doesn’t let my kids watch TV. I am totally impressed by those parents, but it’s not me. I want to teach my kids not to isolate but to to be independent thinkers. It’s a delicate balance. I also want to know hat’s going on out there. Even if I don’t let my kids see something, their friends do the toys are in Target (where I shop) etc. Finally, I love movies. I love going to the movies. I want more girls in them.


      • “I certainly understand that sentiment, but actually, one of the reasons I started Reel Girl is because I’m not the kids of mom who only lets her kids play with wooden toys, or eats all organic food, or doesn’t let my kids watch TV.”

        I really like this site, I think the stuff you post is very interesting most of the time. I am not trying to say that such actions like trying to be aware of what’s in media and therefore follow it and make comments is bad. It isn’t, it’s great.

        What I think is that it turns out the money makes a lot of difference, if we comment that a lot of films have “w” wrong with them, but still go, they’ll keep producing. We need to not go.

        Also there are these stereotypes spread everywhere that you either isolate yourself or you swallow anything thrown your way, add to that the fact there are people who really fall in both extremes in real life, then it’s easy to see why many would find the idea correct.

        It doesn’t have to be this way however, I am not even a parent, but if I become one eventually, I don’t know if I’ll place all these restrictions on them, about what they can eat or see, the toys or tv. I too, would want my kids to be independent thinkers, but to think independently, you don’t have to tolerate the bombardment of media and struggle to not let it influence you. No one is made of iron, if you constantly let this stuff into your head, eventually you’ll be tired and let go.

        Those who work at media know it too well to promote media as absolutely essential in every way, to construct it as, if not being the whole world, at least the social part of it. Making it seem like, regardless of our opinion on it, we have to take part on it.

        Finally, I understand your love for movies, I share it at least to a degree. Why not wait for the movie to be available for free on the net? This way you can still follow and comment what’s going on, and not support it.

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