My kids were playing at the park up the street and made friends with a boy and girl who spoke fluent Norwegian. An hour later, my three daughters were in their backyard, splashing around in a hot tub. At some point, I was telling the mom, who is Norwegian and a doctor, about my blog. She said that her daughter is not, and never was, into princesses. She told me she’d noticed how sexist American movies and TV are, and that the media in Norway isn’t like that at all. (“What is going on with this American talk show host and contraception?” she asked. “That would never happen in Norway.”) She started pulling out books and DVDs from her shelves. Not only did most of them include female characters but they were pictured front and center. I bet the reason that her five year old daughter isn’t a “girlie-girl” is because she’s hasn’t been brought up on American media. You’ve probably heard of the Scandinavian Pippi Longstocking, but what about this Norwegian grandmother?
Or this elephant firefighter?
All of her DVDs look like that– the submarines, soldiers, police, and helicopters are female characters. I wish I spoke Norwegian.
“I’m not a feminist,” she told me. “I never had to be before I came to America. It’s so sexist here, maybe I am one now.”