When girls go missing in children’s media, a new generation learns to accept sexism

I posted a comment on Reel Girl from 14 yr old Jessica who wrote about how when she calls out sexism, people say she’s bonkers. A 13 yr old replied to her:

You are definitely not alone or bonkers! In fact, you are intelligent enough to know that sexism is still present in our society. I am 13 and I share the same experiences with you! I never tried to advocate feminism openly in public because I know how ignorant, oblivious , and stubborn people are that they would not accept the truth, or flatly deny the existence of sexism. I would have had the courage if there was such a thing such as a feminist campaign club in my country. At least my sister and all of you here understand sexism!


It makes me so mad and frustrated that neither of these girls, 30 years younger than me, feels like she has a public voice to tell her story. I am happy that they wrote on this blog, and I hope that they will continue to write and refuse to believe that the sexism they experience in their world is trivial and doesn’t matter.

If this isn’t sexist:


And this isn’t sexist:


And this isn’t sexist:


Is this sexist?


This photo of Obama’s inner circle is from the March issue of Vogue magazine.

When girls go missing in children media, it acclimates a whole new generation to expect and accept sexism. It’s an annihilation of half of the population. So why do parents accept sexism in a fantasy world created for children? When did it become normal to us? And why are teenage girls afraid to talk about what they see?



3 thoughts on “When girls go missing in children’s media, a new generation learns to accept sexism

  1. Pingback: And the Oscar goes to … sexism! | aufZehenspitzen

  2. A comment on this post (http://www.blogher.com/flying-while-something-other-whatever-bigots-think-acceptable?page=0,1) reminded me of these girls. The post is discussing the horrific situation last week when a white man struck a bi-racial toddler on a plane and called the child the n-word.

    One commenter stated that people are consistently saying they would have hit the man who struck their child, but she brought up an excellent point: “As a black woman, I imagine the mother on the plane did not do as so many have thought they would in her place, physically retaliate against the man that hit her child, is because as a black woman she was constrained by being perceived as that awful caricature of an “angry black woman” not as a mother with a legitimate reason for her anger. I have been in situations, not as dire as hers, where I needed to defend my babies or myself as a woman of color against bigots and it is hard because so often when one is trying to do so, the black woman or minority can be seen as unjustifiably upset and their argument or issue is overlooked whether intentionally or not.”

    One method of controlling individuals who are not the white majority is to treat them as if they are paranoid, bonkers, or fulfilling a stereotype when they have legitimate reason to be upset. As a vocal feminist in my teens and twenties, I remember my frustration with getting rolled eyes and being told to loosen up. Even the stereotype of the humorless feminist is a part of this phenomenon. Any time you point out something in popular culture that leaves women out or creates a negative culture for women, you’re told that you have no sense of humor and that there is something wrong with YOU for having an issue with it.

  3. Not sure if this makes it better or worse but do you see the man in the light blue shirt? The black pant leg you can barely see behind him is apparently that of a female staffer.

    Anecdote time. I decided to rejoin a choir I used to be in a few years ago. They’ve had trouble recruiting so the formerly co-ed group now only has women in it. I say “only” not because I don’t appreciate being in a female choir. I’ve been in a lot of female only choirs for years. But given the song choices, it limits the arrangements we can sing. Anyway, one of the songs chosen was “Yesterday” by the Beatles arranged solely for female voices and with the appropriate pronouns altered. The leader of the group suggested changing the pronouns back to the original as it sounded more natural. I didn’t quite agree with that assessment but I was fine with it. It was when another girl chimed in saying that the male voice and the heterosexual male perspective was more “gender neutral” that my feathers got a little ruffled. I wanted to hand her a copy of “Words and Women”.

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