Yesterday, my 7 year old daughter and I were shopping at Whole Foods when we saw the DVD for “Epic” in the check out line. What’s wrong with this picture?
Out of 21 movies for children in 2013, “Epic” is one of only 4 to feature a female protagonist. But if you look at the art, who is in front, with the big face and the big sword? Who, from this picture, would you think is the star of the movie?
My three daughters and I loved “Epic.” When I reviewed it on Reel Girl, I gave it two Hs which is almost the highest heroine rating you can get. In that review, you know what I wrote was one thing that bugged me about the movie? The scene pictured above. In fantasy movies for kids, while it’s common to see males steer and fly all kind of beasts, it’s a rarity to see a female riding solo on a creature, not to mention riding a female creature with a male positioned behind her. The female rider is, almost always, in the passenger seat.
I found out there is a term for this position, riding bitch, and you see it all over children’s media and adult media. Look how Tina Fey, the star of her sitcom, was put in her place on the cover of Rolling Stone.
So why, out out of all the images they could chosen for the DVD cover, do they pick the one that shows the female star behind the supporting male? I was talking about this with my husband, and I said, it’s like a social reflex, everyone is so scared to show a female in a power position. It’s like we’re protecting the egos of little boys the way women are supposed to protect the egos of men. But instead, we’re fucking up a new generation of kids. It is not OK to continually and repeatedly marginalize girls and force them into supporting roles, in the imaginary world and in the real one. It limits all kids.