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Five Cartoon Recommendations for Your Budding Feminist

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6 Responses

  1. Ken says:

    One you might want to add to this well-made list:
    “Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl” contains the character Dawn, who is a fairly intelligent and strong-willed girl, and is portreyed as “equel” as Ash Ketchum.

    Also, keep your eyes open for next month’s premiere of “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch.” From the scattered bits and pieces of news I’ve heard arounnd the internet, it sounds like Sabrina is going to be much stronger than she had been portreyed in past shows/comic books.

    • Sarah Nixon says:

      I don’t have anything particularly against the depictions of the girl counterparts of Ash, and I love Pokemon, but I’m not really a fan of how the girl inevitably ends up his sort-of romantic interest for the season and how it’s always a ratio of at least 2 boys, 1 girl, sometimes with even more boys (like May’s brother who tagged along).

      Before your comic I had no idea Sabrina was getting rebooted! I just looked it up and while the animation is rather awful I’m interested to see how it compares to the other animated series, which I loved.

  2. Lauren Woolbright says:

    What about My LIttle Pony: Friendship is Magic? This show features six main female characters, all sporting different strengths and challenges, and their adventures demonstrate a variety of ways to be a girl and to be friends with other girls. The characters face their own problems and solve them, they talk it out when they can, but they are also badass fighters when the situation calls for it. Most of the interactions that happen in the show are between women — viewers are at times hard pressed to find a significant male character besides the baby dragon, Spike. I think these ponies are some of the most well-rounded, interesting, and empowering female characters on television, and I highly recommend the show for anyone — not just anyone with kids. This is one show that doesn’t bore the parents; there are tons of pop culture references for adult amusement.

    A bit more on what I mean by “anyone”: the Brony movement (guys, generally ages 13-35, who watch ponies, bro + pony = brony) illustrates how deeply the show’s themes have spoken even to a male audience, yet the show does not cater to them even after its producers become aware of just how widespread its popularity is with the older — mostly male — audience. See the Brony documentary if you want to assuage your fears about young men watching a show targeted toward girls ages 2-6.

    • Sarah Nixon says:

      I am very familiar with MLP: FiM, and am also a fan of the series for the most part. I also really like it and think it has some good values to teach children. However I am a little iffy with the way they try to subtly not-so-subtly portray race; namely, in the form of Zecora, the clearly African character, who is not only not a pony (zebra) but is also seen as eccentric and odd even after she’s discovered not to be evil and also the portrayal of Native Americans in the form of the buffalo/bison characters (again, not ponies) wearing cartoonized headdresses and also simplifying the conflict between settlers and the indigenous people.

      This addresses it a little further, and it’s fairly easy to Google to find other resources related to it: http://blackfeministmanifesto.tumblr.com/post/36914802467/racism-and-my-little-pony-a-critical-eye-of-whiteness

      But I do still enjoy the show!

      • dr. b. says:

        Sarah, you took the words right out of my mouth! Ok, technically it’s my fingers, but you get it. I just started letting Pea watch MLP because I wanted to wait until she was old enough to talk about the issues that exist in the show and how horrible it is that the ponies pre-judge both Zecora and the buffalo and also how it doesn’t make them horrible ponies…just ignorant ones. And also to talk about how it’s the folks who don’t change (like the ponies ultimately did) who are horrible people/ponies 😛

  3. Lauren Woolbright says:

    Oh, I completely agree! My husband and I find the ponies to be completely racist. They make rude comments about mules: “Too cool for mule”. In the Sisterhooves Social episode in season 2 Applejack and Applebloom are rounding up the sheep, and as the last sheep go into the pen, they say “You could have just asked”, and then the gate slams in their faces. The Cranky Doodle Donkey episode is another one that bothers me; while Pinkie Pie is trying to be nice, in the flashback to the Grand Galloping Gala, the two donkeys seem so out of place, and no other animals besides ponies were in the actual Grand Galloping Gala episode at the end of season 1. The buffalo, as you mention, are the focus of my least favorite episode, least favorite precisely because they are portrayed as instigators, uncompromising, and petty.

    And Zecora is the first and foremost example. She can’t even live in Ponyville, but has to be removed, further exoticizing her! She’s my favorite character in spite of her portrayal.