I thought cartoons were no longer sexist

1 minute read

Well I was wrong.

Last weekend I was playing with my 7-year-old niece. It was a lot of fun! Coloring, singing and pets! When we took a break she wanted to show me her favorite TV channel. We were watching a cartoon (of course) and I suddenly felt some anger burgeoning inside me.

The main characters were female (I believe ponies or some sort of magical horses). They were friends and sisters, younger and older, going to spend some quality time together. All good so far. To bond, they started sharing their favorite campfire stories. This peaked my interest even though I was so relaxed I could have fallen asleep. But I wanted to see what the writers chose for these female-characters’ favorite stories. There were 3 stories, 2 had male heroes and one had a female hero. And that’s when everything started falling apart with proper gender stereotype and everything.

The male characters were heroes by sheer courage and valor. The two stories emphasized the idea that you can do anything and become someone, to the point that one of the males was so weak but through determination and great problem-solving skills he saved the village from a volcano’s lava. He immediately turned into a strong and muscular horse. The female-led story was about a nice and kind pony with magic powers who sacrificed her entire “youth” in the split of a second to make her home village beautiful again and give back youth and beauty to the Queen (a former friend who did some terrible things.) The heroine was generally not known as a savior but a rather an old witch, so with this story her life was supposed to be demystified.

What sort of message and what kind of priming is this?!