Gender Stereotypes In Cartoons

1596 Words 7 Pages
Since 1949, cartoons have been a crucial aspect of society, especially for children. Young children can learn colors, shapes, sounds, and even inspire them to be imaginative. As they grow, they learn how things function in real life, learning about feelings and relationships in ways easy to understand. If cartoons are important to the development of children, then why are they censored and show unequal gender representation? While children’s television is primarily marketed towards kids, gender stereotyping and censorship of LGBT+ in the media affects how children view the world and the people in it. To reduce gender stereotyping and promote an accurate view of the world’s population, children’s media producers and creators should develop shows …show more content…
If they see themselves portrayed in a certain way, they begin to associate that with themselves.Female characters are more often shown to be thin, younger and more sexualized than their male counterparts (Smith). Young children will grow to see themselves as too fat and lacking the beauty that the television is showing them. They will grow to see themselves as ugly and inadequate because they can not reach the airbrushed beauty hollywood shows. Even with the beautiful female characters, cartoons often do not have important roles for them in the shows. They serve no true purpose, neither furthering the plot nor revealing conflict. Rather, they are there so the producers can say they have female characters (Eick). The shows would be the same even without the two dimensional, flat characters that only serve to look pretty or be a romantic interest that the male characters strive for. Less attractive, ‘butch’, or ‘overweight’ female characters make the real contributions. The characters that are considered to be physically unattractive, are often the ones with the smarts, yet they are not believed to be fully responsible for their actions. An example of this is the common habit of ‘accidentally’ catching the villain. And the same is true for male characters in the same situation of being inadequate or unattractive; they are seen as not being responsible for their own contributions (Eick). …show more content…
From 1990 to now, across 622 films, and more than 5000 characters, only an average of 28% of speaking characters are female while male speakers are just above 71% (Smith). For every women portrayed, there are another 2.5 men. While this statistic has been improving over recent years, overall it has stagnated at about one female to two males. Not only are there less females, but the ones that are included, as discussed prior, are the ‘attractive’ ones which are almost always there for the male characters. Even with the almost even ratio, there is another factor that can be incorporated into play; the Bechdel Test. The Bechdel test is simply that in a show that 1. has at least two female characters that 2. talk to each other 3. about something other than men (Bechdel). Four of fourteen Pixar films passed this simple test and Disney has about a 50 percent pass rate. Continuing with Scooby-Doo as an example, the pilot episode, ‘What a Night for a Knight’, does not pass (Ruby). Neither do the pilots for Hey Arnold, Adventure Time, or Gravity Falls. The pilot for Spongebob barely passes, but the pilot for The Powerpuff Girls does pass with lots of talks between the girls. However, one of the first episodes plays off of the ‘scared of bugs’ stereotype around women while the two major men are more than happy to make friends with the insects (McCracken). While a film or cartoon can pass, usually it is because the women

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