Angelina Ballerina Aaarrrgghhh!

(25 Posts)
mathanxiety Thu 21-Feb-13 15:09:34

I would like to see a girl who wears pink from time to time, isn't active/sporty (i.e. more like the conventional 'boy'), a girl who isn't more intelligent than average and doesn't always have her head in a book, a girl who likes the kind of stuff that is sold to girls, slips under the radar at school because she doesn't cause trouble and isn't top of the class -- being feted. Girls like this are underappreciated.

And of the puppets it's the girl who is the active/sporty one (the boys are in turns addicted to candy, pathologically acquisitive and inclined to be a bit of a couch potato -- in fact, it's possibly a little too hard on the boys).

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Wed 20-Feb-13 21:10:36

The girl in Lazy Town is very very pink in a little dress but still a "hero". Confident, sporty, etc.

That's not entirely true - all the actual saving-the-empire stuff at the climax of the film is done when she's back to being dressed as a woman, and before (most of) her male friends can help her they have to dress as women too. But, yes, she winds up getting the guy which is the conventional result her family have wanted for her all along - she's just gone about it in an unconventional way so has widened the scope of ways-to-get-a-man rather than setting different goals. But at the same time she has succeeded in changing the laws about what women can and can't do in her society, which isn't bad.

mathanxiety Mon 18-Feb-13 02:55:01

Can a feminist hero do stuff besides tree climbing/ initiating action? Can a feminist hero like nail polish and wear pink clothes?

Mulan actually gives a mixed message if you think about it. She is only capable of action when she's a boy and her reward for heroism is the hottie prince. The enemy is not restrictions on girls and anti-girl attitudes but alien looking people from the outside. Mulan goes to a lot of trouble to save the status quo iirc.

GoldenGreen Sat 16-Feb-13 14:20:11

yes, absolutely re: Abney and Teal - it's lovely and appeals equally to my 6 year old ds and my 2 year old dd.

Also Brave is fantastic, not just for fiesty heroine (which, actually, there are a lot of in modern Disney films) but for the fact that it's not a boy/girl love story in any way.

comeonbishbosh Fri 15-Feb-13 20:02:13

Peppa has a red dress surely?! squints at various Peppa related tat which has insidiously invaded our house

My feminist Cbeebies hero is Teal, from Abney and Teal. She's enthusiastic and courageous and generally initiates action more than Abney (who is a gentler sort). Also lovely graphic design and all set outdoors. I love it! (Have about 30 episodes stockpiled by series record, DD (just 3) is also a fan, though Peppa pig still somewhat of her 'default ask'.

Fillyjonk75 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:29:42

The episode this morning about Daddy Pig sneaking a chocolate cake into the shopping trolley was probably less stereotypical. Though certainly accurate as to what happens when we go shopping!

mobellydance Thu 14-Feb-13 20:07:30

Reading this thread with interest, in hope of finding a feminist kids programme, but from the comments it doesn't seem hopefull. DD is just 3 months, so I have no knowledge of kids tv at all.... Any suggestions? (for the future, obviously..... bit young for tv at the min, she's only just found her feet, lol

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 13-Feb-13 17:13:10

I agree about all the dull female characters in children's programmes. And Peppa Pig is great in many ways, although I agree with OutwardBound about the pink/nurse points.

Also, there are other things in Peppa which are quite stereotypical. When Peppa washes Daddy Pig's shirt with her dress and turns it pink, noone thinks pink is acceptable for a football shirt and George goes 'yuk' when he sees it. Pedro Pony is always late and losing things - typical male stereotype - while all the girls are organised and know what they are doing. Also Daddy Pig gets laughed at a lot for being useless whereas Mummy Pig gets (most) things right.

I don't think stereotypes like these are good for either boys or girls. That said, both DH and I always get excited about a new episode [where have our lives gone?]

OnwardBound Wed 13-Feb-13 14:41:25

I think the problem isn't so much that boys think girl shows are rubbish purely because they have a female protaginist but rather that so many shows have dull protagonists iyswim.

I am female but dislike characters such as Rosie and Angelina as they are dull and boring. Not to mention the dreadful Ruby from Max and Ruby.

Whereas Peppa Pig is happily watched by both my preschool age DSs. Peppa is a mischievous curious child and is not excessively girly, she even loves getting dirty and exploring. Like most children then. Only criticism is that she's in a pink dress and her best female friend wants to be a nurse. No issue with women being nurses (I used to be one myself) but feel it's lazy stereotyping. Would have been better imo if Peppa's favourite colour is green and if Pedro Pony (boy character) wanted to be a nurse whilst female friend wanted to be an engineer and build bridges and roads!

Fillyjonk75 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:19:03

Brave is excellent. Also recommend Mulan.

Right, gotcha.

And yes I agree - Tinkerbell might be the most amazingly produced film of all time but I dismissed it without a second thought when I was looking through the cinema listings the other day. Am planning on renting Brave out though, not enough films out there with strong (but not princessy) female leads. And I think the boys will like it too.

I've been thinking about this more and DS1s friends are all boys, I do wonder how much difference that makes, especially with the games they play at breaktime and what the other boys may or may not say about girls.

And following a comment last night at Beavers, where the one girl we have there asked 'when are we going to get more girls?', I'm going to put the word round a few friends. If they'd have accepted girls when I was that age I'd have been straight in.

I'm sure it would be good for boys and girls to play together more, yet for a fun social club that does accept both, it still seems to have the 'just for boys' image.

AmandaPayne Mon 11-Feb-13 15:02:28

That wasn't quite what I was trying to say (although I'm with you on a lot of the dull, sappy princessey shit).

What I meant was, if something was really interesting and exciting, but happened to be something primarily marketed at girls, you wouldn't have said "ooh good, a girls programme on X, let's watch this". You (presumably) only dismiss things as 'for girls' not select them for your boys by labelling them as 'for girls'. So you are only ever giving things a 'for girls' label in a negative context - the dull, the sappy, the boring. When something is fun and exciting, you are talking about it in a gender inclusive way. Which runs a serious risk that your boys absorb that for girls = dull as ditchwater and extrapolating to girls = not as interesting or good as boys.

Good on you for picking it up and wanting to change it though. I'm feeling a bit flat and deflated at gender labelling at the moment (not helped by the fact that I am reading Living Dolls and now want to lock my girls in a tower somewhere) so it's really heartening to hear someone making positive changes on things that have crept it. Lifts me a bit grin. It's something I spend a lot of time doing to myself too.

I think rather than thinking dull things are just for girls, I tend to think that a fair few 'just for girls' thinks tend to be dull.

I just have to be careful with how that is percieved, and make sure the boys don't think girls do boring stuff, boys do interesting stuff, which of course would be nonsense.

AmandaPayne Mon 11-Feb-13 14:27:18

I think the issue is that it shows that, in your mind, you are categorising things as 'only for girls' only if they are dull. So something which is fun would be considered for boys, or unisex.

I think it's really dangerous to conflate boring and for girls. Children pick up on things so easily. I quite frequently said, "Oh not Waybulloo, it's rubbish" to DD1, and she parrots it back. Which became an issue when her younger sister fell in love with it (despite me being driven to distraction by the sappy voices). I now try to stick with "I'm not keen on that one, shall we see if we can find X?"

My two would hate Angelina too. Is it on Five? I operate a strict CBeebies only policy as I can't be arsed with weeding out the adverts, or the nagging if I didn't.

givemeaclue Mon 11-Feb-13 12:59:05

My two dds love horrid henry but I have banned it due to bad behaviour as a result of watching it.

Cat in hat appeals to both

givemeaclue Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:59

Girls and boys like tree fu Tom, peppa, Ben and holly, art programs, Octonaughts, Charlie and Lola. We don't watch "live "tv. We record it and play it without the ads. Nina and neurons also good.

Hmm, yes maybe I could just stick with 'aaarrrrgghh' and switch over but point out that there are plenty of programmes & toys that both girls and boys enjoy and that not all girls like Angelina.

He isn't keen on Horrid Henry and that's a bit more 'for boys' so I could use that as a comparison I guess.

CaseyShraeger Mon 11-Feb-13 12:41:52

Yes, I think that labelling anything as "for girls" is a problem. And making it clear that in your opinion "interesting" and "for girls" are opposite ends of a spectrum is a bigger problem.

"Angelina Ballerina Aaarrrgghhh!" would be a perfectly reasonable reaction by itself. Do you need to say anything more? grin

Haberdashery Mon 11-Feb-13 12:36:13

To be fair, both Barbie and Angelina are deadly dull. I think they are for people without brains, rather than girls.

We love Everything's Rosie, and Fifi and The Flowertots if it's on.

I was just a bit shocked how I have inadvertantly encouraged an attitude of 'that's for girls, therefore not interesting'. I'm the same with Barbie adverts and all that too and will mute them if I get to the remote fast enough.

catladycourtney1 Mon 11-Feb-13 11:33:06

Angelina is a bloody awful little brat though, whether you're male or female.

Ooh, a cartoon about dancing; shall we watch to see what happens?

As a mother to a DS, with no DDs, could I suggest you start with something like Everything's Rosie which is less frilly and pink but still has a female main character and build up to Angelina?

Is this response (from me) appropriate?

It suddenly occurred to me that flicking through looking for something to watch with our two DSs (6 & 2) that DS1's response has become 'that's for girls, is there something better / more interesting on the other side'. And that's come directly from me.

Is that good or bad? And if it's bad, what should I say / encourage instead?

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