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To be angry about sexism on kids TV

(148 Posts)
Antoniacaenis Sat 12-Aug-17 08:31:30

Feeling very sad that DD (3) has just told be that the pink pig on her plaster must be George and not Peppa because it's in an astronaut costume.😡.

I am angry about what has made her think like this and In part I think it's the TV she watches, nearly always CBeebies and I thought these were ok. But when I think about it - where are the strong characters in lead roles? I guess I'm thinking about the cartoons mainly. Where are the girl characters in Peter Rabbit, Mike the Knight, and even DDs favourite Octonauts? In supporting roles... the fun , active main characters are nearly always male. I was liking Go Jetters until I realised that the only female character ( out of 5) never does anything except drive the car and worry she is not good enough ( non of the other characters have confidence issues and need constant reassurance from the team.

When the main character is female we get Kate and bloody Mim Mim. I know there is the likes of Katie Morag to balance things a bit but AIBU to be getting angry about this subtle conditioning?

Can anyone tell me about any good fun cartoons on other channels that don't follow this crappy pattern?

Cactuar Sat 12-Aug-17 08:34:44

She-Ra is on Netflix - loved that as a kid and lots of strong female characters

MsVestibule Sat 12-Aug-17 08:39:43

It's a while since I watched CBeebies, but yes, I agree. They often have a token girl, but rarely the lead. It's insidious and does condition them from a very early age.

I think maybe the programmes made by CBeebies - e.g. Let's Play - are more non-gender specific, but they're in a minority.

HepKestrel Sat 12-Aug-17 08:41:46

Tell her about Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut.

madlittlelulu Sat 12-Aug-17 08:44:33

You're not wrong. Peppa pig is fucking awful for stereotyping.

We have milkshake on in the mornings, and it's a similar story 😐

pinkdelight Sat 12-Aug-17 08:45:04

I agree and used to rant a lot about the rare female leads being bloody Everything's Rosie with her unbearably soppy voice. Zoo Lane was slightly better though still passive. Why stuff like Octonauts can't be 50/50 gender split I have no idea. They probably think it's radical enough having a female character that can hold a spanner.

BringOnTheScience Sat 12-Aug-17 08:45:50
It's American, but a wonderful repository of books, clothes, biographies, etc to inspire beyond the girly stereotypes. Worth following on FB, if you use it, for topical news too.

NotSoNewbie Sat 12-Aug-17 08:46:55

Regarding Octonauts, my dd (3) claims that Peso is a girl, and pretends she's Peso all the time. She wants to be a doctor like "her".

pinkdelight Sat 12-Aug-17 08:47:30

The live action stuff on cbbc tends to be better - hetty feather, dumping ground, worst witch etc - but it's too late by then. CBeebies is great in many ways but this is a bizarre area to not have addressed by now.

bettybyebye Sat 12-Aug-17 08:48:33

Totally agree OP and it really pisses me off too. No suggestions for programmes that don't do this unfortunately. I just try to constantly tell my DC (4yo DS and 2yo DD) that there's no such thing as girl things/boy things and that boys and girls can do anything etc . So depressing in 2017 angry

katienana Sat 12-Aug-17 08:52:37

Wooly and tig, Sarah and duck, abney and teal, teacup travels to name a few with leading females. It should be 50/50 though. Lots if female presenters for the shows like Nina and the Neurons, Do You Know which I think are great for boys to see also.

StarCrossdSkys Sat 12-Aug-17 08:57:58

Yes it is really, really annoying.

Shows like Octonauts and Go Jetters were specifically made to retain boys as an audience as they were losing them to other channels. Boys generally will not watch programmes with females as the main characters where as girls will watch male characters. I sort of think that CBeebies should rise above that and give children the programmes that they ought to watch, but they are dependent on viewing figures for continuing funding.

Octonauts is my dd's favourite and the main characters are all male which is so frustrating as a parent, although she does think that slightly camp doctor Peso is a girl so I don't know what that tells us about toddlers attitudes to gender!

44PumpLane Sat 12-Aug-17 09:09:28

I like Hey Duggee. Although Duggee is clearly male, the majority of activities are performed by The Squirrels who are split 2 girls 3 boys, each Squirrel has their own talent and the girls seem to be particularly smart (especially the octopus).

One of the Squirrels, Happy the Crocodile, is adopted. The families all use different modes of transport to get to the clubhouse. There are just a lot of positive things in it I feel.

When my two are old enough I'll be doing Squirrel activities with them so I can award them badges like in the show, it's all very focussed on outdoors or crafts and using your brain so I like it!

astoundedgoat Sat 12-Aug-17 09:19:39

I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The ponies live in a matriarchal society, led by an intellectual female (Twilight Sparkles), and in addition to setting the highest value on intellectual achievement the core cast members represent hard work (Applejack), sporting achievement (Rainbow Dash), kindness (Fluttershy), sophistication (Rarity) and fun (Pinkie Pie).

The rulers of the kingdom are female - Princess Celestia and Princess Cadence and Princess Luna, and although I think one of the princesses is married (I think Cadence is married to Shining Armour?), male ponies barely feature, and NEVER EVER feature as something that the female ponies should consider in their aspirations etc. In fact, the main male characters are Spike - a pet - and Discord, who exists only to sow, well, discord in society.

The whole thing is wonderful. And the songs are brilliant. The albums are on Spotify too. smile

theothersideoftheworld Sat 12-Aug-17 09:21:43

Nella the princess knight is good.

Schvitzing Sat 12-Aug-17 09:40:03

I find this with books too. There are either great feminist/girl boss/anti-pink princess ones or old fashioned ones but very few neutral ones. Just a nice mix would be good.

Catsize Sat 12-Aug-17 09:40:53

I remember someone pointing out on here that the female character in Paw Patrol rarely features on the merchandise. I then saw that she was right and stopped buying anything Paw Patrol related.

Oops4 Sat 12-Aug-17 09:42:04

Peppa is awful full stop. I didn't mind octonauts as like others have said, my thought peso was a girl and tweak is basically the cleverest as she makes all the gups wink

Nella the princess knight, pj masks, lion guard, power puff girls might be better (although don't really know why nella had to be a princess knight and not just a knight)

Antoniacaenis Sat 12-Aug-17 09:42:06

Thanks for the suggestions, although some of the comments about boys makes me think that I need to consider this for my DS as well. He needs to see strong girls too.

I agree that there are a lot of good adult live action role models, and DD is loves Do you know?

Thanks for reminding me about a mighty girl too. I think we need to rethink some of our book choices too.

RoboticSealpup Sat 12-Aug-17 09:49:09

I second My Little Pony. It's honestly the best show for girls I've ever seen. The main character is basically a civil servant reporting to a princess and we follow her career progression as she gets more responsibility and in the later series also becomes a princess. Princesses in this universe are more like politicians / leaders, not 'pretty girls in castles'. And all the other characters have different ambitions and interests as well. It's not stereotypically "girly" like bloody strawberry shortcake or wellie wishers, where they just talk about cute stuff and dancing. Quite often it's about politics. In one episode they get visits from other "states" inhabited by very peculiar "people" that they have to attempt to get on with in order to prevent war. In another they travel to a "communist" state.

Earth to Luna is pretty good as well. A girl and her little brother and their pet squirrel finding out about science. Luna is the main character.

EsmeeMerlin Sat 12-Aug-17 09:52:44

Catsize that always annoys my son. He loves paw patrol and has some t-shirts and trainers and always asks where Skye is as she is the only one not featured!

RoboticSealpup Sat 12-Aug-17 09:53:58

It pisses me off that girl characters are pretty much always a minority in shows aimed at both boys and girls. Like of course there are two boys and one girl on PJ Masks... Females are treated like a literal minority group, as if we weren't 51% of the population... hmm

supermoon100 Sat 12-Aug-17 09:57:32

To be fair George is a bit of an idiot and peppa pig is cool. And as far as I remember mummy pig could turn her hand to anything and daddy pig was always the butt of the joke - 'oh daddy!'

AntiHop Sat 12-Aug-17 10:01:01

I was saying this to dp last night robotic

Dd's favourite shows are hey duggee, go jitters and octonaughts. It pisses me off that the girls are the minority.

AnneTwacky Sat 12-Aug-17 10:01:16

Yes to My Little Pony having strong female characters. Dd loved this when she was younger.

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