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Why can't programs with female lead characters be aimed at men/boys too?

(66 Posts)
apartridgeinapeartree Fri 09-Nov-12 14:30:23

This one annoyed me today!

DS's new favourite thing is a DVD which DP got him: "Mona the Vampire".

It's a cartoon - Mona and her friends (one girl, one boy) fight ghouls, goblins, aliens etc. To an adult viewer, it's clear it's all in their imagination, it's nicely done IMO. It's good fun and DS loves it.

It's an American cartoon, but the British marketing which comes with it has an incentive to buy more Mona DVDs - makeup.

It didn't even occur to me that it was aimed specifically at girls! DS is too young to pick up on this, but a "makeup" offer might make older boys decide it's not for them. And even if it doen't, it's clear the company marketing it see it as a girls thing.

I'm fed up with male leads being the default but female leads being a special girls/women's thing - even in children's programs! CBeebies is sadly guilty of this too sometimes isn't it? (Thinking of Tree Fu Tom for example - all the main characters are male, except one token female).

I can think of very few programs / films where the lead is female but it's aimed at a mixed audience. Can you think of any?

The wonderful Fargo springs to mind, can you think of any more to cheer me up? This is depressing!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 09-Nov-12 15:00:01

You are so right.

I've bought Jane and the Dragon for DS1. Recommended on

We watch Nina and the Neurons, good as Nina is just "the scientist"

Also: Studio Ghibli films eg Kiki's Delivery Service.

Apologies if you know of these already.

GetAllTheThings Fri 09-Nov-12 15:27:38

films that spring instantly to mind...

True Grit ( Cohen Bros version )
Salt ( Angelina Jolie )
The Secret Garden
Wizard of Oz ( ? )
Pixar's Brave
5 Alien films
4 resident Evil films
3 Underworld films
The Hunger Games
Tomb Raider

Not sure how mixed the audience might be.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 09-Nov-12 15:45:09

Salt is an interesting one, IIRC it was either written with a male or a gender non-specific lead (I.e. Salt)

Pootles2010 Fri 09-Nov-12 15:49:14

I'm not sure if it is aimed at girls or not, but - Peppa pig. My ds loves it, we were going to do Peppa Pig party for him (didn't in end due to costs) but one of dp's friends was suprised that we were doing him a 'girlie' party hmm

GetAllTheThings Fri 09-Nov-12 15:49:19

Yes Tom Cruise was pencilled in at one point.

I thought True Grit was outstanding.

ParsingFancy Fri 09-Nov-12 15:50:31

Buffy, naturally.

GetAllTheThings Fri 09-Nov-12 15:51:06

Charlie and Lola ?
Little Einsteins maybe ( although the 'leader is a boy )

GetAllTheThings Fri 09-Nov-12 15:53:24

Million Dollar Baby
Silence of the Lambs
V for Vendetta

ParsingFancy Fri 09-Nov-12 15:54:23

Oh and Dollhouse, also from Joss Whedon.

fluffyanimal Fri 09-Nov-12 15:54:54

Resident Evil/Buffy/Tomb Raider: all appealing to male audiences because of a "sexy" female in long boots/leather/skimpy high school clothes flings her legs around and/or has a liking for big guns (phallic image). I don't see any of these as feminist role models I'm afraid.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 09-Nov-12 15:57:52

Buffy is a bit of a different kettle of fish to Tomb Raider though. She's usually in standard teenager clothing, I think.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 09-Nov-12 15:58:22

Ie not usually skimpy...

fluffyanimal Fri 09-Nov-12 16:02:43

Do a google search for images of Buffy, see how many cleavage shots, cropped tops and short skirts there are.

ParsingFancy Fri 09-Nov-12 16:03:38

Hmm, on the Fargo theme, several female cops/detectives:

Cagney & Lacey (but was that primarily aimed at women?)
any Miss Marple
Case Sensitive
PD James' Cordelia Gray series.

Which reminds me, the film Charlotte Gray.

I'm using the OP's criteria of female lead + general appeal, rather than female role-model.

ParsingFancy Fri 09-Nov-12 16:05:07

female feminist role-model

namechangeguy Fri 09-Nov-12 16:36:42

Claire Daines in Homeland, the best drama currently on UK TV. Her character, Carrie Mathison, is not without her issues, but that is what makes her so powerful. Her and Damian Lewis' characters are absolutely outstanding.

namechangeguy Fri 09-Nov-12 16:40:50

Frances McDormand again in Burn After Reading.

CaseyShraeger Fri 09-Nov-12 16:51:04

Look at a random selection of teenage girl, see how many cropped tops/short skirts there are. Altho

CaseyShraeger Fri 09-Nov-12 16:53:20

Gah! Although maybe not at this time of year; in the summer when we are closer to a Californian climate.

Although did Buffy wear short skirts? <<goes off to Google as requested>>

CaseyShraeger Fri 09-Nov-12 16:55:51

Since you ask, Google image search for Buffy, first page of results - no cleavage shots, no cropped tops, one short (not tight) skirt.

CaseyShraeger Fri 09-Nov-12 17:00:56

Second page of results (this is on mobile so fewer results to a page) - one cleavage shot, plus one wearing a jacket with nothing underneath - so combined cleavage + cropped, I suppose. But it's not an image from the series and not one I remember seeing in the publicity; it looks rather like an unrelated photo shoot Sarah Michelle Gellar did.

GetAllTheThings Fri 09-Nov-12 17:03:01

I can't remember any gratuitous skimpiness in Buffy, she was a very strong female character.

Joss Whedon said "The very first mission statement of the show was the joy of female power: having it, using it, sharing it."

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 09-Nov-12 18:25:38

Google also ranks and reranks by popularity - I can believe that the more revealing images are clicked on out of proportion to their frequency inthe series.

WrathdePan Fri 09-Nov-12 18:36:49

Googled Buffy = no cleavage/legs photos in first 7 pages. Gud because I am (still) trying to get dd into Buffy and she would not approve of salaciousness. At all.

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