Saturday, March 3, 2012

Male Dominance in Cartoons of the 90’s

            In class the other week, we spoke about the lack of movies with a superheroine as the lead. Countless movies have starred superheroes such as Superman, Batman, or Captain America, but one that features Wonder Woman or Promethea is yet to be released. Why are movie production companies so reluctant to commit with a superheroine as the lead?

This lack of female leads in comic book based movies got me thinking of the superhero movies I watched as a child. This led me to think about the cartoons of my childhood (yeah...I don’t have the best ability to stay in one train of thought). All of my favorite cartoons had male leads. Rocket power, Hey Arnold!, Doug, RugRats, and even Spongebob are all centered around male characters. Sure, there are female love interests (and sometimes rivals), but there isn’t really any show I can think of from the 90’s that had a female lead.

There was Powerpuff Girls, of course, but that’s not the best example. Every one of my favorite shows had a male lead. Why is this true? Do production companies fear that their shows won’t be popular with a female lead? Or do they simply think of plots that are based around males “by accident”?

Although we live in the twenty-first century, women are still treated as less powerful than men. This does not only occur in comic books. We see it in the movies we watch, the books we read, and even the cartoons we loved as children.

And of course, we see it on a daily basis in society. A woman is still paid less than a man for doing the same job, and women in general are still thought to have less of a chance of becoming successful and established in life. As we try to move away from these misconceptions, the media around us still exemplifies that men are superior. Maybe if production companies took a risk by creating a movie (or a cartoon TV series) with a prominent, strong female lead, we can start looking past such misconceptions and start seeing males and females as equals. 

1 comment:

  1. I do agree that many of the shows during our childhood didn't feature a female lead, but you are missing some important females from the 90s to early 2000s. For example: The Amanda Show, Lizzie Mcquire, That's so Raven, Kim Possible, and Sabrina. Now, I will say that most cartoons did not feature a female as the lead character, and this is somewhat puzzling. Also that most of the shows I've mentioned didn't show up until the late 90s. I think this shows some of the progress of female leads for television shows. The fact is though that a powerful and strong superheroine has yet to be the lead in any movie, maybe this is because the women in comics are SO idealized that there really is no woman in the world that can live up to the character created. But at the same time, there's no man that can live up to Superman either. It is true that our society still has a long ways to go to have total equality among men and women, and that I'm definitely waiting for the day that a Wonder Woman movie is released.


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