Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Unlearning the Myths that Bind us - Christensen - Hyperlinks

           "Children's cartoons, movies, and literature are perhaps the most influ­ential genre "read." Young people, unprotected by any intellectual armor, hear or watch these stories again and again, often from the warmth of their mother's or father's lap. The messages. or "secret education," linked with the security of their homes, underscore the power these texts deliver. As Tatum's research suggests, the stereotypes and world view embedded in the stories become accepted knowledge." (127)
           Last semester along with Karissa, I took a First Year Seminar about Disney, and how it was a huge corporation and it uses its influence and power to expose children to many gender stereotypes and patriarchal ideologies.  That class really opened my eyes to the power and influence that the media, most of which Disney has a part in and what it teaches the young, impressionable youth that we study in this class.  This is also what Linda Christensen talks about in her article "Unlearning the Myths that Bind us."  Disney holds such a large part of the control of he media and in many Disney films, if we look past the beautiful colors, fun animation, and cute characters we can see the lessons being taught.
  Women are shown as inferior, and helpless and are in need of a man to come and save them.  Until recently the Disney Princesses were depicted as being housewives, "damsel in distress", flawlessly beautiful with perfect hair, big eyes with long eyelashes, and a tiny waist.  This unrealistic expectation that every little girl looks up to is unhealthy.  Although Disney is slowly moving away from the gender roles, the physical representation is still there.  The men are all strong, rich, white and handsome.  This makes me think back to SCWAAMP.  The men of disney fit into every category, except white in some cases like Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast where Disney realized that they couldn't make another cookie cutter prince although they fit all the other criteria.  
         The gender stereotypes are a huge issue that are beginning to be discussed.  I found a video of the reactions of parents when they see a little boy that wants to dress up as a princess for halloween, and then a little girl who wants to be spiderman.  Many of the people around didn't accept these children for who they wanted to be because they got it in their minds as a child of the traditional roles we are supposed to fill.  This brings in connection to Safe Spaces  where children should be able to feel comfortable being themselves, in this case a boy dressing up as Belle and a girl dressing up as Spiderman.  
       The name of Christensen's article is "Unlearning the Myths that Bind us"  this means that we need to see past the traditions of gender roles and learn to accept that every child is different.  We need to "unlearn" the lessons that Disney taught us of a women needing and man to protect her and that every women should be physically flawless.   Like in this Youtube video, we cannot look at a boy in a dress and think that it is wrong because he picked it and he doesn't think its wrong so why should we?

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