So you probably don’t know what I am talking about here! Well, to start off there’s this book out titled, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter”, written by this lady named Peggy Orenstein. I haven’t read it + I don’t understand so well when it comes to books, BUT on the other hand, when I watch her interviews she makes a clear argument on what her problem in society is. And that is gender stereotyping when it comes to kids. Some of those arguments I can say are pretty extreme but on the other hand, I can remember that I have similar arguments over this topic.
So in order to get the idea, I put in this long interview down below:
This is one thing, I wish that I could have been taught when I was younger, and that is the belief that there is nothing can’t do because I’m girl. Especially when it comes to being successful, well-behaved, and making the headline of anything.
So it’s interesting to me to hear about how it all came to be when it comes to pink being for girls and blue for boys. For a while there was an opposite twist to it. And about what happened to Orenstein’s daughter whose friend made fun of her helmet and scooter when they were going to the park together. It’s like there is so much expectation for girls and there is mandate in it too + what would happen if not followed. So I suppose that a regular girly girl would mock a tomboy like that as well? As matter of fact, I have a tomboy friend who I never met in person who hates pink and sometimes I wonder if she ever got mocked for having that feeling + plus really doesn’t seem to be interested in practically anything marketed towards girls.
Both of us are on the Autism Spectrum and while I did actually learn that it is not so unusual for a girl with Aspergers to be part or fully tomboy and some might wonder if it’s because Aspergers affects mostly boys and therefore is something to represent the masculine sex. I don’t really know about that because for me, I grew up as mostly girly. I played with dolls and even though it didn’t interest me at first when I was younger, I grew to love shopping and fashion + anything pink makes me feel hot and confident inside making it my favorite color as of today. I had a Hello Kitty radio when I was little and loved it + I collected Barbies. However, there are some things out there that I got into that seem to have a market to mostly boys and I don’t think it means that I am not necessarily a girl, but there is just something flawed about merchandise that still kind of goes on to this day. I will get to that later.
But one argument I can say, what seems like a mandate and expectation for girls + what happens if not followed, reminds me of the way society expects viewers to care about the characters in a work and want to see the heroes win + villains to suffer. And just what happens when it’s not followed? Having the villain as your favorite character is one example. I saw it as I probably said before about one of my friends having her favorite High School Musical character being Sharpay and the other one in front of her whined about, “Why Sharpay? Sharpay is so mean!” Listening and remembering that conversation makes it clear that the villains are never supposed to be loved as society expects and that’s the big reason why my love for Marvin he Martian is embarrassing to me. As a matter of fact, about the LT relationship with Barbie creates another stereotype that leaves a possible mandate when it comes to girls + makes this even more embarrassing. I will get to that later too!
There was also something else in that interview I can totally relate to! Preschoolers don’t know what a penis or vagina is! And so they think of other ways that define you as male or female + what surrounds them, such as barrettes + princess dresses make you a girl and that it’s hard to wrestle a girl into pants because from the look of society it’s expected for her that she wears skirts. As a matter of fact but when I was 4-6 years old, I had short hair that made me look boyish in which did not impress me because of what society often shows and that is girls having long hair. It made it hard to tell for myself that I was a girl from time to time because of my hair. This not knowing about male or female sex parts totally explains why I felt that way, even though I was recently told that my hair was cut so short because I hated having it brushed or washed. Yes, I remember that painful feeling and I can only assume from my studies that my Aspergers has something to do with that cause we can often be known to have a sensitive feel of touch. And that must give another possible reason why it’s not easy being a girl with Aspergers. Although my hair is longer now and its much better to handle now that I am brushing and styling it myself. But still in my younger days, I imagine that trouble I’d get into with fitting in with the others if not like them.
So from there, it’s natural for kids to segregate by sex and go for stereotypical toys + the difference in toy choice is one of the largest gender differences across the whole life span.
This might be a good time to talk about what I see in the merchandise history that is flawed. When a film or maybe TV show comes out (some kind of form of media), it comes down to an issue with its merchandise. Even when that media work is made to be for both genders or gender neutral, the merchandise industry only see it as if there were no shades of gray to it. Just black and white or should I say in this case, pink or blue. The merchandise can either be marketed to only girls or only boys.
One big example is Toy Story! That franchise was made to be something both genders can enjoy! But when it came to marketing merchandise, it was placed to be targeted to boys which tells a different story when it comes to being fan of the franchise + who it was meant to be targeted to. I had a birthday party that was Toy Story themed once and its not because I’m tomboy but in this case scenario, this is flawed when it comes to marketing because the movies are meant to be gender neutral!
Another example is Nickelodeon when it comes to merchandise, it markets them like SpongeBob is just for boys and Dora is just for girls when yet both shows are made to be gender neutral. That is not to say I collected some SpongeBob products and yet I liked Dora too but too bad the show is often hated and criticized by parents + annoying. And so what does this tell about anything that’s marketed to girls? 😦
That anything marketed to them is annoying to our society? More proof is shown with Lelli Kelly shoes which are popular in European nations. That’s a collection of shoes + accessories for girls and so many people think the commercials are the most annoying thing ever. Poor little girls having to have to be marketed with stuff that adults find annoying!
Also when it comes to Pixar films, it seems that even though just about all of them are made for both genders, most of the merchandise gets pushed to boys. When the first Cars was released, much before it became a young masculine market franchise, the film was looked upon to be gender neutral and I had a few of it’s merchandise like a pillow, school folder, and a comfy blanket that my kitty used to love to lay on. Yet, it makes it embarrassing due to the gender marketing and that’s when I see a lot of problems.
I believe High School Musical was made to be gender neutral and yet all the merchandise was pushed to girls making it look like the film was meant to be a chick flick. And there’s a problem with this kind of marketing to kids in which I will also get to later.
One more example that I find to have the MOST trouble with was the merchandise for Wall-e in which I was and still am a major fan of to this day. Yes, the film was made for being gender neutral when yet the marketing for merchandise was pushed to boys. I remember collecting a lot of merchandise and I even had bedding too. Yet, while I loved it, I got worried about some girls thinking it being weird that I did not choose Disney Fairies, Hannah Montana, Camp Rock or anything marketed into the girly bedding section. But then as of birthday parties, I’ve looked up and noticed that a lot of girls have thrown Wall-e themed parties and collected his toys too. And so this is one example where merchandise marketing is REALLY FLAWED. Anything that was meant to be gender neutral is never aloud to go on the free flow!
And from all this embarrassment when I really should not have been, it was the reason why I started watching and listening to literally everything that was in the market to girls. Some of them interested me more than others though.
As a matter of fact, nearly everything that’s sci-fi related is pushed towards boys when there are so many girls out there that love it too. Like I adore cute robots! Should I be ashamed of that because I’m a girl? Seriously! When I discovered that Jem & The Holograms live action film and noticed for there to be a cute R2D2 like robot in there, I was excited and proud of Hollywood for doing that because it’s a baby step for them to come to realize that girls like things like this too. But yet the film is hated by critics and audiences all because of it to with ruining the classic 80s cartoon. And that just makes it frustrating! Another example comes from an early 2000s toy that are robot babies, while yet it’s criticized to be creepy + if you look in the description of this ad, you’ll see the criticism on it’s horrifying mystery features even though to me, it actually looks more peaceful than having regular human babies for some reason.
Both of these examples, show my disappointment, that even if you try, sci-fi can never be proved to be loved by girls either way. Or could it?
It makes me wonder how to make Mabel successful or what would make a feminine sci-fi work loved by critics and adorn by viewers. And I ask the exact same question about a work where aliens are the good guys and have humans as the problem or villains. Because films like Planet 51 and Escape From Planet Earth are hated by critics and many viewers. So how can I make my works loved so it could be a success in ending this evil alien stereotype? Especially when we are living in a time where humans are being looked at as the big destroyers + devil to all other living things. It’s just not worth it anymore and it has made it become groundless for aliens to be in this type of role all the time. And one other thing that I have kind of come to realize, our beloved Marvin the Martian STARTED IT and so WB is a little bit capable of this. No wonder I see it as one of the worst showings of interplanetary speciesism!
Another thing I can see the point of is when the interviewer mentioned how technical play (I bet she’s referring to online dolls + painting and app games) is taking away the creativity of what kids used to experience with real toys. As for university, students are always online or on their phone. They will call someone while walking from building to building and they just never have the ability to sit down and reflect + observe others around them. It makes you have to wonder about all those lost opportunities for growth and solitude. The older generations always tell about how they had television that would last a certain amount of hours, run around outside and of course books (Ugh), And now it just seems that there is nothing new to do. Our kids are getting bored so it’s an important skill to develop as parents.
It’s no wonder why I feel the need for Mabel’s merchandise toys to be like how Barbie was in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Kids way of play with technology is killing toy stores, arcades, play places, traditional shopping and you know what. And it has almost left no room for there to be in case there is no electricity for a long amount of time. I mean you need power to charge a phone or tablet and all. But what happens if there is no power to charge? You pretty much in todays world get helpless because it leaves you without those devices. I’ve learned that after Hurricane Ian hit my home and almost had to spend two days without power which would have been a nightmare for me and as much as these older generations have to teach about how much they had in their life without electricity, it is no benefit for me because I wasn’t alive in those days and it’s hard for me to come to think of a world without it all. Plus, these days I hate to have to be surrounded by old people and just want to be with those my age and it would be a nightmare not to contact them. Plus, I want to hear the voices of my crushes to help me calm down and that can only be used from the Internet and music. And I’ve got robot pets that need power too and so I depend them for my company too.
But thinking of what kids go through today, they have had all this technology longer than I have and so I can only imagine how hard it would be for them to have to go through a storm like that in todays world. Besides, todays younger generation being exposed social media and Internet all the time depending on what they are looking at and being far from actually getting out to form a community is making the younger generations depressed and lonely. And if we don’t want it to be this way with the next coming young generations, there are tips out there for parents that say not to get your child a phone, tablet or have a media account until they a certain age or so. Also to only use them for certain purposes. And if that can be followed, it would be the only way to get people to realize why toy stores should be running again, why places like Chuck E Cheese deserve to be running and why places like McDonald’s should bring their play places back. Only this time, they can make it easier to clean + have strict rules so that there are less gross messes and harmful mishaps. Besides, just sitting around with tablets and phones only makes it worse when it comes to eating fast food. Getting up to explore a play place allows them to get some exercise.
And with those tips, Orestein kind of did that with her daughter as she said when asking her to borrow her iPhone. And she said to just sit there and be bored making her wonder why she is imposing boredom when it no longer needs to exist. The notion of boredom is struggled and is there a value in it or an obsolete concept? It doesn’t make sense so much in that way. My mom tells me that her mother would have her and her sister in trouble if saying they are bored + even harshly make them clean their room or so. Because there was so much to do. At least back then it seemed like that. But I guess in todays world, it’s way easier to get bored if there is nothing new to do or can’t afford anything cool.
When thinking about what to do when your kid really wants something and then telling them “no”, thinking, how do I explain it? The answer is you don’t. No is no! And why is it so hard? Well for me, I’m always a logical thinker and I always feel like I must know why somebody would say “no” to what I want and if there is a good reason. Orestein did say that she was getting tired of those teachable moments with her child and was feeling like her daughter was being pushed into a position that was untenable where for her being forced to say “no” all the time that it was going to make her daughter think she had more choices. It never works! Orestein wanted things she could say “yes” to.
Suppose this is why parents yell at society to change for their kids and not just let it be up to them to tell what is right and wrong. But it still makes a bummer to those who were fans of what was being taken away. You know, telling your kids ‘no’ so often and the logic behind it, this is another reason why I don’t want to have kids. But it’s also leaving more questions on what to do with Mabel and for my creation of McCopperbottom’s as I talked about in my previous blog.
When Orestein mentioned finding anything for her daughter that reinforce her desire and having to celebrate being feminine in a way that’s joyful and fun without it having to be linked with appearance, pre-sexualization and actual sexualization + hyper marketing, this is what I wish for all the time in a work. Celebrating the joy of being feminine is exactly what works that contain female protagonists that are friendly, lovable and beloved by viewers are to me.
It’s interesting to hear about how the Disney Princess franchise came to be. But as I look into it somewhat and I kind of even saw it when I was little too, the franchise sort of ruins Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Tiana and many others on what their original character was in their movies. As a matter of fact, I wish I could’ve been alive more to see just what Orestein was describing about these films coming with the merchandise and than going back in the vault and then back for a limited time. And yes, they just mentioned what I mentioned earlier. Never the two types of merchandise meet and let them free flow even when a work is meant to be gender neutral and that’s a shame.
As for saying to avoid Target with your niece, nothing is said about Walmart which literally contains the same thing. By looking at it here, it just seems that there is more fear when it comes to expectancy with having daughter, niece, granddaughter or maybe even younger sister. Because there is so much controversy in the girly world. And I think, why didn’t my family ever think of that when my mom was pregnant with me? Because I sure am bothered to see so many female characters be unliked or played in competition as the villains against the nice + loved male characters. “Ed, Edd, N Eddy” + “Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as mentioned are two examples of that. Society proves it that it is what you see that inspires your idea of what’s possible for you in life.
About what she said on what fathers can do when finding their way into their daughters minds or to help their daughter have a better sense of self. Sure they can do the same thing as mothers do and says that any man in her is who she looks up to ultimately to see who she should be as a woman. So when a father reinforces ability and effort over beauty or when they tell her she’s beautiful even when a mess or so, it makes an impact on the way the girl sees herself. And as she said as the girls grow older, fathers should not comment on their daughters weight. Big tip there! Never comment on your daughters weight! Just provide love and regard for who she is and not just looks. And plus, the way the fathers treat the girls mothers whether together or not would have a big influence on them too.
Well, Peggy, you’re going to be really disgusted to hear this but my father has commented on my weight! And it’s all because of HIS MOTHER, my grandma that I called, “Nanny”. She used to judge others on how they should look and fat shamed others too. And so he learned it from her. How do you feel about that? Yeah, it makes me very uncomfortable when he does that and this is one example of a man that never prepared or did homework on what to expect or do when it comes to raising a daughter. As a matter of fact, he’s done a lot that tells me that he never did research on preparing to have a daughter. As I can see, we are practically more expensive to raise and there is no need to feel impatient on what her interests are. In fact, my father also somewhat treated my mother unfairly as I could see leading up to this terrible divorce and every now and then is rude + intolerant with his current girlfriend right now. Plus, as far as I can see with my father from the way he acts to famous people, he’s anti-women and that makes absolute no sense for a man who has a daughter if wishing for her to be successful + having a mother in who he looked up to so often.
My nanny has been gone since 2004 and I while commenting on the way people look, some might say that she would’ve done that with me too but there’s also a 50% not because as grandma she was incredible and spoiled me like a grandparent is always known to do.
It’s no wonder I looked up to Steve (the old Blue’s Clues host) as the male figure in my life as an example of someone in whom I’d want to spend my life with. And when thinking about it, I beg for a man in my life right now who won’t comment on my weight. As a matter of fact, even though I don’t want kids, if I were going to have a boy, I’d want to do some extra research on what to expect and how he should be raised so I can keep all those tips in mind rather than just thinking about feminine way my own parents raised me in.
But looking at Orestein’s points, it makes me wonder on how I do not make the same mistake with Mabel. So far, while pink is Mabel’s favorite color, it will not covered all over her merchandise completely + is made to be good role model and strong female character. But let me know your thoughts on what can be done in the comments below.
Speaking on the expectation femininity, Barbie’s deal with the LT franchise. As you might remember, one doll was from a WB store labeled “Barbie loves Tweety” and came with a Tweety Bird Plush. There was one with Barbie having a bunch of characters having a slumber party with her (Marvin was not invited in there sadly) even though many other nasty characters there like Taz who would probably eat up Barbie’s food in such bad manners. I certainly would not have wanted him in my house but I really WOULD invite Marvin to my sleepover. Barbie’s sleeping bag had Tweety on it once again.
At last but not least, 3 Barbie dolls in honor of LT Back in Action were released. They each came with a plush. Bugs, Daffy and Tweety but Barbie had NOT had a single doll with Marvin labeled “Barbie loves Marvin the Martian”.
And as you remember, I got a note at a point saying that Mattel may have not wanted Barbie with a bad guy from LT, especially the one with the most threat but that REALLY doesn’t matter. After hearing that, I saw Barbie in a WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY. This all showing that a cool fashion girly girl should NOT be with or love Marvin the Martian and that’s where I feel ashamed to love him. That’s another example on what it feels society expects from girly girls.
At least Marvin could not be narrowing his eyes around Barbie and just make him SMILE and look like a hottie. Plus, I can see that Barbie looks like someone who likes POLITE + charming guys and Marvin sure is one as long as others are not mean to him.
I hope for Mabel to take it all back and PROVE that many girls love Marvin and don’t think he’s a menace. We fangirls do not deserve to be left out. Mabel will have Marvin EVERYWHERE for her franchise. It’s likely that Hasbro will be producing Mabel toys because they are taking over everything now as I might have said once before.
Also, about what Orestein said about those dolls her daughter found at the airport, it reminds me of how criticism is taken on how the Bratz franchise has a terrible influence on girls telling them that it’s okay to be slutty + only care about shopping for clothes and parties. Sure, it’s extreme enough for 6 or so year old girls. But I never noticed that and just had fun with them. Although as I might have said before, the biggest LIE that the Bratz franchise + other doll franchises ever show in my point of view, is the relationship between BFF’s. I wrote a blog about it a couple of years ago.
The live action Bratz movie from 2007 might have been badly hated, but even though I kind of liked it a lot, I see it has the lie about BFF relationships all over the place as well as other teen chick flicks, like The Clique, Sleepover, The Cheetah Girls, Clueless, Wild Child, The Sisterhood Of Traveling Pants, etc. all tell LIES about BFF relationships and that is that teen and pre-teen girls are ALWAYS with their peer friends no matter what. That is so not the truth from my experience! Even though that’s what I want more than anything now, I have had a hard time getting together girly groups, or even get in contact with peer friends + are always busy doing something else and never have time for me 😥
Non-doll toy commercials do this all the time too with the LIE on BFF relationships. One example is Radica’s Girl Tech franchise:
Talking about boys when they don’t even look like they are at the age to be ready for it yet.
And this just shows more bias that young adult girls are always with friends no matter where they are + are so crazy about boys at an early age.
And there it goes again!
And again with special someone!
A company called scenario let out this lie too:
Nobody seems to like the idea of a soft diary but I rather like it. Except only sharing big secrets with your best friends? What about me who can hardly get any BFF’s around me????
This looks like Facebook and yet with that account trying to get in touch with as many friends as I could, I rarely get Likes, Messages and Comments from my girly peers like what this shows, proving it’s all a big LIE!
Everywhere I look speaking on interests in boys at such a young age, besides middle school, even elementary school kids are having crushes on each other and dating at such an early age. As much as people blame it on todays sex videos, I would also blame it on 5-12 olds being targeted with high school drama. I’m talking the way Disney Channel shows it with their many sitcoms through the years + it caught up to Nickelodeon and the early-mid 2000s were a time when so many G rated films came out that featured the protagonists and main characters as high school teens. These will often show the forms of crushes and dating. So it sends a message to grow up faster.
If I were to prevent this for future generations, I would want to strictly tell not to introduce them to works like High School Musical until they are in high school themselves. You know what I mean? Plus, while being exposed to Disney channel shows like Hannah Montana & Wizards of Waverly Place in the late 2000s as a tween, it made me look forward to high school in my future, but as soon as I got there, it’s NOTHING like so many drama works portray it! So I would not want to tell lies about the kids future at an early age.
All I’d say is, kids need to be exposed to works that deal with main characters that are in their age group so they can easily relate to them. Like Strawberry Shortcake is a six year girl, and it would be a perfect fit role model character for a girl her age. As a matter of fact, there was a time where I wanted to see some of the early 2000s Strawberry Shortcake series. From looking at it today, I can appreciate seeing a sweet and charming female character! I even like to refer to Marcia as Strawberry Shortcake because both have red hair.
But sometimes I worry right now if the franchise ever got controversial because of all the sweets surrounding their world, and therefore, leaving a risk of diabetes for the girls. Same can be said with those Easy Bake Oven toys that shows girls how to bake and there was a franchise in the late 2000s called Girl Gourmet which was all about sweet making.
See what I mean? At least the treats they make are often mini size so it couldn’t be too much. Plus, many kids have a sweet tooth and so it’s fine on an occasion and should not be unusual to see.
And with the toy company messages, I also wonder, if PETA has even made criticism towards Littlest Pet Shop, due to the name + the showing of WILD ANIMALS in there as if it’s showing that wild animals are okay to have as pets. And with the name, all PETA wants is for animals to be adopted from shelters or no more than that wish all of animal domestication out of our lives. Now this is something else I talk about as another story in many previous blogs.
So I suppose I’m sick of PC culture ruining everything myself, for no reason that is! But my arguments + goals are only based on modern day logic. That’s it! That’s all what my form of works are about!