The best thing about this TED Talk is that he not only addressing the gross misrepresentation of women and girls in film and fiction and their influence on young girls or young girl, but children as a group. It’s not either/or here; it’s both.
It floors me now, to think, that the whole concept of “Save the Day, Get the Girl” is so familiar and celebrated with audiences, yet we don’t realize the potential damage it has on how boys’ views of women, as an object to be won. In a way, it even reinforces the “Damsel in Distress” archetype.
That’s not to say that this is story frame is something to condemn, but rather be aware of when we introduce it to our children. Certainly, Star Wars is a remarkable film, but there is something to say for women in the galaxy far, far away, who need rescuing, are forced to wear a chain bikini, and rule a world dominated by an male population.
Of course, Leia reclaims a strong female voice by rescuing her beau and fighting and strategizing a war, yet is that the course we must always take to win recognition of strength? Do women always have to sacrifice femininity and indulge in what may be the manliest act ever, fighting, to be a Strong Female Character? Is strength to be measured in how brutally she can defeat a foe?
I’d always heard how the Wizard of Oz was the Ultimate Chick Flick because it was about two women fighting over a pair of shoes, and I’d always playfully admonished people for that because it is so much more, but wow, was I ever surprised by how much more it really is.