Friday, May 10, 2013

The trouble for boys with Merida's makeover

You may have heard about Disney giving Merida a makeover as part of her coronation into the ranks of Disney princesses. There's been a lot of backlash.

Most of the backlash I've seen is along the lines of the sentiments expressed in this Huffington Post article which highlights a Change.org petition against the makeover.

Did you notice anything about the outrage expressed in these?

No?

Did you notice that boys are noticeably absent?

I did. Trust me, I know that girls' self image is important. I know the changes give girls a bad message.

But I'm the mother of boys. I'm the mother of boys who like Brave. I'm the mother of boys who play with girls, go to school with girls, have to interact with girls.

And I'm the mother of boys whom I am trying to raise to respect girls as strong, capable individuals.

I'm trying to do my part to stop the cycle of rape culture and patriarchy.

Those are things that can't happen if our focus is solely on how girls perceive themselves. It's absolutely important that girls think of themselves as strong, but boys have to recognize that too or we're stuck in the same cycle.

My little bronies
Boys need to learn that "girl" doesn't equal inferior or bad. If our girls are learning that they are meant to be pretty decorations, to give meaning to boys, what are our boys learning? 

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