Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Can't Even Watch TV Anymore

For a Spanish project, my group is writing a small skit about the Powerpuff Girls. Each group chooses a well known movie or TV show and writes a basic script. Solely for educational purposes (haha, right), I was watching some episodes of the Powerpuff Girls. It was one of my favorite shows as a child so it's a little nostalgic to hear that background music and see the flashing lights. I stumbled upon the episode Rowdyruff Boys (Season 1, episode 12) and was thoroughly pissed off. Perhaps every week, I'll review some kind of show and look for some aspects that piss me off. If you want to see any particular show reviewed, please comment! I love hearing feedback with you guys. So here another musing/rant begins. 

I know as a kid I didn't pick up any of this. Instead it just is ingrained into your brain. Sure this is a dramatic situation but hear me out. How can we expect young woman of the future to be strong, confident leaders when they grow up hearing that merit only goes so far, that they are inferior to men. 

➊ Ingredients that compose boys and girls
Apparently girls are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice. Boys are made of armpit hair, snails, and a tail of a talking dog. Just as girls are forced to believe that they must be composed, nice, and beautiful, boys are given the impression that they must be tough and insensitive. 

There's this one guy in my newspaper class who I feel sorry for. He's a class A douche bag. However, he also won a local contest for best poetry. He writes pretty good papers and is undeniably intelligent. He never lets that side show probably because of society. He has to act like the only thing he cares about is girls and water polo. I'm sure not all his despicable actions are just a faux exterior but he probably has a lot of issues deep down that he can't express in any other way except hyper masculinity. 

➋ Boys are stronger than girls
When the Powerpuff girls try to defeat the Rowdyruff boys with brute strength they fail. Maybe it's physical anatomy to say that boys are stronger than girls. Maybe not. I just hate that this show perpetuates the idea that girls are weaker and must turn to cheap tricks to win in society. The end does not always justify the means. 

In my middle school PE class, some of my friends always did the amount of pushups or loops around the track to get the A on a boy's scale. If girls had to do 4 (idk the exact numbers) pushups to get an A, boys had to do 6. I was a weakling so I stopped well before that. The scaling was definitely unfair though. 

➌ Girls must resort to using their beauty to win
This is the part that pissed me off the most about this particular episode. The assistant to the mayor, Ms. Bellum (we never see her face, just her beautiful body), encourages the girls to use their beauty and physical asset in order to aspire weakness in the Rowdyruff boys. The girls win when they show up with huge eyelashes and sparkles everywhere. They kiss the boys and the boys vanish into thin air. 

I feel like that is a statement repeated everywhere, even in the innocent TV shows that children watch. Girls aren't as good as guys so they must turn to other methods. I hate that so much, the constant need to appeal to guys. In the tech world, when Marissa Mayer was featured in a beauty magazine, the world went crazy. Smart girls aren't supposed to pretty. We are in a society that values beauty over content. It makes me sad knowing that I was one of those girls who decided to be smart because I thought I could never be pretty. 

I hate the stereotype that girls climb the career ladder using their physical traits instead of merit. This society is not ready to admit that nothing is based on merit alone. Why else would tech companies be so unwilling to submit their stats about diversity? What else explains that 70% of Google employees are white males? 

Let's change the world, one critique at a time. xx

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