- when you see a male character, we’re meant to view the world through his perspective
- when you see a woman, we’re meant to view the woman
I love broad generalizations like this.
Whose perspective you’re supposed to see through is entirely dependent on the story you’re reading/ show you’re viewing. When the story/movie features a female protagonist, you’re going to see the world through her perspective.
Media aimed at girls focuses on female characters, media aimed at boys focuses on male characters. Secondary or supporting characters are there to complement the main protagonist, not usually to provide a different perspective as the story is not about them.
In comparable stereotypes, the male love interest that the female protagonist is trying to win over is usually desirable simply because they are attractive, just like the female love interest is for male protagonists Their personal stories are usually treated as irrelevant and unimportant to the main story line, which is about the main protagonist.
And if there is some media in which female characters are unimportant, or the media directed at girls that is about dressing up or make-up, that by itself is not necessarily an issue. It’s when it’s the only options that are an issue.
Not quite, actually.
Most media aimed at both boys and girls has a male protagonist. The male is considered a gender-neutral hero. Girls are seen as having more gender.
Or are you saying that girls aren’t also targeted by Pixar (arguably the most influential studio for childrens movies, certainly the most profitable) because I have to say, I’m quite certain they are watching those movies at an equal rate to boys.
Till the release of Brave in 2012, the studio hadn’t released a single film with a woman as the main character. You’ve got more Pixar movies with cars (but coded male) as leads than women.
The problem is that while some media exists with female protagonists, the vast majority does not. So girls identity and empathize with boys. Boys are not encouraged to in quite the same way, since most of girl-oriented media.
Boys AND girls watch stories with men as the subject. According to a list of the most popular cartoons of 2012, out of the ten most popular cartoons - none of them have a woman as a lead character. None.
This media-learning at a young age is heavily influenced by parents and society.
According to Isabelle Cherney, when young boys are put into a room with a “girl” or “boy” toy, if they think they’re not being watched the boys will play with the “girl” toy about equally. If they are being watched, they’ll play more with the “boy” toy. When asked why, they said things like “daddy would be mad”. So - boys are told that the feminine is bad and they avoid it.
The top ten grossing films of 2012 - overwhelmingly male. Only two (Twilight, The Hunger Games) had a female protagonist.
Girls don’t have the option to not consume media that stars and features boys as the protagonists. Boys do. That’s a huge problem right there.
And when boys and men get to be the protagonists, that means girls and women become the love interests and the objects of desire VIEWED by the protagonist. Everyone sees women through the male gaze, which is compounded by the lack of women getting their own stories. They are perpetually reduced to the stories of men.
a good rundown by FAF