Sunday, March 23, 2014

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

Monday, February 3, 2014

Talking Points

I found this article, 'Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us' by Linda Christensen to be very interesting.  It opened my eyes to a subject that I had never actually realized, especially as a child watching Disney movies and cartoons.  Christensen argued that stereotypes are taught at such a young age, without it even being noticed.  She explains to her audience that older cartoons and movies made for children send messages about race, roles of women and men, and cultural stereotypes.  She refers to these messages as a "secret education" since these TV shows, movies, and books that children watch and read are teaching them about the roles of society.
Christensen argues that cartoons, Disney movies, and children's books have the most influence on a child's life, since these are the things that they do most often.  Disney movies, such as Peter Pan, portray different kinds of stereotypes that children pick up on.  I thought it was interesting when Christensen talked about certain characters in older movies or cartoons, such as the "evil" stepparents, servants were people "of color", and women were portrayed as very sexual human beings.  Now that I think back on it, I remember all of the Disney Princesses being sexualized, and all of those stories are about the Princesses finding their true love in order to be happy.  Christensen argues that it is not right to teach girls at a young age that a man is the only thing that will make a woman fully happy, and that the goal in life is to find someone to marry.
Christensen explains that children's cartoons, movies, and books portray an image of what society should be like, which gives children the thought that certain genders and races have specific roles that they should play in society.  I thought that the author did a great job with teaching her audience more about what we are showing to children and how we can make them realize that what they see in the media is not reality.

- Jennifer Crandall

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