Raise your daughters to shout, to scream, to hold their heads up high for being themselves before society tries to teach them how to silence themselves, how to wear shame like it is a second skin. Let them taste rebellion from the moment they are born and watch them become flames to start a revolution.
If a boy hits my daughter, I will not tell her it is because he likes her, I will instead teach her how to fight back and defend her feelings as much as her body. And if a teacher tries to excuse his behaviour, I will remind them how inflicting pain on someone is a terrible way to show them you like them and a worse way to get attention. Little girls who know how to roar are not sheep to little boys who think they are wolves.
The LEGO Movie was my favorite movie of 2014, but it strikes me that the main character was male, because I feel like in our current culture, he HAD to be. The whole point of Emmett is that he’s the most boring average person in the world. It’s impossible to imagine a female character playing that role, because according to our pop culture, if she’s female she’s already SOMEthing, because she’s not male. The baseline is male. The average person is male.
You can see this all over but it’s weirdly prevalent in children’s entertainment. Why are almost all of the muppets dudes, except for Miss Piggy, who’s a parody of femininity? Why do all of the Despicable Me minions, genderless blobs, have boy names? I love the story (which I read on Wikipedia) that when the director of The Brave Little Toaster cast a woman to play the toaster, one of the guys on the crew was so mad he stormed out of the room. Because he thought the toaster was a man. A TOASTER. The character is a toaster.
I try to think about that when writing new characters— is there anything inherently gendered about what this character is doing? Or is it a toaster?
Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg commenting on how weird gendered defaults in entertainment are, and why we should think twice about them. Excerpted from this longer original post.
You’re gonna be born into a society that will try to sew your lips and chain you down but before they try to seize your voice remember that you are born with scorching flames inside of you, you’re meant to roar like a dragon. So never let anyone silence yourself.
You’re gonna grow up surrounded by people who will insist on sculpting your body according to what their idea of perfection is. But before they blind you with this delusion, I want you to know that you’re not obliged to meet up with their standards of beauty.
You’re made of cosmos and combat, and that’s far more beautiful than what anyone can ever be.
You will be expected to keep quiet, may it be when a boy in your class pulls your hair or when a man gropes you on the street. You will be told not to overreact. At times like that I want you to know that you’re stronger than you think, and you should raise your voice against anyone who violates your body. Tell the boy in your class not to pull your hair so he won’t grow up to think it’s okay to grope a girl on the street.
Education is one of the most important part of you life, don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise. You will be born to be leaders, to move mountains, to make a change in this world and nothing will help you more than having a good education so never compromise your education for anyone.
You’re gonna be born with divine fire wrapped in thunder. You’re gonna be strong like hurricanes and cyclones. And nothing can ever stop you.
For when you will be born,
It wouldn’t be the birth of just a girl;
It would be the birth of a revolution.
here’s to the women with fire in their eyes, the ones who sing too loud and love too hard. the one’s who know what they want, the ones who know how to get it, and the ones who will do whatever is needed to get it. here’s to the fighters.
here’s to the women with clouds in their eyes. the ones who hum under their breath, whose smiles can light up a thousand cities, the ones who love gently. the one’s who don’t want for much, but they will take what they do want. here’s to the lovers.
here’s to the women with cities in their eyes, cites of their very own. here’s to the ones who make things before other can even imagine them, the ones in love with creation. the ones who find what they want for themselves. here’s to the dreamers.
here’s to the women with civilizations in their eyes. the ones whose knowledge encompasses galaxies and centuries, the ones who thirst for knowledge. the ones who love recklessly and think rationally, who are the tacticians in a fight. here’s to the thinkers.
here’s to the ones who fight back, every day. here’s to the ones who persevere, no matter what. here’s to the ones who don’t take abuse and intolerance lying down.
Now just imagine an alien’s reaction to a woman on the ship getting her period. The aliens can smell blood, and they’ve just had a fight with some space pirates. Sel’then’ek is making sure everyone is okay when he gets to Rachel and smells blood.
Sel’then’ek: “HumanRachel are you okay?”
Rachel: “What? Um yeah I’m fine, I’m just going to the bathrooms real quick.”
Sel’then’ek: “Rachel do not lie to me! I can smell your blood! Where are you injured? Let me help!”
Who told you only the soft could be good mothers? That mothers could not be dragons in disguise? That women who teach their daughters how to preserve themselves by breathing out lightning were any less than wild, magical things when teaching their young about war and love’s terrible lies?