Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gender in media does matter

My son is at a fun age where he can appreciate more movies than a few years ago. So, we have been watching Disney movies lately. He laughs at all the right places in Lilo & Stitch and dances next to me during A Little Mermaid. And I can't tell you how happy I was when he cited Moana as one of his favorites.

Because the reality is that we need more complex female leads in movies.

Common Sense Media polled its vast army of parents about gender roles in movies, and parents have spoken: We need better female role models in all media. It's important for girls to know that there is more to life than their looks or certain pigeonholed careers, and it is important for boys to know that girls are just as complex as they are.

But beyond the media, I think this is a message that can be reinforced at home. We've had lots of dinnertime conversations around gender - with the basis of all those conversations being around respect. Everyone deserves it, regardless of gender.

Would I like to see a huge shift in media when it comes to gender stereotypes? Yes, of course I would. But I can also still control what my son watches right now, so it is my responsibility to cherry pick the materials that he watches and help provide that balance until the rest of the world catches up.

How do you feel about media's portrayal of women these days? Tell me in the comments.

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