Monday

Pink Girly fairy princesses

Ez has hit an age where she knows she's a girl. This means, at the moment, that everything is about her favourite colour (pink), her favourite animal (butterflies), fairies, and princesses. A lot of this comes down to Disney ("is Alice rescued by a prince?" Was one conversation. Unfortunately, I had to lie to her and say she rescues herself, whereas in wonderland stuff just happens with no real reason), but more than that, it's everywhere.
I spent my youth hating Disney for doing dishonest, bowdlerised versions of fairy tales. To be honest, I now think pretty much any of their versions are superior to the originals - maybe not feminist, but at least not mindlessly cruel.

I don't mind that ez is identifying as a girl; although the current phase is irksome, I know, that as she grows up, her definition of what 'girly' is will become more kickarse. 

What irks me is the lack of provision for her, that I never had to deal with as a child. Some years ago, living with girls, I began to appreciate how all the female-fronted music I had written off - madonna,kylie, even lady-heavy indie bands - had been essential to them as kids. I never had to find my idols with a fine tooth comb, because I had over 90% of everything to choose from, even though I didn't particularly identify as a bloke (hence following such weaklings as Thöm and Jarvis).
I can already see this happening with Ez. Her favourite treefu Tom character is Ariella, the only girl in a line up of 5 heroes, and also American (hence being foreign as well as merely female). In Peter Rabbit, she likes Lilly; the only girl in the main three, and a banal, annoying, pointless character who fails the lampshade test. Her catchphrase is 'I know that for a fact.' Good for you, Lilly.

In octonauts, currently her favourite, there are three male main characters and 2/4 backup characters. Dashi, the computer expert (basically sigourney weaver in galaxy quest) is her favourite, because she's slightly more girly (she has a hair clip) than the engineer Tweak (whose main job is pressing the button to open the sub bay doors. Sigh). In order to compensate for the imbalance, Ez had decided that the medic Peso, a main character, is a girl, just to have someone else on her team.
 Similarly, with andy's dinosaur adventures, she has decided that somewhere on iplayer is 'Hattie's dinosaur adventures' where secondary character - and girl - hattie gets her own show.

Unsurpsingly in toy story, Jessie is her favourite, and she loves pretending to be 'girl slinky'.

I never had to do any of this. I had no idea gender association was strong, i had  no idea role models were so important, because I was catered for. I hate that she is continuously rail-roaded into choosing 'the girl' out of any group of characters, rather than the one who suits her best.

So if you sit around and develop your ensemble cast, and you think 'we'll have a smart one, and a funny one, and a brave one, and a girl', then i hate you.
Seriously, JJ.
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