She Is Powerful and I'm Not Watching Her Show

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It seems like the United States is at the forefront of female empowerment, especially in entertainment media.  Stories of "sisters doing it for themselves" abound in popular fiction for people of all ages.  It's a wonderful time, people should be happy, right?

Well, not everybody is happy.  There are still those American traditionalists who object to stories with females taking the lead, or women and girls being fans of "guy stuff".

I belong to an Assemblies of God church.  A few years back in their official magazine, Pentacostal Evangel, there was an article criticizing the appearance of so many female lead characters in primetime television, and not just because some of them were single and having sex out of wedlock.  It was because of the sheer number of lead women characters, which the article blamed on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where so many men left their families in the U.S. to serve there.  This article also blamed the Vietnam War in the Sixties for the popularity of the magical women leads in Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.  And my pastor resents Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy for constantly pulling the wool over husband Ricky's eyes.

A while back I read an online article about Cartoon Network cancelling the superhero cartoon Young Justice because it attracted a growing number of the "wrong" fans:  girls.  The logic behind this:  Cartoons encourage toy sales.  Superhero cartoons encourage sales of action figures.  Boys buy action figures and girls don't.  So there is a huge part of the viewing audience who will not buy action figures.  It's all about the money, honey.

There will always be Americans who resent assertive, non-traditional female characters.  Fortunately, this will not stop them from being seen.  And if there are little girls who prefer superheroes instead of princesses, so be it.  There's room in modern fiction for all kinds of females--characters and fans alike.


About the author


I call myself a 'tooner--one who cartoons. Animated shorts, single-panel gag cartoons and celebrity caricatures are my specialty!

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