Mad World: Toy Ads and Learning Gender
I recently watched afternoon cartoons on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and I was shocked to find a flood of highly gendered toy commercials. These ads not only market toys to children but they also promote and encourage gender-specific values that are very limiting to boys and girls in different ways. The values and skills promoted in these commercials can play a critical role in the socalization of youth and their development of emotional expression, conflict resolution, the confidence to pursue various careers and the ability to maintain healthy relationships as adults.
Related Links and Articles:
* Read Media Literacy, an article by Cynthia Peters discussing and analyzing media literacy programs and how we need to transform them and hold the media accountable.
* Reel Grrls is an amazing after school program that teaches girls and young women video making skills in a safe and encouraging environment. The Reel Grrls remix was made by Sahar & Diana, check out more remixes made by Reel Grrls participants here.
* Jonathan McIntosh is a pop culture hacker who facilitates workshops that promote and teach critical media literacy through the use of remix video (You might also recognize him from his viral remixes Buffy vs Edward and Right Wing Radio Duck).
* Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood is an organization whose mission it is to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. They are a coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, parents, and individuals who are working to stop the commercial exploitation of children.
Full transcript available here and English captions coming soon.
Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist media literacy advocate, pop culture critic and fair use proponent. She maintains an ongoing web series of video commentaries from a fangirl/feminist/anti-oppression perspective at her website www.FeministFrequency.com.
This project was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH's grant program. Any views, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Oregon Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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