In his article, TV for Tots: Not What You Remember, journalist Jonathan Last makes the claim that children’s television programming is neutering their male characters, creating an effeminate generation. However, a recent cultural shift may be to blame for this change in characterization. While I believe that gender roles are important to the structure of our historically successful patriarchal society, I also believe that this can be beneficial to a moderate extent.
“The men on kids’ shows tend to be either aged, and hence harmless, or young, and vaguely effete.” (202) This accusation was brought on by Last upon his realizing the drastic shift in television culture for children. Last points to shows such as Yo Gabba Gabba!, LazyTown, and Sesame Street, none of which feature a man with strong elements of masculinity that is without old age or eccentricity.
I believe that this change can be explained by the strength in which the feminist movement impacted our modern family media. When feminism spread across the Western culture, it carried with it one simple idea; that females should be allowed equal rights as males. However, some individuals have received this message the wrong way, almost claiming that women should possess more power and that a matriarchal society would be preferable. By idolizing the gentleness of the female sexuality, we almost demonize the healthy male sexuality, portraying them as harmful and predatory. The truth is, most men are not predators and they accept no as an answer, but, our current culture praises femininity, stating that poise is power. What if we were to accept that some men are manly men, some are not, and that either way, it is okay.
Last, Jonathan. “TV For Tots: Not What You Remember.” The Blair Reader: Exploring Issues and Ideas. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. 8thed. Boston: Pearson, 2014. 202-04. Print.