Gender Balance in Children’s Media

Clarification on what “gender balance” in children’s media means and what it looks like. Or should look like:

In 2014 it is not unreasonable to expect media content creators to regard females as equals deserving of their own stories and adventures. This means we should see an equal number of children’s films and television shows that portray a female character as the main or one of the main protagonists in a story. Not a sidekick, supporter to the hero’s quest, a feisty minority, or a love interest.

She should be a complex character with her own story line. Her own hero, with her own quest.

When we excuse media that promotes gender imbalance with rationale such as “there were lots of women in the background” or “yeah there were five main boy characters but there was one girl, too!” or “sure the boyfriend story was annoying and she did end up with the main hero but she did lots of great stuff during the film” we fail to challenge a system that teaches our children it is a boy’s world and girls are just guests in it.

Your daughters make up 50% of the population. They make up only 30% of speaking characters in children’s media, and that only signifies *a speaking part*, not a main role. I want more for my kids.

I want my daughter to see female characters with dreams, struggles, flaws, wild adventures, triumphant achievements and heroic actions. I want my son to see the same. I want this to happen in more than just a handful of movies we celebrate as “groundbreaking”.

Bringing females out of the background in 2014 should not be “groundbreaking”.

Until that is old news, we don’t have gender balance.

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