Poll: Are modern cartoons portraying a negative image of men?
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View poll results: Are modern cartoons portraying a negative image of men?
Yes, I've noticed this too
137 77%
No, you're seeing sexism where there is none
40 23%
Voters: 177.
Page 1 of 4
#1
Ever since I was a child watching cartoons every afternoon when I got home from school I've noticed that there tends to be a sexist portrayal of men in cartoons. Many male characters are usually incompetent, unintelligent, comic-relief, or some other negative adjective, while the females are intelligent, independent, and strong. I've also noticed it often comes in a 2 dumb, goofy males/1 strong, independent female format.

Allow me to present my list evidence:

Ed, Edd, Eddy and Sarah (ed edd n eddy)
Invader Zim, Dib, and Gaz (invader zim)
Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy (spongebob squarepants
Danny, Tucker, Samantha (danny phantom)
Grimm, Billy, and Mandy (grim adventures of billy and mandy)
Coop, Jamie, and Kiva (megas xlr)
Aang, Sokka, Katara (Avatar: the last airbender)

And probably the worst of them all...

Timmy, Cosmo and Wanda (Fairly Oddparents)

And even though it's not a cartoon I'm going to throw Drake & Josh in here too.

These are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head. So do you agree that modern day cartoons are being a bit sexist towards men or do you think I'm just blind to the sexism against women still in cartoons? If you do disagree, however, I challenge you to give me an example of a modern cartoon which has 1 or 2 strong male leads and an unintelligent, incompetent female lead.

Discuss
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Last edited by StewieSwan at Jul 13, 2010,
#2
that's funny, I was watching through the fairly oddparents today and was thinking the exact same thing.

How come women are always portrayed as the sensible, smart ones? Is it because cartoons are supposed to be more "fantastical"?
#3
Family Guy? Simpsons? Futurama?
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#5
Quote by CoreysMonster
that's funny, I was watching through the fairly oddparents today and was thinking the exact same thing.

How come women are always portrayed as the sensible, smart ones? Is it because cartoons are supposed to be more "fantastical"?

Because they have tits and therefore you have to be nce about them.
#7
Cartoons reflect society values at the time of their creation.

I was watching old Hannah Barbara cartoons, made during the 50's. The daddy was smoking a pipe on his LaZboy and reading his newspaper while his wife was cooking in the kitchen.
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#8
Quote by BobStinsonRules
Dude, you watch cartoons?

I WORK in cartoons.
Got something to say, bub?


Anyways, TS, what about Rocko's Modern Life? Rocko was pretty much the only sane character in that one, all the women were psychotic. Though all the other males were, too, so it's not the same.

Also, it's not just cartoons: Look at sitcoms, they're the same.

King of Queens, Still Standing and that Jim Belusci show, all the male leads are fat idiots.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Jul 13, 2010,
#9
Quote by Venice King
Family Guy? Simpsons? Futurama?



Childrens' cartoons

Quote by CoreysMonster
I WORK in cartoons.
Got something to say, bub?


Anyways, TS, what about Rocko's Modern Life? Rocko was pretty much the only sane character in that one, all the women were psychotic. Though all the other males were, too, so it's not the same.



I wouldn't call that a modern cartoon, though.
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#11
Quote by CoreysMonster
I WORK in cartoons.
Got something to say, bub?


Anyways, TS, what about Rocko's Modern Life? Rocko was pretty much the only sane character in that one, all the women were psychotic. Though all the other males were, too, so it's not the same.

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#12
It's like that with most programmes in general. The crazy/stupid characters are funny. There isn't one funny woman alive, end of discussion.
#13
Quote by StewieSwan
Childrens' cartoons

Oh, then how the hell would I be able to contribute then? I'm 18. Saddo.
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Quote by OddOneOut
I seem to attract girls.
Which is annoying, cos I'm a girl and I like cock.

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Being an idiot should be illegal too.
#15
But isn't that the way it is in real life?
It certainly is with me.

I get some drink in me and start to do really stupid things, women will say "Elliot, bloody stop that" and usually I will stop. Because women are attractive and have breasts.
#16
I don't know as I don't watch them, but if so it's not like it's a particularly harmful type of sexism. No-one's being raped or denied the vote.
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#17
Quote by Venice King
Oh, then how the hell would I be able to contribute then? I'm 18. Saddo.



I'm 20. Do you remember your childhood?


Edit: by 'modern-day' i'm speaking of cartoons that were made in the late 90s and early 2000s. And no, I don't watch cartoons. I don't even watch tv at all.
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Last edited by StewieSwan at Jul 13, 2010,
#18
Quote by CoreysMonster
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty24uWfJ4eg
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That's rather epic, especially at about 2:20ish.

Plus I've been introduced to a new band.
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#19
It's Katara...
And I'd disagree with the Avatar one. The only "incompetent" one is Sokka, and he's a battle genius. They just have their silly moments.
But yeah, I've noticed it too. Not just in cartoons, but in commercials, too. I'm not sure whether to be upset or just laugh, cause when I see it it's usually pretty damn funny. So...
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#20
Actually, I just thought of something.

All the guys I worked with in cartoons have pretty much all been more the geeky type.
Also, mainly guys work in animation, so maybe the guys are referencing/poking fun at themselves by making men the stupid, goofy (and fun) ones?
#22
I never would've came to this conclusion by myself, but now that you have brought it up, you do have a point.
I figure most cartoons and all that these day seem to be following the same vibe, so a lot of em are gonna have these comic-relief male figures. But, it's a good point.
I shall ponder.
#24
If they consistently portrayed the female characters as the stupid ones they would get in trouble. Imagine Simpsons or Family Guy with a Stupid Marge and Lois, it'd be seen as incredibly inappropriate.
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#25
Commercials too. "It's so easy even Dad can use it" and such. I'm not really bothered though.
#26
Quote by Ur all $h1t
If they consistently portrayed the female characters as the stupid ones they would get in trouble. Imagine Simpsons or Family Guy with a Stupid Marge and Lois, it'd be seen as incredibly inappropriate.

No, the woman would also have to be fat, loud and obnoxious.
I mean, of course it'd be satire, bu--



...

Nevermind.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Jul 13, 2010,
#27
Quote by blackflag49
Commercials too. "It's so easy even Dad can use it" and such. I'm not really bothered though.



It doesn't really bother me either (except for FOP), but I just thought it'd be an interesting thing to discuss. Would it bother you if instead of males it was always the black people who were unintelligent comic relief?
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#30
Quote by Ur all $h1t
If they consistently portrayed the female characters as the stupid ones they would get in trouble. Imagine Simpsons or Family Guy with a Stupid Marge and Lois, it'd be seen as incredibly inappropriate.



To be honest, I always thought Marge was a complete moron, just not in a funny way.
#31
Quote by Tedward
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double standards FTL


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is that supposed to be bowser from Yoshi's Island?
#32
HOLY SHIT.
This is way off topic, but Stewie I used to listen to your band when I was really into metal back in like '06 or something.

I remember liking "Frozen Heart" a lot and thinking you were like a cross between Iron Maiden and Children of Bodom This was before either of us was even on this forum as well.

Small internet, eh?

/off-topic. I voted yes.
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Last edited by asator at Jul 13, 2010,
#33
Quote by CoreysMonster
Actually, I just thought of something.

All the guys I worked with in cartoons have pretty much all been more the geeky type.
Also, mainly guys work in animation, so maybe the guys are referencing/poking fun at themselves by making men the stupid, goofy (and fun) ones?

Also, for TV shows - in TBBT, the 4 male characters are book-smart, while being incredibly socially inept. The female lead, Penny, is in academic terms, thick as two short planks, but has a degree of common sense totally absent from the guys.
#35
Quote by asator
HOLY SHIT.
This is way off topic, but Stewie I used to listen to your band when I was really into metal back in like '06 or something.

I remember liking "Frozen Heart" a lot and thinking you were like a cross between Iron Maiden and Children of Bodom This was before either of us was even on this forum as well.

Small internet, eh?

/off-topic. I voted yes.



that is pretty crazy
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#38
Actually...

Ed, Edd, Eddy and Sarah
Edd is the most sensible. Sarah is the loudest and most aggressive character.

Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy
Sandy is from Texas. Nuff said.

Danny, Tucker, Samantha
Danny has ****ing ghost superpowers. He is clearly portrayed in a heroic light.

Aang, Sokka, Katara
Timmy, Cosmo and Wanda

Aang and Timmy are the youngest, so it makes sense for them to be incompetent in some way or another. However, these cartoons are both centered around the idea of character development. Aang and Timmy are children who grow and develop through their experiences. They are both in control of a lot of power, but with great power comes great responsibilty etc etc.
(or great current squared times great resistance)

I haven't seen the others.

Personally, I don't have a problem with the stupid character always being male. If you think about it, there are more male than female cartoon characters (2:1 ratio, as you mentioned) so it would make sense that the stupid one is statistically more likely to be male.
Also, most writers are male. They've probably designed the characters from their own experience. The lead character is the one they've always wanted to be, the goofy character is their incompetent childhood self that made a lot of mistakes, and the female is like a mother figure, who is the voice of reason.

One thing I have noticed is that the lead character is usually white, and if there's a black guy, he is often the nerd (eg. Tucker from Danny Phantom, AJ from Fairly Odd Parents, and Cookie from Ned's Declassified, but that's a shitty show.)
Last edited by sashki at Jul 13, 2010,
#39
ITT: Guys bitch about how it's only sexist if its towards women and imply that they have it bad.
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#40
Quote by dann_blood
ITT: Guys bitch about how it's only sexist if its towards women and imply that they have it bad.

we.. never pretended to be doing anything else
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