Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yes, Natalie, we live in a patriarchy

But I'm glad the NYTimes finally addressed the issue - people who make animated movies, generally assumed to be aimed at children, not only skew the male to female character ratio heavily in favor of males, they actually go out of their way to misrepresent the natural world in order to do it. As Natalie Angier notes:
By bowdlerizing the basic complexion of a great insect society, Mr. Seinfeld’s “Bee Movie” follows in the well-pheromoned path of Woody Allen as a whiny worker ant in “Antz” and Dave Foley playing a klutzy forager ant in “A Bug’s Life.” Maybe it’s silly to fault cartoons for biological inaccuracies when the insects are already talking like Chris Rock and wearing Phyllis Diller hats. But isn’t it bad enough that in Hollywood’s animated family fare about rats, clownfish, penguins, lions, hyenas and other relatively large animals, the overwhelming majority of characters are male, despite nature’s preferred sex ratio of roughly 50-50? Must even obligately female creatures like worker bees and soldier ants be given sex change surgery, too?