During class discussion this week, we talked about childhood and also the way men and women are portrayed. The readings we did throughout the week really helped me to open my eyes to more stereotypes and prejudices around us.
One of the most prominent topics that really hit me and woke me up was the argument in “Not All Men Are Sly Foxes”. The author describes her issue with many children’s stories. For example, she talks about miss goose who has a ton of children and a steady job and also, finds the time to cook for all her children every night. The other character is mister fox who is sly and wiley. He has to steal from people just to get enough on the table for his children. His house is dirty and unkempt, while miss goose is neat and orderly. The story teaches the children who read it that a woman is better at rearing the children than a man would be. Brott discusses how little boys who read these kind of stories are going to find it acceptable later in life to leave their families or disrespect their children and wife. However, he is correct in his accusation. If boys continue to see that it is okay and acceptable for them to be absent in the lives of those who loves them, they are going to continue to do it. Unless authors remove those types of messages in their stories and make father figures more respectable and apparent in their literature, millions of people are going to complain about their husbands or boyfriends leaving them with their children or not being responsible enough.
Winn’s essay about television was easy for me to relate to because I’ve seen the effects of TV on the younger children I baby-sit. With the violent cartoons, their behavior is the most apparent result. After watching an hour or thirty minutes of fighting screaming and saying disrespectful phrases like their favorite characters become common occurrences in any household. Violence is usually seen as more of a “boy thing” but with crime fighting women such as Wonder Woman and the Powerpuff Girls, little girls are finding their niche in the cartoon world also.
Another issue with television is that when parents just do not feel l like putting any effort into parenting, they turn on the TV and will sometimes even leave their children there for hours. I believe that if you are not going to put the effort into watching and caring for your children, you should not have had any in the first place. If children are merely an accessory or something you want because you are bored, you should not have any children. By putting a kid in front of a television screen for hours on end, you are not only reducing their possible intelligence but are making it hard for them to be social. Parents need to stop being so selfish and spend more time with their children and help them grow into a proper and successful member of society.