Thursday, January 24, 2008

Learning gender relations from cartoons

Have you seen the Backyardigan's episode - The Volcano Sisters?

It features Pablo, Tyrone & Austin as the Legendary Luau Brothers and Tasha & Uniqua as the Volcano Sisters. The Sisters are not happy & the Brothers have to make them happy before they erupt. hhmmmm. The Sisters sing this song with a chorus that says "We know what we want, we know what we don't want, so get us what we want" and includes lines about how they won't tell the Brothers what they want, the Brothers have to figure it out with no hints, and they'd better get it right. hhmmmmm again. The Brothers first get a big mask, which is rejected, then a big pearl, which is also rejected and then at the last minute Austin gives them flowers & invites them to their party, which is what the Sisters had wanted. hhmmmmm indeed.

I find this episode hysterical, practical and sad all at the same time. It's hysterical because it is a very funny exaggeration of the interaction between men and women. It's practical because it does convey one of the many ways men & women do interact. And it's sad because haven't we moved beyond these stereotypes?

I don't play this particular 'I'm mad & you have to guess why" game very often with my husband. I did once about a month ago, but that was the first time in a very long time. I only did it then because I really did not know how to express just why I was mad at the time. Mostly if I am mad I'm going to tell him why, so we can resolve the situation. I don't know what he is thinking & I don't expect him to read my mind either.

However, I know many women who do expect the men in their lives to read their minds & it would be remiss of me to leave my sons unprepared for that. I suppose I could consider this episode a teaching moment. Havoc asked me when it was over "Why didn't they just ask to come to the party?" Good question kid.

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