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Is 'Toy Story 3' Sexist?

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Is the #1 box-office hit damaging to girls? One Ms. Magazine blogger thinks so.

Toy Story 3

Natalie Wilson over at the Ms. Magazine blog wrote a post called "Third Time Still Not the Charm for Toy Story's Female Characters."

She says that male characters dominate "Toy Story 3," and that out of seven new toy characters, only one is female. She also says that Barbie is an "overly emotional, often crying girlie-girl," and Andy's mom is portrayed as a nag.

Wilson was also less than pleased when the Mrs. Potato Head character was told that "she needs her mouth taken off."

Wilson says that, all in all, "Toy Story 3" is "yet another family movie that perpetuates damaging gender and sexuality norms."

What do you think? Is "Toy Story 3" sexist -- or does Wilson just need to lighten up?


next: Nursing Cover-Ups for Little Girls Who Pretend-Breastfeed?!
21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous June 29, 2010, 2:47 PM

Oh please… that woman needs to lighten up and get a life. :(

cassandra June 29, 2010, 2:47 PM

I watch a movie for entertainment value, not to discuss whether or not it’s sexist.

It is a fabulous movie. Stop whining.

Janet June 29, 2010, 2:49 PM

I found “Shrek” degrading to women, so “Toy Story 3” being along the same lines would not surprise me. Thanks for the heads-up. I panned all the clones of the original Shrek, so I can easily pan all the clones of the original Toy Story. My time — and money — is better spent elsewhere.

Matt June 29, 2010, 3:15 PM

you’re joking right? WTF is wrong with her. Honestly who goes to see a child’s movie to determine if it is sexist, I can personally guarantee if the role were reversed and the male characters were “discriminated” she wouldn’t say a single thing about it. Sexism goes both ways, and the author is definitely guilty of it.

Mel June 29, 2010, 3:28 PM

Ummm…sexist? That was not even on my radar. Honestly, how would you portray Barbie? I thought the movie was great. I say…lighten up?

Michelle  June 29, 2010, 3:41 PM

I have to say it was a great movie. I did not see it sexist in the least.

These are supposed to be BOY toys. If they had not added Barbie, Jesse, and Mrs. Potato Head everyone would be mad also.

When did we stop looking at movies for their entertainment value and the fact that this movie once again entertained children and showed them to be honorable and loyal,! LIGHTEN UP!

Rita June 29, 2010, 3:46 PM

Damn girl go get laid

Melissa June 29, 2010, 4:46 PM

Lighten up! this story is told from the eyes of a little boy and his toys they way he plays with them and so if his toys told it any other way it would not be authentic! We live in a sexist world, children adopt the views we give them and toy story tells that story. If everything my little girl saw was from this point of view I’d say sure we need to change it. I make sure my little girl reads books and meets women ad men who do not fit the mold so she doesn’t get all her information from a TV. We also see documentaries and a lot of other media that portray something different. This is purely for enertainment I don;t let Disney, Hollywood, or Pixar educate her!


Pixar is the best story maker ever, pick on Disney if you have a problem with all of their “princesses” Shrek’s female princess is more of a man than any of disney’s characters…poor kids who are ugly can feel powerful too since disney’s princess are only for the beautiful whereas toy story’s cow girl is plain Jane but shown as more attractive than Barbie in the movie at times. (ps. in my eyes Disney and Pixar are ot the same even though they kind of are these days).

I LOVE PIXAR!!!!

Kelley June 29, 2010, 7:05 PM

Did she miss the part where Barbie whipped out some impressive political theory knowledge? And when she tricked Ken into giving her important information? The only time I saw her acting the typical way Barbies are portrayed, was when she was trying to fool Ken.

As for new female toy count, I thought there were two, Dolly and Trixie, of Bonnie’s toys. Not to mention the increased role of both Mrs. Potato Head and Barbie, as well as the return of Jesse.

Also, Bonnie herself, who is seen LOVING Andy’s “boy toys”. And playing with them in the same imaginative way as Andy.

As for Andy’s Mom, I left for college last year, and it takes a ton of nagging to actually get your room packed up. When push came to shove, she was sad to see her boy go.

Anonymous June 30, 2010, 4:59 AM

First this Toy Story was so touching it made me cry. My friends cried as well. Seems to me that Barbie kicked some major Ken butt in this movie. She finally won the physical/psychological victory. So this author is really grasping here. Puhleeze.

michelle June 30, 2010, 9:58 AM

My nine year old niece recently stated matter of factly that “the cool characters in good movies are always boys.” So this blogger is on to something.

Kirsten June 30, 2010, 1:33 PM

Whoever thinks this movie or any other kid movie is sexist has way to much time on their hands! These movies were ment to make people laugh not made to change the world or what people think. I really hope this mother doesn’t put ideas like this in her kids heads!

trey July 3, 2010, 1:02 PM

Oh please, give me a break.
NEW FEMALE CHARACTERS:
Trixie the Triceretop (dinosaur)
Barbie
Jessie the cowgirl
The doll voiced by Bonnie Hunt
Andy’s Mom
Andy’s Sister

Geez, it’s not sexist, go get a life!:P

Steve July 4, 2010, 4:12 AM

It’s easy for many of you to say “lighten up” until you see the long term impact of these portrayals. See below..
Some of you “parents” are letting your children be “programmed” and don’t even know it…

(CNN) - A 5-year-old girl in Georgia is being asked a series of questions in her school library. The girl, who is white, is looking at pictures of five cartoons of girls, all identical except for skin color ranging from light to dark.

When asked who the smart child is, she points to a light-skinned doll. When asked who the mean child is she points to a dark-skinned doll. She says a white child is good because “I think she looks like me”, and says the black child is ugly because “she’s a lot darker.”

As she answers her mother watches, and gently weeps.


Her daughter is taking part in a new CNN pilot study on children’s attitudes on race and her answers actually reflect one of the major findings of the study, that white children have an overwhelming bias toward white, and that black children also have a bias toward white but not nearly as strong as the bias shown by the white children.

Renowned child psychologist and University of Chicago professor Margaret Beale Spencer, a leading researcher in the field of child development, was hired as a consultant by CNN. She designed the pilot study and used a team of three psychologists to implement it: two testers to execute the study and a statistician to help analyze the results.

Full doll study results

Her team tested 133 children from schools that met very specific economic and demographic requirements. In total, eight schools participated: four in the greater New York City area and four in Georgia.

The mother, whose name the study prohibits from being used, says her daughter has “never asked her about color” and that the results of the test were an eye opener, and she says she and her daughter “talked a long time about it”

Her daughter’s perception on race and the fact that the issue was not taken up at home is in many ways typical.

Research and discussions with parents of the children who participated in this study, indicate that white parents as a whole do not talk to their kids about race as much as black parents.

A 2007 study in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that 75 percent of white families with kindergartners never, or almost never, talk about race. For black parents the number is reversed with 75 percent addressing race with their children.

Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock and an award-winning writer on parenting issues says white parents “want to give their kids this sort of post-racial future when they’re very young and they’re under the wrong conclusion that their kids are colorblind. … It’s in the absence of messages of tolerance that they will naturally … develop these skin preferences.”

Many African-American parents CNN spoke to during the study say they begin discussing race at a very early age because they say they feel they have to prepare their children for a society where their skin color will create obstacles for them.

iReport: Where do we go from here?

The study has generated thousands of comments to CNN After seeing the report, iReporter Omekongo Dibinga said, “My daughters are 4 and 2 years old. I didn’t realize that at 2 years old I’d have to start teaching them to be proud of their skin color.”

The father of a black girl who took part in the CNN study says, “You can not get away from the fact that race is a factor but hopefully what we instill in them at home will help them to put that in its right place and move on”

Anonymous July 31, 2010, 5:45 PM

The only reason anyone would think this movie was in any way sexist is if they are obsessive about the subject…you probably say the same thing about any movie without all dominating female characters…stop putting so much unnecessary emphasis on a subject that is overexagerated…everyone needs to be equal-so cut it out!!!

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