"Toy Story 3" is "male-heterocentric," "damaging" charges Ms. magazine

  • Blog Post by: Colin Covert
  • June 28, 2010 - 12:00 PM
Baby, you've got to be kidding.                                                     Disney/Pixar

Baby, you've got to be kidding.                        Disney/Pixar

Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” was the most popular movie in America for the third week in a row, beating out Adam Sanrdler’s dimbulb comedy “Grown Ups” and the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz spy romance “Knight and Day.”
But there’s no pleasing some people. The Ms. Magazine blog is calling the film out on a laundry list of perceived sexist offenses.
Writer Natalie Wilson warns that the “male-heterocentric” film “perpetuates damaging gender and sexuality norms” that” could scar children or turn them into wee misogynists.
Wilson’s catalog of the film’s “careless sexism” includes the preponderance of male major characters –seven males to one female – and disparaging depictions of women, from Andy's "nagging" mother to “flirty” Mrs. Potato head, to "hyper-feminine" and "overly emotional" Barbie.
"Kids who grow up watching sexist shows are more likely to grow up internalizing stereotypical ideas of what men and women are supposed to be like," she cautions.
The article also detects homophobia in the movie’s representation of the Ken doll as a "closeted gay fashionista with a fondness for writing in sparkly purple ink…. Pairing homophobia with misogyny, the jokes about Ken suggest that the worst things a boy can be are either a girl or a homosexual."
Furthermore, the film "turn(s) the knife on working parent guilt" with its depiction of  "a prison-like daycare."
The piece is both lazily reasoned (movies are not dogma delivery systems) and nitpicky (Andy’s mother appears to be running his house all by herself; doesn’t that make her a heroic figure of female empowerment?)
Happily, it struck a nerve, provoking a raft of refreshingly sane reader comments, advising killjoy Wilson to lighten the heck up.

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