Sunday, June 23, 2013

Does Optimus Prime make my butt look big?

Change.org sent me a petition email. There was a picture of the Hasbro logo, and it said "Click here to read more about this petition". Naturally, I clicked "read more".

I was sent to a page that thanked me for singing a petition I never actually read about. And now it won't let me remove my signature.

The petition is about how we should force Hasbro to include more girls in their Transformers line, so that girls feel more included in a boys' program.

Here's a list of reasons why I want my name OFF this petition immediately:

1. Are we this petty as a society now? Do our girls really need this? Do we really need a hunk of pink plastic to make our girls feel better about being female??

Let me be clear. I am a woman. Always have been female. I was born a girl and yes, I do have much in stereotypical pink.

When I was four, I had a Micro Machines Optimus Prime. I wasn't big on Transformers, but I loved Optimus. I had great fun changing him from a vehicle to a robot and vice versa.

I was totally fine with my red, white and blue Optimus.

I didn't need pink sparkle glitter or detachable boob missiles to make me feel better about playing with a boys' toy.

Playing with Optimus Prime did not make me feel inferior as a sex or less girly. He was a tiny piece of plastic, I was a human being. This was our relationship, and that seems to be just fine.

I didn't grow up confused about my vagina, and I didn't need a support group to tell me how to feel about Optimus Prime.

2. Wikipedia has a list of female Transformers a mile long. Arcee for example transforms into a badass motorcycle. Some of them have boyish, amazing names too, like Firestar (also a Marvel character who rips off of DC's Starfire), Override, Airazor, Solus Prime and Red Alert.

Even the Japanese Transformers ~ known to be VERY male oriented ~ has several strong, independent, female transformers. They are all easy to find, and serve the same purpose as the males.

3. It is unfair that we demand these boy shows to suddenly up the ante on Girl Power, when we still allow the Barbie, Bratz, Moxie, My Little Pony and Monster High lines to teach little girls that boys are nothing more than accessories.

Think hard. Ken doesn't have a car. Ken rarely has a job and when he does, it's a stereotypical job like doctor or fitness trainer.

The Bratz Boyz have NO empowering positions, and are actually made to look like emasculated victims of abuse. They hide behind the Bratz Girlz, never speak unless told to, and are often seen wearing their girlfriendz' hand-me-downs. Again, no jobs, no stature. These Boyz are on the same level as Yasmin's purse.

The boy Ponies are usually brought out for the holiday season, but are relegated to the background of the cartoon. They have no power whatsoever.

And when was the last time you saw a boy getting equal treatment in Strawberry Shortcake? Think hard, she suffers from reverse Smurf disease. There is ONE boy per town ~ and he looks like one of the girls with different hair.

4. We need to teach little girls that it's not okay to force a boy line to be all about girl power, and then not do the same for boy power with a girls line.

We need to teach girls to accept that it's okay to play with something that has boy colors on it. Accept that not everything needs a princess tiara. If we don't teach them to accept boys or boy toys as children, when will they learn? We can't enable gender resentment just because Optimus Prime likes to have a boy's night out once in a while.

We need to tell kids that it's okay to have at least ONE toy that is specifically suited for their gender. That they are not less sensitive to another child for liking something gender-specific.

Above all, I'd like to think that we are at a point where we can tell little girls that it's okay for them to play with Optimus Prime, without needing him to be a woman, or in stereotypical pink, purple and yellow plastic.

... And when did purple and yellow stop being gender neutral?

When I was a kid, yellow and purple baby toys were bought when you wanted to throw a baby shower, but didn't know the gender of the unborn yet. It was also for children who were both genders. When did this change?

Think rationally America.

If your daughter needs a pink sparkle transformer to feel better about being a girl, then maybe it's time you set aside some time to have a chat with her.

Something is very wrong if she needs to have a sparkly, pink hunk of plastic to accept herself.

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