Proud Dad Of Two Geek Girls Talks… Of Boys And Princesses

DisneyEntertainmentGenderGirls 91 Comments

By John Marcotte – As part of my carpool duties, twice a week I pick up a friend’s boys, Logan* and Wyatt*, from school in addition to my two girls. Logan is Anya’s age (9) and Wyatt is Stella’s (6), and they are all good kids. The other day, Stella requested that we listen to the Frozen soundtrack. The reaction from the boys was immediate and violent:

“Gross!” “Frozen sucks!” Have they actually seen the movie? “No.” Then how do you know you don’t like it? “I don’t know. It just sucks.”

They might not know, but I do. It was obvious that the boys’ distaste for Frozen was rooted in the fact that it featured female protagonists. They didn’t have to actually watch the movie to know they wouldn’t like it. It had girls in it.

It has long been considered a truism in Hollywood that girls will watch shows and movies about boys, but boys will not watch shows about girls. Our media is heavily slanted towards the preferences of what boys would like as a reflection of that belief. I wrote an essay on how I thought those rigid gender stereotypes and lack of role models harm young girls. Today, I’d like to talk about the harm they do to boys.

The slight against girls is overt. The media reinforces over and over again that they are not the hero of the story; that they simply don’t matter except perhaps as a “prize” the heroic male wins at the end of his journey.

Boys don’t have that problem. They are almost always the hero. They are shown as smart and capable and they have real agency in the story. They are able to see on the screen the kind of person they are supposed to be.

But that kind of role modeling is only a part of what stories have to offer. This incessant drive to cater to the power fantasies of young boys may give them self-esteem, but it denies them something equally important.


The ability to empathize with people different from ourselves is one of the most powerful gifts that stories can give a reader or viewer. And this is the one area where our media and society at large are letting boys down.

Putting yourself in a woman’s shoes does not make you less of a man. It makes you more of a person.

Boys need to learn that watching a movie about princesses does not necessarily mean you want to be a princess. Putting yourself in a woman’s shoes does not make you less of a man. It makes you more of a person.

We need to let boys know that it is OK to empathize with girls. Because if we do not prepare our sons for a world where women are true partners with men, they will grow up ill-suited to function in a society that increasingly demands the equality that it has been promised.

Gender stereotypes have historically been more harmful to girls, and for girls they are falling more rapidly. With notable exceptions, society is generally supportive of a girl that likes ice hockey or that is into computers. But a boy who wants a baby doll or plays with a kitchen set is still treated with suspicion and worry – and they know it.

A study by Dr. Isabelle Cherney found that nearly half of boys 5-13 years old when placed in a room and told that they could play with anything chose “girl” toys as often as “boy” toys – provided they believed no one would find out, particularly their fathers.

Boys will watch shows with female protagonists, just like they will play with “girl” toys, as long as grown-ups – particularly fathers – tell them that being a man does not mean ignoring the thoughts and feelings of women. Sometimes we need to tell them that explicitly. Sometimes we can lead by example.

So over protests from the boys, I put the Frozen soundtrack into the CD player and cranked up the volume. The boys may have thought that these songs – these stories – “sucked” because they were “just for girls” and thus had no value. But I knew the lesson I wanted to teach, so my girls and I sang with all our hearts:

“Let it go.”

* Names changed to protect two pretty good kids.

About This Guest Contributor:

Holding the esteemed title of “First Male Contributor To Women You Should Know” is John Marcotte, a web designer, writer, “Award-Winning Author,” and occasional political satirist living in Sacramento, CA with two superheroic daughters and a wife who he says, “could likely could do a lot better for herself if she tried”. You can read more of what this “hip nerd”, comics and pop-culture junkie has to say about all sorts of good stuff on his Off-Duty Hero Tumblr page.

For the record, John has another WYSK title… “One Of The Coolest Dads We Know” and it goes without saying that his daughters, the spirited, and creative Anya and Stella, are Women You Should Know in the making.

John Marcotte with Anya_Stella

  • gargouille

    Thanks for this piece and that great teachable moment. My godson (8) demanded over his little sister’s protests that we see that film or no film at all. I’m not entirely sure why except that Frozen does what so few films about male heroes do: it gives a caring man a role that’s equally as important as the ones the lead females play. In other words, it models gender-sharing of the limelight. Something for everyone, no matter who you are inclined to identify with.

  • JPGal

    What a great essay! But I have to say that I want more than the ability to empathize with someone different — I want boys to grow up with women heroes, just like girls grow up with heroes who are usually men. Wouldn’t it be amazing to hear a little boy say he wanted to grow up to be the next Madame Curie or Jane Addams or Mae Jemison or Maya Lin or Mia Hamm or Ellen …

    • James Nunya

      “Wouldn’t it be amazing…”

      Not really. It’d be no more great than to hear a little girl say she wants to be the next Einstein or (string list of male names here).

      • JPGal

        James, tell me how often you have heard a little boy say that he wants to be the next anything that happens to be female.

        • James Nunya

          You didn’t list “things” that were female. You listed females. If you want to go by this, then every time I hear a boy say they want to be a Dr. or teacher or parent or, well, anything really.

          Or I could argue that the majority of the “greats” in any field in particular are male so it makes sense to use their names as they’re more common. So to use a list of all females isn’t actually about being that something (let’s say scientist) but about being female. In other words, the emphasis is on the female rather than the scientist.

          But to the point I think you’re trying to make, the last time I heard a boy use a female as an example of something they wanted to be was 2 weeks ago. My nephew said he wanted to be a pilot like Amelia Earhart.

          But then all of this is irrelevant. Who we choose to be our role models shouldn’t matter so long as the individual is worthy of being a role model. It doesn’t matter if they’re M/F, B/W, etc. To view it in any other way is wrong.

          • JPGal


            Thank you for your response. The list of women in my original post was intended to offer some names of real women who achieved something admirable and might therefore be considered heroes who would inspire a youngster to follow her or his dreams. Yes, of course there are female doctors and teachers and parents, but a little boy or girl is much more likely to grown up knowing about Dr. Jonas Salk than Dr. Virginia Apgar, for example, despite the fact that the Apgar Test has saved untold hundreds of thousands of lives around the world and revolutionized the care of newborns. There are countless examples in every field.

            Why is this important? In the context of this article, I wanted to add that in addition to empathy, it would be a terrific thing if boys also grew up admiring and being inspired by women. Not just their mothers and teachers, but women like the women they will meet in real life.

            It sounds like whoever is raising your nephew is doing a great job exposing him to different role models. Not every parent or teacher does, however, and the sentiment that the author describes in this piece is most often left unchallenged. It shouldn’t matter whether role models are male or female, black or white, and so on, as you say, but it does. Google what happens when a boy dresses as a princess or a female character for Halloween. Google the decline of girls and children of color in children’s books and movies today. Until the status quo changes, intentional thought and action is needed to right the balance.

          • James Nunya

            “Google what happens…” You make it sound like this always happens. Every Halloween there is always some kid who is cross-dressed. The most I’ve seen it elicit is a few giggles.

            As for who is raising my nephew(s). Their dad is in jail and their mom is a blithering idiot. They learned about Amelia in school (history) just like a lot of other people do. What I find funny is that they teach about Amelia but they don’t teach about Charles Lindbergh who did the same thing, successfully, 5 years earlier.

            I say, get out of the way of the kids. Let them discover what they like for themselves. Stop forcing things (like our ideologies and socio/political views) on them. Exposing them to various things to see if they like it is one thing. But turning on the theme song from the music and turning it up full blast after they (quite definitely) said they didn’t want to hear it isn’t “expanding their horizons.” It’s more like tormenting or bullying. It’s sadistic.

            Further, as they were just guests, doing this was very rude to them. Also, it wasn’t his place to expose them to his views and beliefs. Doing so was quite inconsiderate and disrespectful to the parents of these children.

            This guy’s heart may have been in the right place (debatable) but his actions were definitely wrong.

        • visionary_23

          Plenty of boys spend the entirety of their lives to serve their mothers and/or wives. Not sure why they need to emulate them too.

  • Eileen

    What a wonderful example for you to set. It makes me sad when kids comment about how something is only for girls or only for boys and that kind of attitude in our house usually gets my kids an earful of examples of people of the other gender liking said toy/activity/choice. I love Frozen for what it offered both my kids. My son loves both the movie and the soundtrack and he and his sister both absolutely love Elsa and both regularly pretend to be her (cuz they want powers). As much as we’re cognizant of the media assigning gender roles in our house and mitigate it as best we can, it isn’t often that a female character comes along that impresses my son so much that he pretends to be her. So I’m very thankful that Frozen came along and offered him a character that he idolizes that much. (Also thankful for a Disney movie that has the statement “You can’t marry a man you just met”, but that’s on another note ;))

  • Pingback: Proud Dad Of Two Geek Girls Talks... Of Boys An...()

  • Pingback: Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet()

  • Elsa

    Frozen had a female save the day. Elsa saved Anna before the boy could come save her! Girl power!

    • Baley

      Anna saved Elsa and herself, actually, but yes, the female saved the day.

    • Reason

      And here I thought equality and feminism weren’t about power. My mistake.

  • yumicpcake

    Great job Dad!!!

    • Theseus

      Oh, please. This article had no proportionality at all. Just a lop sided PC stereotype take on the whole thing. Take a look at the other well thought out posts that are pointing this out.

      As a female I would think that you would be insulted with all this patronizing and hiny kissing going on.

      • Theseus

        Oh, and my twin boys saw the movie and loved it. They didn’t think it was too girlie for them; this is the first that I’ve heard about this non-issue.

      • yumicpcake

        nope, I’m a feminist, not a misandrist.

        • Kimski

          A supporter of a gynocentric ideology that leaves no room for anyone that doesn’t fall into that specific gender category, but have no problem with feeding off the income taxes and exploit the resource harvesting of those they view as expendable utilities equals a misandrist in my book.
          There’s simply no other way to define it, no matter how much you attempt to make believe it’s anything but.
          And I’m not even going to mention the insanity in expecting protection and self sacrifice from someone your ideology claims are all violent rapists.
          -You probably also know them as men and boys.

          • yumicpcake

            whatever…you know nothing real

          • Kimski

            -Said the feminist without a clue.
            As usual.

        • knightrunner

          Same thing.

        • Kimski

          Gender terrorist, more likely.

          • yumicpcake


    • James Nunya

      Just a fact check here but you do know he was only the father of the 2 girls. The 2 boys were being carpooled. They were his guests and all he did was torment the children.

      • knightrunner

        All he did was abuse them by telling them that there is something wrong with them for being born male.

        • yumicpcake

          Wow, you don’t seem to know what abuse really is….figures

          • James Nunya

            When someone tells a girl there is something wrong with her because she’s a girl do we not consider this a form of abuse? Psychological abuse to be more specific. So then does this not hold true if it is done to boys? Or is this another double standard we can add to the list. Just because someone didn’t end up with black eyes and bloody lips doesn’t mean they weren’t being abused. Abuse takes on psychological and emotional forms as well as physical. I guess someone doesn’t seem to know what abuse really is.

      • yumicpcake

        wow, you must be a total wuss if you think that qualifies as torture.

        • James Nunya

          1. Who said torture?
          2a. Torment – a source of vexation or pain
          2b. To vex is to “irritate or annoy by petty provocations”

          I added 2b because you obviously have trouble with words and I had my doubts as to whether you knew the definition. Hopefully you have found this a learning experience.

          • yumicpcake

            Oh forgive me for saying physical when you said emotional wow such a huge mistake……nice exaggeration, puddin !!!

          • James Nunya

            Think nothing of it sweet cheeks. Just as long as you realize your mistake. 😉

  • mightytennismawrtyr

    OHMIGOSH preach! wish my twin brother knew this years ago, we would’ve shared a lot more favorite movies and shows in common.

  • Jessmarie82

    My 7 year old son loves Frozen and runs around the house singing “Let it Go.” He’s still what most would describe as a “typical boy”, but isn’t ashamed to watch a movie with princesses and will proudly insist to kids at school there is no such thing as a “girl movie.”

  • knightrunner

    Maybe we should let children watch what they want to watch instead of forcing this anti-male feminist hate down their throats.
    I don’t hear anyone telling girls the should watch more ninja turtles or transformers.

    • Vanderhoth

      Hate to agree, actually I don’t hate to agree.

      I have a two year old girl and I plan on exposing her to as little, “I’m the princess! I need someone to love and make out with!” stuff as I can. Forzen is an exception in this category, the princesses were both strong independent characters and there was very little to do with the mushy romance. The movie actually had a story beyond a helpless girl trying to find/please a guy, and I’m ok with that.

      I don’t fully agree with the author of the essay, Men are very much portrayed as bumbling idiots in just about every commercial (for common goods, not big ticket items) and sitcom, and the women is always portrayed as the intelligent savior who swoop in to rescue some hapless moron from his own ignorance.

      I’d like to see the study that shows men will not watch princesses or girly shows, because I have a feeling it has more to do with the theme and content than the actors. I happily watch shows and movies with a female lead, but you gotta get rid of all the mushy romance and nattering about who has the best man, who’s the prettiest, who has the best cloths.

      Give me Resident Evil, Serenity, Orphan Black, Once Upon a Time, etc… where the female lead is actually strong, kicks ass, and the show/movie has good action to balance out any boring romance and I’m more than happy to watch.

      • Vanderhoth

        Felt the urge to come back and list some of my other favorite movies/shows with female leads:

        Kill Bill, Aliens, Salt, Exorcist, Brave, Alice in Wonderland (live action although the cartoon isn’t bad either), Gravity, Epic, Terminator the Sara Connor Chronicles, Bones, Warehouse 13.

        There’s a ton of anime I watch as well that have good lead female characters with compelling stories, but seeing as they’re cartoons most people, who aren’t anime fans, will just shrug them off anyway.

        Honorable mentions

        Big Bang – I know it’s mostly guys, but the female characters Amy and Bernadette are two of my favorite on the show specifically because they’re portrayed as “nerdy” / intelligent.

        Game of Thrones – Some awesome female characters although the show as a whole could use less pointless female nudity.

        All I’m really eluding to is to get a guy to watch a movie with a female lead all you need is more than just a crappy romance theme or shallow sisterhood “we have nothing better to do than sit around talking about men and shoes”.

    • marymargaret1

      WTF? You sure are an overly sensitive little twerp. You don’t have to tell girls to watch more ninja turtles or transformers. They already do.

      • Matthew Lane

        Not as an aggregate they don’t.

    • Louise

      what is anti male about boys and girls watching male oriented films and only girls watching girl oriented films? Making boys participate in what girls like too is not hating them, its teaching them to appreciate girls and things that are deemed as ‘girly’. Why is it that girls like and appreciate what boys like but not the other way round? Because boys are shamed for liking it. Its cool to like boys stuff, its not cool to be ‘girly’. Even for girls sometimes ‘girly’ is shameful.

      • Kimski

        Maybe the fact that boys are already permeated in those “appreciation of girls and their interests” notions, and a systematic and ideological pressure from our education system throughout their entire adolescence. Most boys don’t ever meet a male role model from kindergarten to college or university, and are often raised in single mother households to top it off, so of course they’re going to look for those models. What’s anti male is not allowing them to do so.
        Nobody is claiming that it is shameful to like what girls like, but that hardly makes any difference, IMHO, when boys just don’t CHOOSE to hold those things in high regard, and continue to not doing it after 60 years of feminist indoctrination.
        Girls and boys are just different, with different wirings of the brain, and it’s about time we show both of them the respect to let them make their own choices, after the feminist driven ideological PC wringer has so utterly failed in making one gender into the other, no matter if the emphasis is on boys or girls. They’re not the same, and they never will be.

        • yumicpcake

          Have you not seen any trannys???

          • Kimski

            Did you not read the second part of the first paragraph in my reply?

          • yumicpcake

            Maybe because you’re all busy with porn

          • Kimski

            That was quick! One question and you go straight for the shaming tactics, for lack of comprehensible and relevant argumentation, like most of your ilk usually do.
            You’re absolutely right. You are indeed a feminist, with every negative and irrational trademark it comes with, and you’ve even brought your own little lap dog upvoter this time.
            Thank you for proving every single one of my points below, and do remember to give your poodle a pad on the head… guys like him feel so useless without the validation from a woman.

          • yumicpcake

            God you’re such an idiot mra ….go upstairs and cry to mommy.

          • Kimski

            You had to “think” for 8 months to come up with another pathetic shaming attempt like that?
            Sorry, I didn’t realise I was addressing a retard.

        • Louise

          You’re comparing real environments with media – its not the same thing. To address both issues would be convoluting the argument. Yes, there are a lot of women in primary schools which is a complex issue in itself and not relevant here. Schools are geared toward Maths/Science rather than creative pursuits (where I live anyway) and again, not relevant here. But I am not dismissing those issues as they do need to be addressed (just not here) – to the issue at hand, the media is very biased towards men/heros, women/romance women used to have varied roles, better/complex, with deeper rounded personalities. Yet this has gone, most women in film are objects of desire and little else. Showing boys that women can be more than that is pretty vital – considering the first story that I was introduced to (the bible) where the only women were the mother and the whore, it is important to show women as something other than that. That is not hating men, or anti male. And “telling blacks to watch more white television shows” is completely different, since most black people do watch more white tv shows since they exist more than black. What would be a better analogy would be to tell white people to watch more black tv shows, which isn’t all that bad a thing, since the culture is permeated with white tv shows.

          • Kimski

            So all the campaigns against videogames, online games, Huckleberry Finn, (for christ sake!), and all the other media that get’s accused of making boys more violent, is just the usual feminist BS, since it’s not the same as reality, and now suddenly don’t have any impact, when the subject is girly movies? Why muddy the waters even further, when boys already don’t know what a man is supposed to be like, from lack of valid role models? Why this constant gynocentrism imposed on male kids? What’s the point if they don’t need the validation from a woman for anything else but becoming a subservient walking ATM-machine, she’s going to divorce anyway?

            If the point is to teach them to respect women, then attempting to brainwash them into getting there is just effing outrageous thinking, and one of the worst thing feminism has brought with it. Respect is earned , not something you acquire out of the blue, or are entitled to simply based on your gender.

            The hipocrisy and narcissism is sometimes so stunning with you guys, that you have to shake your head and go back and read some of your comments again, ’cause you just can’t believe what you just read.

            Seems like everything is “just different” when women is involved. That’s the kind of emotionally based solipsistic argumentation you’d use with a child, not a 50 y/o adult male.

          • Louise

            Why do you keep bringing up different issues? The fact is, if a boy watches a film with a female protagonist it is not anti-male and never will be. Just like a girl watching films with male protagonists (of which there are plenty) is not anti-female. BTW you know nothing about me or my beliefs and I am not going to be your scapegoat for all the anger and frustrations you obviously have about women. You can take that crap somewhere else.

          • Kimski

            I never claimed it was. What I have an issue with is the presentation of males as fumbling idiots everywhere.

          • Louise

            You implied that it was anti-male, see your first post. And regarding your last comment: “What I do have an issue with is the presentation of males as fumbling idiots in every media” – yea you and me both, I have two boys to bring up, so yes it is a problem, as are many of the issues you raised (I have to deal with them regularly). I’m also not advocating the article since it is a little silly, but the sentiment isn’t, imo. Anything that brings men and women together and not as opposing forces is good, imo, and for boys to consume media/books written/produced by women is a good thing – BUT, and there is always a but – we really need to be teaching media literacy, because if we can’t make media more inclusive and less sexist (against both sexes – the media pigeon holes men too) then we have to teach our children why certain images/stereotypes can be damaging etc.

          • Kimski

            Well, at least it got you and me to agree on most of these issues. Don’t you find it annoying that it seems like we have to go through all the motions of shouting at and denigrating eachother for a while, before we actually get there?
            Every activist for male rights I know have to go through that every single time we try to raise awareness about men’s and boy’s issues, while pointing out our lives are nowhere near the dance on roses every feminist tries to make it out to be, simply because there is NO such thing as ‘the patriarchy’ or ‘priviledge’ for the average boy or man.
            It just never fails, and the amount of bias and bigotry reaches astounding levels most of the times. I find the general lack of empathy to be really, really sad.
            Best of luck to your boys. They’re going to need it.

          • Louise

            I know what you mean, I think the problem is that we are all angry about these issues and so much of the time we see our issues as exclusive (ie men vs women) rather than inclusive (men and women). Sometimes we are victims of injustice or crimes from the opposite gender which puts us(our mindset) squarely in opposition. I think the key is to see societies problems not as gendered issues (or race issues), but simply as issues needing to be addressed.

      • knightrunner

        Telling boys that watching girly stuff will make them better people is not different than telling blacks to watch more white television shows will make them better people. It’s discrimination. It’s bigotry.

        • Louise

          wrong analogy. Black people most likely have watched plenty of white television shows since there are so many on TV. The correct analogy would be to say that white people should watch more black television shows, which isn’t actually a bad idea.

    • yumicpcake

      Hey I grew up on G.I. Joe, Ninja Turtles, M.A.S.H., The A- team, Willis, Stallone, you know action movies right?? My most recent faves are Red and The Expendables.I’m also a big horror fan, ever seen The Human Centipede? How about A Serbian Film? I don’t like many Disney movies, and I can live the rest of my life without seeing another stupid romantic comedy. BTW, I am a cis- woman…meaning I have a uterus and I only have sex with men. Girls don’t need to be told to watch that stuff, we do it on our own out of curiosity of boys and men. Which is how girls usually start having sex knowing more about how to please a guy(because she’ll read a book, wow!) than guys know how to please women. Due to the fact that learning about women is looked upon as bad and porn only teaches men to please themself.

      • knightrunner

        If girls don’t need to be told to watch more action shows then boys don’t need to be told to watch more Disney princess shows. It’s called equality. It’s called not being bigoted.

        • yumicpcake

          Go preach to someone else, all I initially said was good job Dad….you got a problem, take it up with the author….

          • Kimski

            -She says, right after having delivered a long and exceedingly pointless rant about her uterus, who she sleeps with, and online porn.
            Always trust a feminist to take anything relating to ‘women’ as a personal attack, ’cause that’s all their inherited narcissism allows them to see.

      • Facepalm

        Cis doesn’t mean you only have sex with men. It means you identify as the same gender you were born with.

  • Yawapi

    I absolutely love this – thank you!

  • Brendan Rau

    Oh yes, boys are able to see on the silver screen the kind of person they’re supposed to be: disposable heroes unconcerned with their own safety and well-being, stoic absorbers and dispensers of violence at the behest of and in the defense of women and girls, and impossibly handsome human ATM machines who are always the life of the party and are never perceived as vulnerable or weak. Girls don’t have that problem. They have much more freedom to be the kind of person they want to be.

    The problem isn’t that we tell boys that it isn’t okay to empathise with girls; on the contrary, we raise both our boys and our girls to believe that the humanity of women and girls is intrinsically valuable, and that women and girls don’t have to earn our empathy because it is a natural right. This is why we value girls whether they’re tomboys or girlie-girls.

    We shame boys who aren’t athletically inclined because the fearless athlete is useful as a protector of women and girls. We despise the man or boy more interested in pursuits perceived as feminine not because we don’t value or empathise with women and girls, but because this man or boy is less likely to be a good protector of women and girls than a man who is more stoic and more athletic. In short, we raise both our boys and our girls to believe not that the humanity of boys and girls is intrinsically valuable, but that boys and men must earn their humanity by becoming heroes.

    • Brendan Rau

      Don’t even get me started about how in our media we portray men who aren’t heroes as either bumbling idiots or evil, toxic creeps.

      • Louise

        and what about the way the media treats women who aren’t beautiful and young? They hardly even exist. Girls may have the freedom to choose, but they don’t have the means. Unless they are beautiful and sometimes even if they are their ability to work is still questioned. Empathy isn’t earned. Its something everyone should have, its not something you dish out because you feel someone deserves it, that’s why their are people that help drug addicts and alcoholics – because of empathy. In any case, whatever the ‘reasons’ are, it is still damaging to pigeon hole girls and boys into their gender roles. Boys should not feel ashamed of watching a film about princesses, or even about princes, or heroes or heroines. And neither should girls.

  • Jess

    Thanks for this!

  • Patrick Sheehy

    We took our 14 and 10 year old boys to see Frozen on the younger’s request…we never thought anything about it and neither one seemed to think it was a “girl’s” movie. They both liked it…the youngest thought the snowman was the best character, and neither had any interest in the soundtrack or anything else about it afterward. It was pretty much a non-issue for us. I completely get what the essay is saying, but I simply hadn’t thought about it that way until I read it. Perhaps we were just lucky and went to see it before it got labeled as a “girl’s” movie. My kids are by no means immune to that type of influence…the youngest gets mad every time a Barbie or My Little Pony ad comes on the TV.

  • Dan Slezak

    When I was in elementary school (mid 80s), we were drowning in Charlotte’s Web and Judy Blume. If I remember correctly, those were the best parts of the day. Most of the stories for boys were just indoctrinating them too be disposable for the state/women. Sigourney Weaver, Linda Carter and there were some others I am sure. I loved watching and reading all of them when I was growing up.
    I don’t know what this guy is talking about.

    • gs-25

      What? go and speak a follower Idiot Paul Elam and all his shit product that only makes indoctrinate men that if hate women, with the jerk of Roosh V and all that crap full of gender stereotypes, here do not understand and MRAs is that they always have a lack of reading comprehension and all they do is insult they do not understand what this father who only wants to bring happiness to his daughters, he says that the toxic masculinity that makes them see beings without feelings is so bad and can be changed because it is not coming within them, but you do not afanarian to claim both men also are violated because they are because they are not only perpetrators but are also victims for that reason they are not certain that testosterone or sends them to become sex machines, no; Understand it that for once, and I’m not privileged if they can come to my country in Latin America to see how femicide in my country and to stop indoctrinating men with their stupid and mess the ass his meninism.

      • Alex

        women is the most protected and privileged gender. you are so privileged you don’t even realize it.
        Men in Latin America are freaking slaves to entitled pincesses!

        • gs-25

          jajaja no mientas y los feminicidios en Juarez, claro ahora las mujeres son todas putas privilegiadas, jajaja que poco tonto eres, ahora entiendo por que muchas mujeres igualitarias sufren acoso virtual, no me imagino siendo mujer y ser estolkeado por pensar e ir en contra de la opinion de algunos tipos que dicen velan por la “dignidad de los varones” lees la cueva del misogino? te has creido el cuento de lo que dice Esther Vilar, el MGTOW si es terrorismo comparado con las feministas radicales que a pesar de no estoy de acuerdo con ello, los que han matado son estos primeros, te suena Elliot Rodger y Marc Lepine, no ahora diras que fueron culpa de las perras mujeres, entiende mas bien tu, ellos no buscan igualdad, solo buscan resentir a las mujeres y odiarlas como si ellas no tuvieran derecho a tener todo lo que ellas lucharon, deja de promover el odio y la misoginia, no necesito tu movimiento que apoya a los supremacistas blancos y a los homofobicos, no lo necesito, si vives amargado ese es tu problema, pero yo si quiero a las mujeres y no soy su enemigo, sino yo voy al lado de ellas sin rencor ni remordimientos, no sean adultocentristas, no usen a los niños y niñas como trofeos, no es una guerra, no existe acaso la custodia compartida, Suecia es “hembrista” jajajaja que tal chiste, por si no lo saben se han dado refugios para hombres y no importa su raza u opcion sexual, y ademas han dado una licencia paternal cosa que ustedes jamas reclamaran ni siquiera la crianza compartida y las labores domesticas tambien compartidas, jajaja aun asi piden que los mantengan las mujeres. Bueno espero que respetes mi libertad de expresion si, de lo contrario estarias dandole la razon a que ustedes son un grupo que odia a las mujeres y no permiten hacer criticas. RESPETEN NI OPINION OK.

  • Phil McCracken

    Teach empathy by not showing empathy?

  • Scott Vaughan

    Fantastic column! As a father of 2 boys, I try really hard to teach them to be caring and empathetic and to have heroes of whatever gender/spieces/nationality/etc. They watch as much My Little Pony as they do Minecraft videos, and dig Tinkerbell as much as Naruto. I’ve been singing “Let it Go.” incessantly for weeks, much to my family’s chagrin.

  • JPGal
    • Dan Slezak

      Well Obama did repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”. This is what happens.

    • James Nunya

      Marine Bill Nuche, who put up the video, wrote on Facebook: “We had the subtitles on so we could sing along. They went crazy over the part where she lets her hair down because it’s really hot.”

      Not so heartwarming now, is it.

  • iggy

    If the author is going to toss around gender bias statements about young women in lead roles you would think he might take into consideration what these movies tell his BOYS to be… self-sacrificing & disposable for the women or bumbling idiots for comic relief.

    Boys will NOT use girl toys the same way girls use their toys. That is simply NOT how sexual dimorphism works and its high time people start to recognize and accept that without demonizing or trivializing either boys or girls.

    How about we quit pitting girls vs boys and start accepting that they are different, unequal in some respects, but equal in the need for both respect AND protection as children. White knight authors should NOT continue to shame boys to make them feel bad about themselves because they don’t want to act, feel or behave like a girl.

    Makes me wonder if this same author will play music the girls hate and force his girls to watch movies THEY don’t relate to in order for them to have ’empathy’ for the boys? Not likely, that is not the motto of the modern media white knight author.

  • A24

    Moral of the story – Masculinity is baaaad. Femininity is gooood. M’kay?

    • Please expand on this. I find it fascinating.

      Where is that idea present in the article?

  • JBS

    I loved the essay, however I was struck by the assumption you made about why the boys hated Frozen. I can think of many reasons why 9-6 year old boys would loathe Frozen and Disney. Frozen has a prevailing romance, which to most boys that age is gross. Frozen also lacks some of the more conventionaly boy-appealing aspects, e.g. action, obvious villains etc. But that is another whole can of worms

    • …I’m not sure which movie you watched, but I don’t think it was Frozen. The romance is about 10 minutes long all together, and there’s plenty of action. Elsa displaying her powers and running away, the wolves attacking Anna and wassname, Elsa building a castle out of nothing, a giant snowman chasing Anna and wassname away, the hunt for and capture of Elsa, the fight on the ice at the climax. And Obvious villains? There are two.

  • Dennis Markham

    Princess cartoons hardly show a realistic depiction of the typical woman’s experience. It’s like trying to get a girl to sympathize with boys by watching GI Joe.

  • Dennis Markham

    Honestly, I think the problem lies more with the people who write girl-centric entertainment than parents or consumers. Most entertainment targeted at female viewers simply sucks. But it doesn’t have to.

    Look at the “brony” phenomenon? MLP:FiM became a hit with boys and young men. Why? Because it teaches the opposite of what most female-targetted media teaches girls: The show teaches humility, self-sacrifice, honesty, hard work, companionship over materialism, and the marriage of power to responsibility.
    Meanwhile what do the “grown up” shows, books, and magazines teach females (Sex and the City, The Wendy Williams Show, Eat Pray Love to name a few)? Cry to get what you want? Manipulate men for your own ends? Abandon your responsibilities because “it’s your world, girl!”

    These are the lesson that appeal to the human race, not “get pretty and meet a prince and live happily ever after” or “lie to your men for free meals.”

  • Dennis Markham

    By the way, I really hope John Marcotte isn’t Amanda Marcotte’s husband, because I know what she thinks about dudes who watch media intended for little girls…

  • YES to everything you said. I have a nephew who’s about to turn 7. I don’t see him often because I live across the country, so I have little influence on how media shapes him. A couple years ago he would happily sit down and watch My Little Pony or Strawberry Shortcake, now even the suggestion of such makes him go EW, THAT’S FOR GIRLS! His virulence against things “for girls” is so strong and irrational that it makes me worry that it’s not something that can be counteracted.

    I shared this article with his dad, hoping he’ll take what you say to heart. Thank you for writing it.

    (And don’t listen to these MRA asswipes.)

  • Pingback: Breaking the gender habit | safarisworlddotnet()

  • Pingback: Roundup of Recent Reading | The Achilles Effect()

  • Pingback: Boys and the Need for Lessons on Empathy | The Achilles Effect()

  • Pingback: Stolt far til to nørdede piger taler…om drenge og prinsesser |

  • Raynbo

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just read your entire article to my 8 year old son. He and I have been having avid discussions about female superheros lately, and your article just brought in a whole new perspective into our conversation. I cannot tell you how much it means to be able to share something like this with my 2 little boys! (I’ll read it to my 4 year old when he’s a little older….)