Wednesday, July 20, 2011
New Cheetara Comparison
I have posted a full review of the new Thundercats here.
Cartoon Network is releasing a new Thundercats show. Aside from the fact that Lion-O is apparently voiced by some prepubescent 15-year-old boy, it was Cheetara that pissed me off the most. (A number of people have pointed out who voices Lion-O. I am well aware that it is Will Friedle. I looked at the cast before writing this. I still don't like the voice. He sounds like his testicles haven't formed yet, which is impossible for a man who looks like a body builder.)
Let's break down the new Cheetara in comparison to the gold standard, the actual Cheetara.
Is there a fucking chunk missing from her?! Where the hell are her internal organs? Why does she look 17, yet have breasts that would net her lifetime membership as a Playboy centerfold?
Why doesn't she look like, I dunno', a woman? A woman who is capable of doing things, like saving the day?
And this is only the beginning. They repeatedly misspell WilyKit and WilyKat in the written media.
And as WilyKit so wonderfully illustrates, having a bare midriff is apparently one of the defining characteristics of being female in modern cartoons. Just like in Teen Titans, where 50% of the female population is bare! Except for the outsider goth chick. She's the only one covered. What the fuck is this? The Breakfast Club with 25% more fiber and sexism? And notice how the females have their legs and feet posed compared to the males? Yeah.
Obviously, this blog is somewhat predicated on the objectification of women, but I make it explicit, and also make sure to explicitly state that images are just that, images. Women are not actual objects, they are people! Cartoon obectification, like with Betty Boop, is fun precisely because it is cartoonish. No one has ever aspired to look like Jessica Rabbit or Betty Boop.
When we try to sell narratives to kids, we're selling a huge package of ideas, values, concepts, and images to them. If we want to sell them strong female characters, we need to sell them something that isn't so stupid-sexist. REAL women are not objects. REAL women are capable. REAL women can be strong heroes without also being sexy. When we make cartoon versions of comics for kids, we should avoid copying over the worst aspects of comic books, such as the almost comical level of female objectification and sexism.
Compare this to Harry Potter, because, why not? It's big. It has female characters. Like Hermione. Is she sexy? Does she spend all of her time in skin-tight spandex with her belly button showing? NO! Of course she doesn't! Because she is an actual character, whose values come from her actions and personality, not because she's got a flat stomach.
I mean, what the HELL is next?! Are we going to see a Wonder Woman cartoon where she's selling diet pills, or Tygra offering Ripped Fuel in episode 2?
To the creators of the new Thundercats. Thanks for ass-fucking my childhood memories. Go fuck yourselves. And learn how to spell.
UPDATE: Comics Alliance has a good article discussing the rampant sexism in comics that I see here. It's annoying in the comic book world, but it is positively infuriating in a TV show aimed primarily at children.
UPDATE: I've received more comments on this post than any post I've ever done, so please take the time to read the other comments and responses before commenting yourself.
And while I have posted a few of them to make a point, I will delete any posts that are basically just swearing at me.