Colin Stokes noticed that his daughter really liked the movie 'Wizard of Oz'. He later showed his children the Star Wars movie. He noticed some big differences between these two movies, "One is there is very little violence in the Wizard of Oz... another thing that is really unique about the Wizard of Oz, to me, is that all of the most heroic, wise and even villainous characters are female. I started to notice this when I showed Star Wars to my daughter, which was years later and the situation was different. At that point I also had a son... I don't think he was understanding what was going on, but he was sure soaking it in. I wonder what he is soaking in. Is he picking up on the themes of courage and perseverance and loyalty. Is he picking up on the fact that Luke joins an army to overthrow the government? Is he picking up on the fact that there are only boys in the universe, except aunt Beru and of coarse this princess who is really cool but who waits around for most of the movie so that she can award the hero with a medal and a wink to thank him for saving the universe, which he does by the magic he was born with? Compare this to 1939 with the Wizard of Oz, how does Dorathy win her movie? By making friends with everybody and being a leader. That's kind of the world I'd rather raise my kids in. Oz, not the world of dudes fighting....
There are plenty of exceptions and I will defend the Disney princesses in front of any of you. But they do send a message to boys, that the boys are not really the target audience. They are doing a phenomenal job of teaching girls how to defend against the patriarchy, but they are not necessarily showing boys how they're supposed to defend against the patriarchy. There's no models for that.
When Colin Stokes’ 3-year-old son caught a glimpse of Star Wars, he was instantly obsessed. But what messages did he absorb from the sci-fi classic? Stokes asks for more movies that send positive messages to boys: that cooperation is heroic, and respecting women is as manly as defeating the villain.
This video comes from SikhNet's blog section on the KAUR website, which features several videos of interest on the subject of female empowerment, media and feminism.