Saturday morning cartoons just got interesting again

I’m curious about how my friends, both those who embrace crossdressing and those who are trying to stop, react to this new children’s cartoon.  I’ll chime in after the other comments, so as not to steer the conversation in any direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyi0_gnjixI

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About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
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7 Responses to Saturday morning cartoons just got interesting again

  1. thorin25 says:

    Here’s my thoughts – I think they are aiming at being funny, and while it will make some of us laugh, sometimes maybe we shouldn’t be laughing at such things, because maybe that reveals some of our weird thoughts and stereotypes about gender. http://healingcd.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/is-cross-dressing-funny/

    Another comment about it, I dislike crossdressing, but I also dislike that becoming a girl was like the worst possible thing that could happen to him. I hate the concept of insulting men by calling them feminine. On the other hand, our sex is a big part of our identity, so of course most normal people would not suddenly want to be the other sex.

  2. Grok says:

    I believe that Skirt Cafe had a thread about this. Read the analysis by thorin25. I tend to reject rigid gender stereotypes, though on the other hand, there science suggests that there may be differences in how gender is expressed-which makes it a comparison between apples and oranges.

  3. Grok says:

    I would suggest reading about the Meyers-Briggs personality tests. In books about the topic it has been commented that some gender stereotypes may be due to over generalizing based on individual temperament.

  4. Vivienne says:

    Hey Ralph. Thanks for posting this. I had never heard of it, and I think it’s very interesting. I am not sure that Thorin and Grok have answered your question. But I will try to give it a go.

    First, is this OK? By which I mean, would I let my kids watch it? The answer is yes. It’s OK. I think from the point of view of a child, it’s no more bizarre than any other superhero cartoon. That said, I found as a child there was something deeply uncomfortable about Bugs Bunny (even Mighty Mouse) crossdressing, which I could not understand. It wasn’t funny, in the least. (It still isn’t). I am sure my wife would not approve of our kids watching it, however.

    In many ways, it echoes other fiction I have come across. The novel “Boy2Girl”, by Terence Blacker, and the comic strip “Cuckoo in the Nest” (from an obsolete girls’ comic) both explore the situation of a boy, reluctantly compelled by circumstance to adopt the role of a girl, who is initially unwilling but ultimately finds unexpected advantages or insights in doing so. Both of those are aimed at children (and are explored more on my blog).

    So then, is it good? Does it do our sons good to consider aspects of femininity to be positive? I suppose so, although I don’t really think it does any better than She-Ra (or my personal favourites, Jana of the Jungle, and Cheetara). Girls can be superheroes too, but I’ve known this since childhood anyway. Does it give confidence or esteem to girls? I don’t really think so, though all I have watched is the short segment here. Does it make children more trans-friendly? I guess so, though one cartoon will not be enough to overcome their own upbringing, whether hostile or accepting.

    Does it do harm? I can’t honestly see how. If it’s OK for kids to watch Batman punch the villain’s lights out, then it surely should be OK to watch a boy putting on a magic ring and becoming a girl. Is it going to make our sons grow up gay, or camp, or effeminate? Gracious me, no!

    So… yeah. I welcome the cartoon. If it was on, I would let my kids watch it, though I don’t feel the need to draw their attention to it. It would be interesting to let them watch it and see their reaction.

    Vivienne.

  5. Ralph says:

    OK, I finally got a chance to watch the first couple of episodes on Youtube. Here are my reactions, in no particular order…

    First off, the transgender thing is really a minimum point after the introductory episodes. I like the fact that he’s horrified by the transformation, because a big part of the way I live la vida taffeta is that I do not deny my masculinity. A guy can still be a guy who does stupidly dangerous stunts and spills taco sauce on the sofa while watching violent movies… and wear dresses. That said, I can understand the objection to the subtle (or not-so-subtle) suggestion that there is something horribly wrong with being female.

    Still, the premise pushes a lot of fantasy buttons from my childhood. I remember the Disney cartoon version of the Arthurian legend, “The Sword In The Stone”, and how I loved the scenes where Merlin transformed young Arthur into various animals. I would put myself to sleep at night imagining myself in similar situations, where I might get transformed into a bird, a squirrel, or even a girl with no control over when or how I would change back. And of course the whole idea of remaining a guy (haha, the character’s name is even “Guy”) while looking and dressing like a girl is everything I could hope for.

    Another subtle issue is one of plausible deniability. So many times I see crossdressing forums where people express a desire to be “forced” to dress like a girl. Forced, my corset. You just want to pretend you were forced into it, so when you are confronted with this bizarre behavior you can claim you had no choice. In the same way, Guy is safe from accusations questioning his masculinity because he is forced to dress like a girl when the ring transforms him. All in all, the whole premise suggests to me that the writers are acting out their own fantasies… and I can’t blame them a bit. What’s better than fantasizing about transforming into a girl? Expressing that fantasy in front of a huge audience and getting PAID for it.

    The protests are misguided. First off, the Million Moms thing conflates homosexuality with transgender issues; in reality (as we crossdressers well know) there is very little overlap between homosexuality and crossdressing (or transsexualism, for that matter). There are a lot of factors that went into making me what I am, but a silly cartoon wouldn’t have flipped some switch and made me suddenly want to put on my mother’s girdle when I was 10. If anything, the show reinforces gender stereotypes. Seriously, because SheZow is a girl she has to use slapping and screaming and a lipstick light saber as her weapons? I found that more disturbing than the gender transformation part, but of course I’m biased.

    As for the production quality in and of itself… the plots are of course as predictable and simple as you would expect for preteen material, although a lot of the writing is clearly intended for more mature audiences — they slip a lot of double entendres and almost-cursing in under the radar (“Shut the front door!” Holy ship of fools!” etc.) There are some nods to classic superhero/supervillain stereotypes. And the first episode reminded me a LOT of “The Greatest American Hero”, another show about some random hapless putz who happens to receive a suit that gives him super powers, but he has no idea how to use them. Hilarity ensues.

    Overall, I’d give it a 6 out of 10… that low only because it IS obviously aimed at a younger audience. The worst thing about it is the endless barrage of “she” puns. “She you later!” gets old REAL fast…

  6. Ralph says:

    Favorite lines so far:
    “Come to papa!” “Don’t you mean mama?” “Ehhhh, it depends on what I’m wearing.”

    “I remember you, you used to be big.” “I’m still big! It’s Megadale that got small.” (for those of you not Of A Certain Age… http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi4087415577/)

    “I can’t believe SheZow’s a boy… uh, not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
    That one made me burst out laughing.

    (during a nightmare when he finds himself in typical nightmare scenes) “Dude… are you wearing a dress?” “Uh… yes I am! You got a problem with that?”

    “Thanks, girlfriend… you pass!” [SheZow, embarrassed]”As what?” “The test? You passed the test.”
    Get it? Pass? Bwahahahahahahaha, that’s DEFINITELY going over the heads of their target audience.

  7. Grok says:

    TV Tropes has an entry for “wholesome cross dresser”, tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WholesomeCrossdresser.

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