Archive for the 'Analysis' Category

Online videos of children aka “Pick on Someone Your Own Size”

Hello Everyone!

I recently came across some more “funny” videos on youtube, which I have complied here:

I was shocked to see that not only do adults videotape children doing things that are “funny”, they videotape them when they are hurt and upset.

Doesn’t seem responsible, does it?

The little girl in the first clip actually has a problem with being filmed. Rather than respect her wishes, an older sibling has decided to humiliate and frighten her and film her in tears.

Second Clip: There wasn’t any real explaination for filming this boy crying. I’m not sure who would be unsympathetic enough to find a little boy crying funny.

In the final clip, we see an appalling act of cowardice as a grown man humiliates a little boy. This reminded me of the phrase we all heard as children:

“Pick on Someone Your Own Size”

It’s extremely cowardly and pathetic to resort to treating children this way. It’s depressing that people even watch this online and find it funny!

I’d just like to remind everyone that children are vulnerable, and look to us for comfort and assurance, not for humiliation and laughter.



Masculinity in the Last Unicorn

Lir: The Traditional Hero

Lir represents the traditional hero: he falls in love at first sight with the fair Amalthea, tries to court her by killing a dragon and later writing poetry. He does all in his power to be of “use” to Amalthea.

Lir represents the very old archetype of hero and the belief that men should woo the women that they love. If she ignores you, you just got to keep trying to win her love. Note the implicit notion of passivity in the female and the activeness of the male.

Also recall Mina’s comment from the previous post: “The idea that the heroine’s falling in love has caused her to “forget who she is” is tied to a very antiquated notion.” This is further reinforced here, when Amalthea urges Lir to make her forget what the dreams keep telling her to remember. And when she finally does forget, she falls in love with Lir.

Furthermore, Lir’s total devotion to Amalthea is very romanticized notion of manhood. A romanticized notion that often appears in media aimed primarily at young girls. Think of the prince’s total devotion to Cinderella or Aurora. Girls are shown very unrealistic images of manhood (as well as womanhood), which paints unrealistic notions of themselves and boys. This likewise happens to boys.

Are such romanticized images good for either sex? Is there something true about the view that falling in love means forgetting your own dreams or has this arisen from the assumption that women have to conform to men when they choose mutual life (i.e. fall in love and start a family)?

Masculinity in the Red Bull

The Red Bull is another representation of masculinity. Firstly, he is a bull and therefore male in nature. Second, he is aggressive and large and relentlessly chases the feminine Unicorn.

It’s interesting that the negative side of masculinity is shown when we have the idealization of manhood present in the character of Lir. Ultimately, however, the Red Bull only reinforces the notions that men are violent and aggressive, while women are not.

Schmendrick: The other Man

What is curious about “The Last Unicorn” is Schmendrick, who is quite unlike any male hero one would normally find in a children’s movie. First off, he has trouble rescuing the Unicorn and being a magician. He doesn’t think much of himself or his magic yet tries his hardest. He’s very pessimistic yet still tries to do what he feels he should. But most importantly, he is paired with Molly, the middle-aged ex-wife of a bandit. The two of them aren’t seen doing anything “romantic”, and the viewer only realizes the two are together in the last moments of the film when Schmendrick helps Molly onto a horse and the two of them leave together. Their love is shown to have arisen through mutual exchanges, slow and gradual. A much more realistic notion than love at first sight.

It is interesting that him and Molly are present in the film, almost parallel to the idealistic relationship of Lir and Amalthea. However, even still, the focus is on Amalthea and Lir as the main relationship. In the end, I cannot but wonder why such an unusual pair and a far more realistic duo was even present in the film.

Is the Last Unicorn attempting to subvert the idealized relationship of Amalthea and Lir? Or are Schmendrick and Molly more tacked on? But even if they are tacked on, is the presence of a more realistic relationship revolutionary in itself? What is the significance of idealized masculinity in Lir and brutish masculinity of the Bull?

Homosexuality in Sailor Moon

I bet we all remember Zoisite and Malachite from the Sailor Moon anime. However what is interesting to note is that  Zoisite is in fact a man. He under went this sex change in North America because of the quite explicit homosexual relationship that exists between him and Malachite (Kunzite in the original).

Yet there is something quite striking about Zoisite. He is very effeminate and it is easily to see why it wasn’t hard to believe he was in fact female. Actually what is striking here is that even when the pair is homosexual, it is still a bounding being a feminine  person and masculine person. This pairing of masculinity and femininity caries over to the second homosexual pair in the show: Amara and Michelle.

Once again we see a very masculine Amara and a feminine Michelle. In fact, Serena and her friends at first thought Amara was a man because she drive a race car, dresses like a man, and speaks with a more masculine voice.

Why do homosexual pairings need a feminine and masculine aspect? What can’t too manly men or feminine women be shown to love each other?

Furthermore, in North America, why is there a need to censor homosexuality in child media at all? Granted, I understand companies do not want to deal with angry parents and Christian Right groups, but the question remains: Is society warranted in filtering out images of homosexuality from children’s eyes? And Why or Why not?

For the second question. I do not think society is warranted in filtering images. I think these images are filtered due to fear that if children see homosexual relationships, they will become homosexual. However, I do not think that seeing homosexual relationships will create homosexuals, rather these kinds of relationship will be seen as legitimate; just another type of relationship right next to heterosexual relations. Sexual preference cannot be taught, it is developed.

For the first question. I see it as a means to reinforce notions of femininity and masculinity into the notions of what constitutes a relationship. That is, a relationship consists of two people: one is masculine, the other feminine. Now, since most girls are socialize into being feminine, these homosexual relationships actually reinforce the notion that feminine girls need to bound with masculine partners, who are normally male. If the homosexual relationships had two manly men or two feminine women, then they would be really challenging heterosexual bounding which is founded upon the notions of a masculine and feminine pair. As they stand, these two relationships are still heterosexual in essence, just cosmetically you have a man taking the feminine role and a women taking the masculine role.

Granted, it’s nice that we even have homosexual relationships portrayed in media. I am not attacking Sailor Moon for that, rather I am trying to analytically understand why all relationships in Sailor Moon, both heterosexual and homosexual, feature a feminine-masculine pair.  All thoughts on this matter are much appreciated.

What do you think?