Watch a children’s cartoon obtain a children’s storybook. Tell me what cartoon your watched what storybook you selected. In one paragraph, using examples from the cartoon storybook, describe how males and females are represented:
For the purpose of this assignment, I have watched the children’s cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and selected the children’s storybook “Cinderella” as the subject of analysis. In the cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” the representation of both males and females is complex and multifaceted, with characters displaying a range of traits and characteristics that challenge traditional gender roles. The protagonist, Aang, is a male airbender who breaks the stereotype of being aggressive and assertive. He emphasizes peace, harmony, and spirituality, as opposed to the more typical aggressive and dominating male characters often seen in cartoons. On the other hand, Katara, a female waterbender, challenges traditional gender expectations by displaying leadership skills and determination. She is not merely a damsel in distress, but is actively involved in saving and protecting others. Furthermore, Toph, a female earthbender, defies expectations by being tough, independent, and strong-willed, subverting the stereotype that females are physically weaker. Meanwhile, Princess Azula, a prominent female antagonist, exhibits cunning, intelligence, and manipulative qualities traditionally associated with male villains. This portrayal of characters in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” challenges gender norms and portrays females as strong, capable, and multi-dimensional characters, thereby promoting a more balanced and inclusive representation of both genders.
In the children’s storybook “Cinderella,” the representation of males and females adheres more closely to traditional gender roles. Cinderella, the female protagonist, is portrayed as kind, gentle, and submissive, embodying many of the traditional feminine traits and qualities. She is depicted as a damsel in distress, relying on the help of a male character (the Fairy Godmother) to transform her circumstances. The Prince, as a male character, is portrayed as brave, noble, and powerful, embodying the characteristics often associated with traditional masculine ideals. He is the one who rescues Cinderella and provides her with a happily ever after. In contrast, the stepmother and stepsisters, who are also female characters, are depicted as cruel, jealous, and vindictive, representing the negative aspects of femininity. This portrayal reinforces traditional gender stereotypes and presents a more limited view of the roles and capabilities of males and females.
Overall, while “Avatar: The Last Airbender” challenges traditional gender norms by presenting complex and diverse representations of both male and female characters, “Cinderella” adheres more closely to the traditional gender roles and reinforces stereotypical expectations. The cartoon portrays females as capable, powerful, and multi-dimensional characters, breaking away from the traditional roles of submissive princesses. Conversely, the storybook adheres to traditional gender expectations, presenting Cinderella as a passive character who relies on the intervention of a male character for her salvation. These contrasting portrayals in the cartoon and storybook reflect the evolution of gender representation in children’s media and highlight the importance of promoting more inclusive and diverse representations of both males and females. By challenging traditional gender norms and presenting a wider range of characteristics and traits in male and female characters, children’s media can contribute to shaping a more equitable and inclusive society.