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Disney’s Planes: a model of sexist attitudes in animation movies
I haven’t seen Disney’s Planes movie, but as a consumer of family animation movies, it’s not hard to grasp what Margot Magowan describes as blatantly sexist movie – slow planes being called “ladies”; female plane characters being objectified, the number of female characters a fraction of the males, etc.
When I saw the preview, I thought the plane who mocks the slow flyers by calling them “ladies,” was having a moment of arrogance. The movie would redeem him when he went through his transition. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The sexist joke is his fantasy, the fantasy of a humble crop duster with a fear of heights who wishes he were a racer. The scene is sexism in fantasy world in sexism in fantasy world. Isn’t that meta? It’s the dream sequence of a “likeable” character. Can you imagine a hero making a racist joke and being likeable? In a movie for little kids? Yet, that’s how much sexism we have to wade through before females are allowed to win a race in animation.