The author does an amazing job with providing examples of various types of stereotypes noted in children's cartoons. The author uses examples from students in her own class who are asked to analyze various children's cartoons. Evidence of stereotypes she lists are of the following: lead roles, servants, race, body types, what the characters are trying to get out of life, what children learn about roles of women in society, etc. First example is from a Popeye cartoon. The stereotype of race is illustrated in a scene whee people from the Arabic Nation are illustrated to all have the same face, turbans and body. Also, they are thieves and act violently attacking people with swords. Another example the author uses is in Daffy Duck, there is an absence of female characters in the cartoons. If they do appear, according to the author, the female ducks look like Playboy centerfolds. Perhaps the most important aspect of the authors main point about children shaping their sociological beliefs through cartoons is the significance of gender roles in our society. The author uses Cinderella as an example. The author poses the question, "What are the characters trying to get out of life? Christensen suggests there is a theme in a lot of children's movies and that is the girl must transform and be beautiful in order to win the man. She mentions that in Cinderella, she becomes beautiful by getting new clothes and having a new hair style and then wins the man. The author argues that this is sending the wrong message our youth that, "Happiness means getting a man, and transformation from wretched conditions can be achieved through consumption." The author fears that girls will think that if change is made on the outside, they will find happiness. It is clear the author made some valid points in this section and we must question the "secret education" our children are receiving as it shapes their personal values and beliefs about what makes a male a male, and what makes a female female.
Personally, this argument left me torn. I understand and agree with the author that our children's stories are composed of stereotypes not doubt, but I feel it is just a small portion of how children develop their gender roles. I believe it is about what takes place in the home. For example, the student sees how his/her mom acts ans behaves as a female in society and how their father acts and behaves as a male in society. In addition, the child learns his/her gender role from day one. Girls get pink rooms, dolls and kitchen sets. Boys get blue bedrooms, trucks and workshop sets, etc. I don't think it is just the cartoons it is society as a whole. If more Disney movies came out with more non-traditional characters that would be a start, but I believe it would be minute compared to what society has stacked against our youth.