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Does it Matter That An Animated Show is 'Female'?

by Charles Kenny
November 6, 2013 12:05 AM
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The premiere of Steven Universe, the show by Rebecca Sugar has been one of the most anticipated of the year. This prompted a review from the LA Times that was very favorable, but which nonetheless, felt necessary to bring gender into the discussion.

Reviewer Robert Lloyd ponders whether the series is 'female' and while he ostensibly does so in a positive way, I can't help but wonder why he felt the need to bring it up at all.

Rebecca is noted as being the first sole female creator of a Cartoon Network show and she is being rightfully applauded for that. The question is why does it matter that she makes a series that reflects her gender?

To paint a contrast, The Powerpuff Girls feature three female leads but was for all intents and purposes, a male show with plenty of violence. That didn't stop girls from liking it in the least though.

So why is the apparent gender of a show still an issue worthy of mention? Steven Universe is above all, a great piece of animation and entertainment and will undoubtedly reach similar heights to its cousin, Adventure Time. I just fail to see why looking at it as a 'female' show has anything to do with its quality.

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  • Jose | November 6, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    I think it's empowering to have Steven Universe with an all star female cast airing in a mainstream network and primetime. look at Disney XD with two variations of The Avengers property and a team show with the Hulk and the only female member is suppose to be the "sex-appel" in an other wise male dominated program aimed at boys 5-12. I had no problem watching Power Puff girls growing up along side with my sister and we both liked the fun action, heartwarming moments, and witty humor we would pick up later on as teenagers. Not a lot of shows portray positive female team without the need for tacked on "makeup, boys, and finding dates to the prom" scenarios *cough Winx Club cough*. I hope the Cartoon Network and other networks pick up more female created input television series and give the same respect in terms of finance and exposure as their otherwise male focused programing.

  • Taylor | November 6, 2013 8:24 AMReply

    Is this seriously still a question? No one says anything when they make shows exclusively for little boys/men, but when there's a show targeted to girls/women they ask if it will "work." Why would a show aimed at 51% of the population work any less than one aimed at 49%? I think we've proven with the success of films like The Heat and Bridesmaids in the last few years that not only are women going to the movies and seeing content aimed at them, but men are more than willing to give that content a shot too.

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