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Ms. and MLP

Fri Dec 24, 2010, 10:06 AM
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: the ocean
  • Reading: Cleopatra
  • Watching: Christmas documentaries
  • Playing: jigsaw puzzles
  • Eating: mangos, pineapples, starfruit and coconuts
  • Drinking: ginger tea
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A little while ago, it was brought to my attention that there was a blog post at Ms. Magazine criticizing My Little Pony: Freindship is Magic for being homophobic and racist.  Many fans of the show posted to defend the show.  I was so incredibly grateful.  I decided to post a defense myself, and to my surprise, I was contacted directly by one of the editors of the blog.  She graciously apologized that the post had not been more closely vetted, and offered me the opportunity to write a rebuttal.

I am a proud feminist.  And I have held Ms. Magazine is very high respect since I discovered it as a teenager.  I was so appreciative that Ms. had contacted me in this matter so I took them up on their offer.

Have a read, if you're interested, here.  If you like the post and/or the show, please leave a comment!

The original post is here.

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Add a Comment:
 
:iconpichugamers:
PichuGamers Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Can You Maybe Make Twilight Marrying Someone And Then A on Based On Their Child Or Something? Please! Just One More Series.
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:icontooneguy:
ToonEGuy Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There are other things this show should be criticized for than that.
Reply
:iconsupahcat2:
SupahCat2 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Artist
HIV thats what I want to do to you right now.
Reply
:iconperemarquette1225:
PereMarquette1225 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Student General Artist
I am a big fan of MLP: FIM myself. I believe you made the show entertaining and engaging in more ways than one. God bless, and well done.
Reply
:iconbrightstareternity:
BrightStarEternity Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I wonder if you expected all the fans of the show.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
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:iconthereddragoness747:
TheRedDragoness747 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I have to say I'm completely blown away by the ridiculousness of those accusations. I wonder how long they sat and looked at the 'Meet the Characters' page JUST to come up with that?

I say we send them to the moon.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
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:iconmurasakirein:
MurasakiRein Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I know I'm commenting very very late in response to this!

I can't believe someone would see themes like racism and homophobia in Friendship is Magic! That is completely and utterly INSANE!

I'm really commenting because in your rebuttal you said everything I'm trying to communicate in a paper I'm writing for my English 101 class. The assignment is a TV Analysis paper and I am writing about how Friendship is Magic breaks the stereotypes of shows for young girls and the previous cartoons in the My Little Pony franchise, itself! I couldn't find any reliable sources (I do most of my personal research on Wikipedia which is where I originally read everything about FiM when I first got into it...so yeah.) but then I randomly check out this journal and find an awesome source from the creator, herself! :D
I might sound silly for thanking you for creating such a great show that empowers young girls. But that is what I am doing. I was a girl who preferred to play with a toy castle, knights, and dragons than with barbies. And reading your rebuttal and writing this paper have made me love MLP: FiM on an even deeper level than I think I did before.
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:iconkaloyan-alett:
Kaloyan-Alett Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
One of the main reasons I love the show is the wide, diverse spectrum of strong female characters in it. There aren't enough shows out there that show women in the spotlight without them getting all stereotypicaly "girly".

We need more shows out there like your My Little Pony that show women are plainly equal and can take the lead without having to resort to some big show of it. I've seen plenty of shows have a strong female characterful but generally she's strong because she's been pushed around by "the man's world" and she basically takes a "I'm mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore" stance. Sure she's displaying strength for a fair reason to the character but it shouldn't be the only way to show a strong female.

My Little Pony shows female characters being strong and supportive of their friends, not because of anything that's happened to them but because of who they are.
Reply
:iconangel-anthem-maker:
Angel-Anthem-Maker Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011
That Kathleen Richter Sounds like a real bitch.
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:iconpinkie-ponyluv232:
Pinkie-Ponyluv232 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Student General Artist
I made a stamp about this: [link]
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:iconsexhaie:
sexhaie Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011
Ms. mag be trolling.
Reply
:iconthekeikoisalie:
TheKeikoIsALie Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Student Digital Artist
^THIS.

<3
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:iconsexhaie:
sexhaie Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011
i believe so, i mean their a feminst magazine, and lauren faust is a outspoken feminst, and Ms. mag is all about rights and equality, yet they go and call faust a "sexist" and a "racist" when the show is of animals (meaning race is no issue to them) and the show does follow a group of female ponies, so it would only make sense, surely it does have male characters, some dumb and some positive characters, and the show doesn't out males down, and it shows the female characters have their flaws as well, Ms. makes it seem like "OH IM A WHITE ALL POWERFUL PONY! WE SO GREAT!" male, brown colored pony: "hi guys :3" "GASP! GO AWAY! NO ONE LIKES YOU! YOUR EVERYTHING TERRIBLE!" *permaban'd from equstria* "YAY! GRRRLPOWER! LETS MAKE OUT!" i either think Ms. is this butthurt and stupid or just trolling, and faust loves their magazine and for them to pull this crap, i haven't seen this same situation since ben weasel put down the max levine emsamble for being pop punk just like screeching weasels.
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:iconthekeikoisalie:
TheKeikoIsALie Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Exactly!! I'm glad they apologised though. xD
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:iconsexhaie:
sexhaie Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011
orly nao? when?
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:iconthekeikoisalie:
TheKeikoIsALie Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
She says so above.

"She graciously apologized that the post had not been more closely vetted, and offered me the opportunity to write a rebuttal."
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:iconfluttershyismywaifu:
fluttershyismywaifu Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Lauren, I absolutely adore MLP:FiM. I especially love Fluttershy, she is the sweetest thing ever. I like all the Pegasi and I just found out Derpy is gonna get a speaking role next season. She is so sweet as well.

MEGA BROHOOF and tonnes of Love

From Dan
Reply
:iconmiss-mae:
Miss-Mae Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I just have to say that after reading your response to them, I'm an even bigger fan of yours. Thank you for trying to set a good, healthy example for young girls. <3
Reply
:iconamu99b:
Amu99b Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
And with the Bronies, the boys too :)
Reply
:icongraystripe4:
graystripe4 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011
love you lauren and your art!
Reply
:iconrain-hatchett:
rain-hatchett Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wait-what?? O.o
*Reads the articles*

Wow. That person obviously hasn't even seen the show. I'm quite surprised-yet at the same time I'm not; there are some mean (in this case, someone with not enough research and a warped perception) folks out there in the net.
Reply
:iconthe-lostartistictype:
the-lostartistictype Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that was a whole bunch of gibber gabber!!!! wow people will bash ANYONE these days, whats next? elmo worships the devil???
Reply
:iconrynnec-z:
Rynnec-Z Featured By Owner May 30, 2011
I saw Rainbow Dash as a lesbian. However; I saw everyone else as a lesbian as well, and that's mainly because I'm a Yuri fan more than anything else. That's just the way I see things.

And that Rascism thing? I didn't notice any black ponies in the episode I watched, other than Nightmare Moon.
Reply
:icondemonfoxproductions:
DemonFoxProductions Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well... That's because you didn't realise that 'Zebra' is the "black" pony.

Quite obvious, right? And there is a whole episode about how racism is a bad thing!


Zecora being the sweet, well respected zebra! :3
Reply
:iconkirehashi:
kirehashi Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
My gosh, I read the original one, and no offense but I found it pretty stupid, why are people always looking for hidden meanings everywhere?

There are no black ponies because well is a purpurly world! Why do people are always critizising lack of blacks/gays/stuff everywhere? Sometimes characters come up in some way, sometimes they don't.

It's a kid's show anyway, it's not like there are any racist stereotypes, and it's not like kids will percieve that the rainbow pony simbolizes lesbianism or whatever...
Reply
:icondddchu:
DDDchu Featured By Owner May 8, 2011
ONE pony with a fruity accent (success of the dress). Who cares. Just like humans, ponies can prefer any sexual orientation they want.
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:iconshowman56:
ShowMan56 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011
Black Ponies = SLAVES?!!

PUH-LEASE! They're GUARDS!!
Reply
:iconsummersblossom:
SummersBlossom Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nightmare moon is black tbh o.o and shes a princess/queen too
Reply
:iconfoxxtrot:
foxxtrot Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011  Student General Artist
what.
black ponies = SLAAAAVES ?
episode one, the servant ponies wearing the same uniform are both WHITE.

rainbow dash = THE ONLY COURAGEOUS/TOMBOYISH TYPE ?
... countless examples. butbutbut applejack ARM WRESTLES rainbow dash. she's badass and awesome.

and twilight didn't get forced away from being smart. the whole moving-away thing was a test. people need to do their research :I

THESE PEOPLE MAKE ME ANGRY.
Reply
:iconmysterics:
Mysterics Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011
I love this show so much, ms. magazine doesn't have a freaking clue what it's about!
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:iconroseweave:
Roseweave Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011
FiM is one of the best shows out there from a Feminist perspective, as it's one of the only girls cartoons that doesn't talk down to you, and can be enjoyed just as much by people of all kinds of ages and/or genders.

I came into watching MLP at the recommendation of a friend, hating most girls toys, etc. You go into boys toys aisle, and while it's largely "violent" In a sense, there's still a lot of diversity there, you go into the girls toys aisle and it's a sea of shocking pink preparing little girls for motherhood and barbiehood.

MLP didn't seem like a "girls" thing at all when I watched it, in that regard. I thought the male fans of the show were just trolling, but they were genuine fans. It was amazing how it had been. Looking at it now, it reminds me a lot of the Touhou Project fandom. The difference is in Japan, Touhou Project was orientated towards males. And as opposed to creating a "good girls cartoon", it was trying to create a "clean" franchise in a sense, showing things don't have to be sexualised to be good, as things in the Doujin culture tend to be saturated in it. Both are populated by a very heavily female audience, have all different kinds of personalities and colourful designs, etc.

The characters in Touhou Project are visually cute, but don't suffer from the Moeblob phenomenon of having useless lumps of cuteness, in reality, most of the girls do not act very cute at all. It's showing that there's no one way to make a female character(quite a few tomboys in the cast too), and appearances can be deceptive.

I can see how certain aspects of MLP might offense some feminists, but I think some people get offended at anything "girly". There is no reason to reject everything "girly" just because. But that means you loose a whole spectrum of endearing things, just to make some kind of a point.

I don't believe in the philosophy of "taken what you're given" but at the same time I think a lot of the more aggressive feminists I've met have a habit of outright rejecting anything short of. I suppose this is true of every group of activists/idealists. I also feel like they think I'm being sexist just for wearing a dress.

These types make their voice very loud, but they are technically a minority. Unfortunately, they still have a lot of "political" clout, so you can't entirely ignore them either.

I agree with more or less everything you say in your post, it was a truly beautiful thing to read and I can't see where the original post is coming from. I agree a lot of racism gets glossed over nowadays, because people are bizarrely convinced nothing can be racist anymore, but the grey ponies, really? And I think most people see Twilight as being the "vaguely ethnic" character if you look at fanarts.

I imagine it must be very difficult swallowing your pride with certain things and wrestling with the suits to get things the way you want. I'm reminded of the 90s Spider-man cartoon, where they wouldn't allow real guns, vampires(changed blood to plasma), people on fire(lol Human Torch), or even for Spider-man to throw a punch, but they found ways to work around that stuff.

I think a lot of people assume Rainbow Dash is a lesbian not just because of the Tomboyish aspect, but because of the combination of that and the Rainbow which has become all too synonymous with gay rights, it almost seems like a missed opportunity for her not to be(though I suppose since Rainbow implies diversity, she may be more likely to swing both ways?). However I think the lesbian acceptance of something as colourful and girly as the Rainbow says something about stereotypes too.

I would be very interested to see how much the execs actually allow in terms of exploring this. I've always been offended at the idea that having two girls holding hands is somehow more R-Rated than a guy and a girl holding hands. Also, the lack of sexualisation in the FiM fandom is somewhat refreshing(though Pinkie's showgirl outfit was pushing it a bit!).

In my visual novel I'm working on, the Tomboyish character is actually one of the most aggressively heterosexual. In real life, it's actually a fairly common archetype, the slightly rough man eater, but it gets glossed over in the media, and it's partly the fault of the more extremist feminists who try to create a false dichotomy between butch lesbian feminist and male dominated femme.

I feel kind of bad for thinking "There's no way she ISN'T meant to be a Lesbian", I definitely agree hetero Tomboys need more exposure. Maybe next season, you can introduce one without Rainbows, to clear up any confusion ;)
Reply
:icontherealrno:
TherealRNO Featured By Owner Edited Mar 23, 2015
Well, CMC member and Dashie's surrogate "sister" Scootaloo (Scoots to the fandom) is a tomboy. 
Reply
:iconfoxshine:
foxshine Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011   Digital Artist
oh mercy... the only thing possibly more dangerous than pinkie pie.

Surprise, her prototype lol.

Neither of these creatures to to ingest caffeine, -ever-, lest we desire
to universe to collapse in on itself XP
Reply
:iconfoxshine:
foxshine Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011   Digital Artist
argh, how did i get to this journal, and not the other one. omglol
photoshop me into ditzy doo's place, I think im winning now.
Reply
:iconaleximusprime:
AleximusPrime Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You go Lauren! It was right of you to stand up for yourself in that rebuttal! :nod: I think that person who wrote the previous article was being too judgmental. He/She may have seen the first episode but I don't think they watched enough of this show to even do a good critique of it.

The whole racist thing is just bizarre! Sure they were darker-colored ponies, but they weren't slaves, just highly paid royal guards! And Celestia to me is white to represent her purity and protagonist side, not to represent a superior Caucasian race! Like you said, the only races in that show are Earth pony, Pegasus, and Unicorn, and they all seem to get along very well! :nod: No racism, clean as a whistle!

As for Rainbow Dash...... people can say what they want, but not all tomboys are gay, and the rainbow isn't always gay either. Saying so is just absurd to me, I know loads of tomboys on this site and not all of them are gay, some are straight and bi. There are many different kinds of tomboys. And in a show that was meant to be for all ages including kids, rainbows just merely represent beauty and color. Some adults, however, will take this out of context and probably go to call it homophobic or stereotypical, but as much as a of a kid I can still be at age 22, I don't see it as anything of the sort. I know you wouldn't dare put any quote unquote "homophobia" in a show, we all know you well enough to know you are better than that! :) I personally like how you made RD a tomboy, it fits her personality! Tomboys kick butt! :w00t:

And when Princess Celestia told Twilight to put her studies aside and make friends, I had no doubt in my mind she was right! Twilight was a bit cold and antisocial in the first episode. She was well-educated but she was ignoring more important things in life like making friends. Obviously we all know Celestia didn't mean for her to quit reading forever and just go out and have fun, but it never hurts to just go out and make friends and learn from them while you're still studying and reading. I mean, we don't wanna turn our kids into calculating, emotionless robots! Twilight still does read, but she has learned now that sometimes friendship is more important, and I think that taught everyone a very good lesson! That was what made the first 2 episodes the best in the series! :nod:

So in conclusion, thanks for standing up to that critic and showing them who's boss! Your show has caught the attention of a 22 year old male and has done a pretty darn good job of it! ROCK ON! :)
Reply
:iconkirvee:
Kirvee Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*sigh*There's a reason I tend to stay away from feminism.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my share of strong girls too (one of my own characters is a strong, tomboy type), but I find the majority of feminists over-react at everything.

Your show is awesome, and I truly commend you for actually managing to make me LIKE a modern cartoon (the last modern cartoon I actively watched and enjoyed was Danny Phantom....and then it, too, kicked the bucket, like all the other great cartoons before it).

Honestly, I wouldn't mind if you DID put a blatantly obvious, regular/recurring gay character in there somewhere. I wouldn't even mind if it was one of the main girls (as awesome as RD would be, she's a bit obvious. Fluttershy is not, though). America needs to stop being all "OMG, teh gay, keep it away!" and soccer moms need to gtfo. Gay characters don't necessarily need to be involved in shows that involve sex, and something addressing or including homosexuality shouldn't be shoved under the rug until the kid's a teenager. Parents need to realize that gay characters can be just as innocent as straight characters. No one fusses if a girl kisses a guy's cheek sweetly in a kid's show, but it suddenly becomes a big issue if it's two boys or two girls. And parents need to also realize that most LGBT kids know how they feel as early as elementary school. It needs to be addressed when they are that age, not when they're 13 or older and lost and confused.

On a different note (sorry about that, I tend to get carried away), I grew up with My Little Pony Tales and a little bit of the original MLP. I don't remember much more than that I enjoyed them at the time, but one thing I do distinctively remember is how dark some of the episodes of the original were. To this day I can remember the episode where the ponies shadows/energy were being stolen by one of their own and how at some point during the confrontation with the witch responsible, the younger ponies ran and hide behind the legs of the older, bigger ponies while the sky became really dark. I like dark stuff like that.

And regarding that, I also liked the first two episodes of FiM a lot because it was similarly dark. But then it's like....no other episode has done that again. I do love every episode, I do, but sometimes I feel wish the mood of the first two episodes would come back.

Plus, I absolutely LOVED Luna/Nightmare Moon's design, AND THEN WE NEVER SEE HER AGAIN! ;-;

*is done, sorry for long comment*
Reply
:icontherealrno:
TherealRNO Featured By Owner Edited Mar 23, 2015
Uranus/Neptune (Sailor Moon) and Korra/Asami (Legend of Korra) are examples of characters who are lesbian and bisexual (as Korra and Asami both crushed on Mako) in a show aimed at children.
Reply
:iconkirvee:
Kirvee Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the comment you replied to is a few years old as I no longer feel how I did when I made it.

I am aware of Uranus/Neptune though! I grew up with Sailor Moon, but at the time of the original show's airing their relationship was censored in America and you'd have to be in-the-know to find out about their real one (late 90s internet wasn't as expansive as the current internet). I also watched Legend of Korra and am aware of Korrasami.

There's also apparently genderqueer characters in Steven Universe and a confirmed romantic relationship between two of them that to the casual observer is a lesbian relationship.

So I have noticed in recent years more kids media opening up to the idea and I'm honestly very happy about this. I hope it continues.
Reply
:icontherealrno:
TherealRNO Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015
Another one is Adventure Time toying with the possibility of Bubblegum/Marceline [sp?].
Reply
:iconkirvee:
Kirvee Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I heard about that as well!
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:icontherealrno:
TherealRNO Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2015
I'm open to anything, so long as it represents the characters well.
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:iconjamiemeow:
jamiemeow Featured By Owner May 30, 2011
If I could "thumbs up" or "like" this comment, I would.

Why can't shows targeted for little kids have gay characters in them? It doesn't seem right, really. I'd like the idea of MLP having a character like that in it, really.

Also, yeah I loved Luna's design, I wanna see more of her :c
Reply
:iconkirvee:
Kirvee Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eep! Thank you, XDD.

I know, right? I suspect, sadly, that nothing much will be done on that front for a while because can you just imagine the field day all the Christian groups would have? It's a sad state this country is in. I mean, just look at how long it has taken for gay characters in teen shows to become either more properly portrayed or not as surprising. It'll probably take even longer for it to get down to where it truly matters.

She was a beautiful pony ;w;. Maybe we'll see more of her next season. I mean, Celestia basically hogged the majority of this season, maybe Luna can be all "GIMME MY SCREEN TIME!" next season, lol.
Reply
:iconmpsai:
MPsai Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2011   Digital Artist
I only found this recently but I'm compelled to comment. Okay so I've affectionately joked that Rainbow Dash is going to become some kind of Pride symbol, but that's just it, joked. Sides isn't Applejack pretty tomboyish too?

I couldn't believe what you said about developing shows though. Girls don't watch cartoons? Are they high? I mean damn, when I was a kid I was into like Gargoyles, and Ninja Turtles, and Batman: The Animated Series. I maybe watched Rainbow Brite and the old Ponies when I was really young, but you're right: they were boring.

This seems to be a problem in media still, assuming what girls want based solely on outdated stereotypes. Unfortunately, it seems like many girls are then affected by what they're given, and think it's what they're expected to like, how they're expected to act, and sadly limit themselves. It's wonderful that you've been able to make a show like this where the girls are real characters with personalities and flaws and as weird as it sounds get to take part in slapstick.

Some people in the industry are getting it finally, but its been way overdue.
Reply
:iconhystericaldoodle:
HystericalDoodle Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011
Exactly! All of those people think are that all girls wanted sweet, non- violent shows when really that's what most of us really want. Not all girls are little pansies who cry when ever a stain gets on their clothes. I for one am not one of those pansies.
Reply
:iconhystericaldoodle:
HystericalDoodle Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011
Sorry what I meant to say was we don't want non violent and sweet. Sorry a little error.
Reply
:iconneo-kaiser:
Neo-Kaiser Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011
I never got that. Why are girls usually neglected when it comes to Slapstick? Is it considered chivalrous to not let even girl cartoons get hurt?
Reply
:icontherealrno:
TherealRNO Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015
They do. Warner Bros., for example.
Reply
:iconmpsai:
MPsai Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011   Digital Artist
I dunno, maybe the assumption is girls don't enjoy physical humor... or, humor at all if you watch the old Ponies or Rainbow Brite or any old cartoon aimed at girls. Girls always have to be perfect and sweet and kind and pretty. Or at the very least infallible and mom-like. It's more like a caricature of a woman than a character, which I think is a problem still common among male writers and cartoonists. Especially the latter, often they use the same template for every woman they draw.
Reply
:iconneo-kaiser:
Neo-Kaiser Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2011
That's another thing, girls can't be stupid or mindless. They always have to be the voice of reason in response to the male characters that are stupid or mindless.

Unless you count falling down as slapstick though.
Reply
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