An example of the patriarchy targeting young women with male-centric sexual content and disparaging empowered female role models.
By Cadence Ohana
I do not have children. When I was younger I hoped it would happen for me, prayed that someday I would have the universe-centering experience of being a mother. It never happened for me but it happened for all my friends and sisters, and since I don’t have children of my own I’ve adopted every single niece and nephew I can, related or not. So I spend a lot of time in toy isles, because like a good aunt I spoil the children in my life whenever I can, especially the girls because our male-dominated patriarchal society is so hard on them.
I have been disturbed recently when walking down the toy aisles to see a resurgence of a popular anti-female brand from the eighties, My Little Pony. In case you weren’t around any pre-pubescent future-sisters in the eighties, MLP is a line of plastic-molded horse and unicorn figurines with Barbie-style combable “manes” that sell anywhere from twenty bucks to $130. Just like violence-glorifying anti-female GI Joe, Transformers and LEGOS Pirate Collection, MLP dies every few years, only to come back retooled as another slick way to rape our young proto-sisters’ minds.
There are countless ways MLP destroys young womens’ egos and encourages their devaluing of feminine sexuality: the obsession with “styling” the pony’s “mane,” the emphasis on fun and partying without reference to responsibility, the infantile fascination with round shapes and bright colors and names that are thinly veiled drug (Minty?) and genitalia (Pinkie Pie?) references. But I think the best way to see how MLP harms vaginakind is by sitting down and watching it, on a television or a computer monitor. Instantaneous experience is the life of the soul, after all. So let’s take a look at the line’s feature film, My Little Pony: The Movie, released in 1986 and relevant to this day.
The basic plot is your standard patriarchy “invaders are attacking, let’s go be stupid and fight each other to make them go away” story where no one ever sits down and really communicates. It’s actually been a while since I saw this movie and it affected me so adversely that I’m just going to describe it from memory and a few minutes on YouTube. The whole of the movie isn’t really important so let’s just go over the more obvious anti-woman parts.
1) All the human characters are white. Both of the “good” female characters are blonde with blue eyes, and I don’t think I have to remind anyone whose ideal that is.
I blame Ronald and Nancy Reagan for this fault. I’m pretty sure Reagan was in the White House when this movie came out and it has patriarchy written all over it. It wouldn’t be the first time the government put out propaganda to keep women down (see my review of Dolly Parton’s chauvinism-supporting-while-trying-to-appeal-to-feminists 9-to-5). The last thing Nancy Reagan wanted was for non-white girls to feel good about themselves.
2) The most “independent” of the ponies, voiced by known cultist Nancy Cartwright (who voices Bart Simpson in the anti-woman series The Simpsons), becomes a crying wreck after miserably failing to make it on her own. The lesson for young women is clear here: don’t try to be your own person and don’t try to do things on your own because you’ll just end up crying on the side of the road later. Of course, you could get lucky and have a man come by to fix things for you (gag me please).
3) The villains of the movie are three “witches,” one elderly, one an obvious attack on the Irish and one a BBW whom I assume is supposed to be on Welfare because she wears a metal pot on her head. Of course this sexist fair assumes the three need a male figure, the Shmooz, to actually be threatening, and the two sisters are portrayed as being completely incompetent.
One of these vilified women receives a blatantly pornographic “facial” from a plant that looks like a giant vagina. The vagina is represented as a horrific, disfigured carnivore that spanks one of the women while holding her over a cliff, an obvious reference to male-dominant rape and torture. This is what we’re teaching our young sisters to associate with the vulva.
Breasts are similarly disrespected and objectified. Notice the enormous emphasis placed on the size of the breasts and the gender-targeting use of flower patterns to suggest areola. These breasts appear to be pierced or mutilated in some other fashion, surely an intentional insertion of male fixation on ridiculous and unrealistic ideas about the female physique. Really, as a practicing witch I can’t say enough about how these poor women are portrayed by the bastards who wrote this story. It’s obvious that the “imperfect” witches aren’t welcome in the ponies’ perfect pretty world and they’re to be subjected to social, economic and sexual degradation for trying to rise about their patriarchy-assigned lot in life.
4) The glorification of the male penis and the pornographic “cumshot” occurs multiple times in this movie for pre-pubescent young women. Observe the way the “wise man” character (of course we need a wise male in a product for females) greets the human protagonist. Nor should we ignore the results of an attack from the male villain summoned by the incompetent female villains. I’m furious just remembering what a violent degradation of women everywhere this next scene is:
5) That leads us to the main villain, the Shmooz or something, I don’t remember, my memory of the movie was so traumatic that it’s caused a localized harmonic divergence in my brain so the memories are stuck in a pocket dimension. The Shmooz is a gigantic, sentient mass of purple semen. Now I’ve had some people tell me that doesn’t look like semen to them, and that’s just lies. You know it’s supposed to be semen, just like the semen they show on those “toothpaste” commercials. That’s a mass of semen, and it attacks by throwing itself onto our female protagonists. Is this Hasbro’s way of telling young women that rape is inevitable and they should learn to live with it? YES.
I could go on but I think you get the point. So next time you go down the toy isle, think to yourself: are these the role models I want to present to the young women in my life?
Final Score: 0 out of 5 pentagrams
Don’t let your up and coming sisters in the femvolution watch this crap!
Cadence Ohana is the author of several best-selling self-help books including The Secret of the Harmonies: Talking With Eighth-Dimensional Angels About Life, Love and Family and The Thinking Witch’s Guide To Harmonic Convergence And Carbs. She does not have a website as she believes the internet is a patriarchal conspiracy.