Two nights ago I emerged from Toy Story 3 feeling inexplicably depressed. Actually, it wasn’t really inexplicable—I just didn’t want to admit the source of my feelings: I have become the joyless feminist who can’t even enjoy Toy Story. I am that person.
I’m sick of apologising for it though. I don’t want to apologise anymore.
I found Toy Story 3 depressing because of the lack of female characters. This was compounded by the advertisements that preceded the feature which were all for children’s movies—all of which had male central characters. I don’t have kids so I’m not concerned for my kid. I’m concerned for girls and women. I’m concerned that, by omitting females or including them as mere tokens, popular culture tells girls and women over and over again that they aren’t as important and boys and men. I’m concerned that the representation of girls and women by the media is too narrow, and more often than not, negative. I’m concerned that I’m writing this in 2010, when we’re supposed to ‘have equality’ by now. I’m really concerned by the negative comments posted in response to the Ms magazine review . The review is a good feminist analysis of what is wrong with Toy Story 3.
If I’m a joyless feminist, then so be it. If joyless feminists are the only ones pointing out that ‘blockbusters’ like Toy Story 3 are bad for girls, then the world needs more joyless feminists.