Are you looking for something a little happier? Here is my list of the Top Seven Awesomest Cartoon Ladies Of All Time!
Taylor has put up with my feminist outrage for a long time. When we sit down to watch a television show at the end of a hard day, it’s almost tradition for me to see an ad and blurt something like, “Come on! By using a woman they are insinuating that women are the only ones who are incapable of taking care of themselves without additional security!” And Taylor raises his eyebrows a little bit and agrees with me when I press him about it.
I can be a little out of control, it’s true.
My feminist rage is at its strongest when watching cartoons. It’s a fact: most all of the coolest cartoon characters are men. The boys are allowed to have complex motivations and badass fight scenes. They typically get the best jokes and tend to be the main characters. The women’s motivations tend to be “SHE IS A LADY. THAT IS WHAT LADIES DO,” and their jokes are limited to nagging and histrionics.
It’s true that some characters are worse than others, though. For your pleasure (and to give Taylor’s ears a break) here are the Seven Worst Female Cartoon Characters, rated in order of how much they conform to an unhealthy and unnecessary stereotype. You may note that I’ve left out the classics – Betty Boop, Disney Princesses…I feel like these characters, sexist though they are, are the product of their times. But now we have decided we are progressive! Our entertainment features women who can rassle! Women who know math! So our modern cartoons are devoid of girls who rely on sexuality or bitterness, right?
Are you ready to get your Righteous Indignation on?
7. Candace from Phineas and Ferb: I like Phineas and Ferb. The show centers around two young boys who live each day of their summer vacation to the fullest, often concocting wild and impressive schemes to get what they want. They are good natured and fun loving. Their older sister, Candace, is not. Candace likes boys and makeup and being a star, and hates fun and things that are messy. She often plays the role of the villain in the cartoon, but her motivations are completely transparent. It’s as though the creators decided she was A Big Sister and left it at that. Boo, Candace. Booo.
6. Roxanne from A Goofy Movie: What do we know about Roxanne from A Goofy Movie? The main character, Max, loves her and wants to impress her. Why? Because she’s hot, of course! And she like…uh. I guess we don’t really know what she likes. But she’s very….oh. I guess we don’t really know her personal qualities either. Well, we KNOW her name is Roxanne, and that she is HOT! And that’s enough for her to be a truly compelling character, right? Right? You guys?
5. Amy Rose from Sonic The Hedgehog: When you have a cartoon and video game franchise centered around a blue hedgehog, the natural choice for his counterpart is a pink hedgehog. It is the law of the wild. Amy Rose exists to chase Sonic with large hearts in her eyes, wielding a hammer that she uses to stun him into submission. When she isn’t chasing him, she is nagging him to ‘be more sensitive’ or ‘slow down and do things with her’. Flash forward twenty years and he will be an overweight husband in a dead-end job, and she will be a hot wife that only wants him to do the dishes, and harps on him to eat a salad now and again. Stay in school, girls!
4. Jean Grey from X-Men Evolution: Okay. I’m going to catch a lot of flak for this one, because lots of people like Jean Grey, but her X-Men Evolution iteration is…maybe a little less than impressive. In this era, Jean is a high school student. She is gorgeous, limber, the most popular girl in school, gets straight A’s, and has fantastic telekinetic and telepathic powers to boot! All this besides the undying love of most of the male characters. So, here’s what I don’t like about Jean: she is entirely focused on what others think of her. From the outside, this sounds like a solid motivation for a character, but Jean, in the true tradition of dim female characters, relies entirely on the males around her to define herself. Is she dating the football jock or sensitive Scott Summers? Is she being kidnapped by Magneto, or are her Phoenix powers being squelched by ultra powerful psychic Charles Xavier? Jean is a grievous cartoon stereotype offender because she purports to be a Modern Woman – smart and powerful, but ultimately she relies on the men in her life to boost her esteem and supply her opinion.
3. Raven from Teen Titans: In the bold tradition of Jean Grey, Raven is a heroine who seems quite heroic until you take into account who pulls her strings. She is the daughter of vicious demon Trigon, which has imbued her with impressive magic. The magic controls her more than she controls it, and when Trigon comes to earth, he promptly subjugates her to his whim. A great story would be if Raven found her courage and her strength and rose up to slay her father, freeing herself and gaining control over her power. Buuuuut Robin the Boy Wonder does it for her, and she is so pleased to be saved it establishes her trust in humanity. Yay, Robin! You’ve finally showed us all that we don’t need to save ourselves, as long as we can go from one male protector to another. Did I mention she does all this in a tight-fitting legless leotard?
2. Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon – Oookay. I know Tuxedo Mask is a dude. I’ve been focusing mostly on horrible female stereotypes, but male stereotypes exist as well. Tuxedo Mask is the Edward of Sailor Moon. He is a preteen girl’s ultimate fantasy. That bratty guy at school that causes her so much grief secretly loves her for no apparent reason! And what’s more than that, he is secretly a super hero! He always shows up at the right moment to save her from evil amid a show of bubbles and delicate rose petals. What does he like? What are his hopes and dreams? What are his fears? It’s a mystery. After all, Tuxedo Mask doesn’t need to be a real person, as long as he loves me. Sob sob sob.
1. I have reserved the number one spot for a cartoon creation that truly kindles the flames of my red-hot ire. I speak, of course, of The Ruiner. The Great Hair-Flipper, the Bunny-Smoocher, whose vapid stare and saxophone-stoked entry music sends me into paroxysms of rage.
I speak, of course, of Lola Bunny.
You guys remember the movie Space Jam. Aliens try to take over the Looney Tunes, and they challenge them to a basketball game. To tip their hand, the Tunes snag Michael Jordan. Hilarity ensues. When it turns out they don’t know how to play basketball at all, Michael Jordan says, in desperation, “Hasn’t anybody here ever played basketball?”
Lola Bunny has:
I feel like that is all I really need to say about Lola Bunny.
Tune in next Monday when I post my picks for Top Seven Awesomest Cartoon Ladies!