Heroes, idols and SpongeBob(phobia)

Watching the kids immerse themselves in their cartoons I keep wondering who comes up with the ideas and concepts, there are some creative people around with some very abstract ideas on how to entertain our children.Some are good, they can be calming and educational, some are trippy or kooky.

Then come the other ones like Peppa Pig and SpongeBob.

God help me.

Who has allowed these programs to be produced and aired?

They make the males of the species seem like absolute idiots.

Let’s start with Peppa Pig.

The daddy is so dumb, it’s embarrassing for any male alive.

If you have had the privilege of watching it day in and day out you will know that the daddy is some kind of architect. He’s got an education and a good job. How can someone like that be so brainless? He’s also a musician, a painter and many other things that take a great deal of skill, talent and brains. But for some reason, the writers make him out to be a moron who doesn’t know his left from his right, he can’t read a simple map and is incapable of simple everyday tasks.

He didn’t seem to start out that way, but the further into the series, the worse he gets.

The same can be said for Ben and Hollie with regards to the King and the wise old elf.

Okay, these programmes can be educational, they can teach our children how to count, nursery rhymes, the alphabet, they help children believe in fairies, Santa Clause and also something about plants. They are not all bad, but there are many children programmes that can do those things.

My one year old can count up to four using her fingers.

Now to move on to SpongeBob.

He’s an airhead, alongside his best friend.

Are they meant to be teenagers? I don’t get it. I feel like I’m watching two children who should still be under the supervision of their parents.

However, these two live on their own, get up to all kind of mischief that would normally have the person arrested and everyone leaves them to their own devices. You have an avarice crab and a prejudice, angry squid. Is that the kind of world I live in?

In reality, the two main characters would have either been in prison or dead a long time ago.

Beavis and Butthead (for those who remember it) had more brains between them.

They were a bunch of stoned kids who liked to rock out.

They were, what many people, thought teenagers were really like. Also it was aimed at adults and wasn’t shown before a certain time of the night.

These other cartoons are meant for children. 

I worry about the example these cartoons are giving my children. Are they growing up thinking that all men are stupid?

My eldest have been trying to watch The Simpsons and if she watched Homer it would cement her belief that men are bumbling fools who are not good for much or in the case of Bart, trouble makers.

As a family we try not to watch much television, we encourage them to read a book or to play, which they are happy to do. If they have to watch a film, we don’t mind what they watch as long as it’s not brain rotting, however with five children we can’t keep vetting what they watch and sometimes you are just looking for that five minutes of peace.

I encourage films like; Inside Out, Frozen (even though I can’t be in the room when it’s on), Brave and Tangled. They have strong female leads and it empowers my girls and makes them realise they can do anything a boy can. I love the fact that you are lead to believe you are watching another Disney film where the boy will rescue the girl, but in the end it’s the other way round. Gone are the days where you cover your girls eyes with cotton candy so everything is rosy and make them believe Prince Charming will come to the rescue, Barbie doesn’t need Ken and she hasn’t for a long time. We have had a female prime minister and are in the verge of having the first female US president. I love it and I encourage them to strive for the stars and beyond. For the longest time, my eldest’s idol was Florence Nightingale which I thought was fantastic. Even in the new version of Alice in Wonderland, she kills the Jabberwocky instead of being the scared little girl who runs away. The Corpse Bride, for instance, the female leads save the day once again. Even in the last Terminator film, the Sara Connor is not a woman to be messed with.

Those are the kind of role models and ideals I want my girls to grow up with.

However, I feel that we shouldn’t feel the need to dumb down the males.

Yes, we are overgrown boys.

Yes, we do some of the dumbest things imaginable.

But we are not as stupid as we are being portrayed in such series.

At the end of the day, even boys watch these programmes.

Do we want them to believe that they will grow up to be stupid? Or, like this great revolution that’s happening all around us, which is empowering our girls, do we want the boys to feel like they are involved in a healthy completion, that they can be whatever they want to be and that’s it’s okay to be bested by a girl? There is no shame in it.

I’m not telling anyone how to raise their children or that they should stop watching these programmes. What I’d like to see is strong role models for both genders.

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