Liberals might control the narrative of primetime television, but they are struggling to reach toddlers and young children, much to the chagrin of liberal parents. In a recent article, CNN contributor Elissa Strauss bemoans how young children are drawn to cartoons that don’t align with the progressive visions of their parents.
According to Strauss, parents like to see themselves as “purveyors of possibility,” and want their children to exist in a world in which “identities are both mutable and equal,” and “imagination and empathy reign supreme.”
Meanwhile, young children are drawn to “worlds in which identities are fixed, order trumps imagination and transgressions are met with routine punishment.” In other words, they are attracted to the truth.
Strauss specifically identifies two “fascist” shows that are all the rage with the kiddos: “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Paw Patrol.”
“Thomas” has been blasted by left-wing publications for being a “corporate-totalitarian dystopia” as well as “classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist.”
“Paw Patrol” has likewise been assailed by the left for conveying “gender and social inequality.” I’ve never watched it, but it sounds to me like the characters are a bunch of dogs.
She quotes one disgruntled mother who is concerned with the patriarchal message advanced by one episode of “Paw Patrol,” in which the protagonist chooses “two male pups” for a mission even after a female pup volunteers. Based on that single episode, the mother accuses the show of having a “glass ceiling.”
Strauss asserts that these shows cause progressive parents, particularly those who are “aghast at contemporary politics” to feel extremely uncomfortable.
These parents are “disturbed” by how children are drawn to shows that feature strong leaders and a strict view of right and wrong—as opposed to complete egalitarianism and utter chaos.
Kids like the “neat moral order” of these shows, which is why they are so successful. They find comfort in the concept of law and order, and they understand the importance of obedience. Sadly, they have a better understanding of how the world works than most progressive parents.
Still, Strauss suggests that these shows could “broaden their appeal to parents” by having the protagonists retire and be replaced by their “equally domineering sisters” because…feminism!
“Children would still get the satisfaction of immersing themselves in an orderly universe where rules are rules, and everyone is in his or her place,” she argues. “Just without the white guy on top.”
You know the left is getting desperate when it’s imploring the producers of children’s shows to swap out its protagonists in the name of social progress.
Here is a sample of CNN’s brilliant insight into children’s shows:
“Thomas,” the long-running television franchise about a group of working trains chugging away on the Island of Sodor, has been called a “premodern corporate-totalitarian dystopia” in the New Yorker, imperialist and sinister in Slate, and classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist in the Guardian. And yet people — presumably parents — spend $1 billion on “Thomas” merchandise every year.“Paw Patrol” is equally polarizing. The show, about a group of rescue dogs led by a boy named Ryder, is a regular source of complaint among parents and of adoration among their kids.Buzzfeed called the show “terrible” and pointed to instances of gender and social inequality that go unchecked on the show. In the Guardian, Ryder is described as a megalomaniac with an implied “unstoppable God complex.” Nevertheless, “Paw Patrol” is ubiquitous. Branded merchandise featuring Ryder and the gang outsells most other television shows, according to recent data from the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association. A recent Amazon search for “Paw Patrol” yielded 24,814 results.It’s tempting as a parent — especially those of us who are aghast at contemporary politics — to be disturbed by the notion of our children tuning in for a regular dose of primary-colored authoritarianism. What ever happened to “Free to Be … You and Me?”But, rage as we might, these shows are a source of comfort for our young children, whose id-driven brains seek out the order, stability and even punishment in their entertainment.Despite their reputation of innocence, children are bubbling cauldrons of conflicting feelings and impulses. This is especially the case during toddler and preschool years, when they become aware of their capacity to do bad things and struggle with understanding those urges.The neat moral order of shows like “Thomas” and “Paw Patrol” gives them a context for these feelings, explained Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive.” Good and bad are clearly articulated states in those shows, she said, and should one misbehave, the repercussions are clear and predictable.“This is an age group that is constantly dealing with all these negative feelings in themselves. ‘Am I good?’ ‘Am I bad?’ They are trying to figure out what that means,” Klein said.These shows also help children navigate their paradoxical relationship with power. On one hand, they desperately want some power. Watching the pups in “Paw Patrol” go on a mission or the trains in “Thomas” being useful allows them to feel as though they too have an important role to play.On the other hand, children take comfort in the idea that someone is in charge. To them, Ryder isn’t a megalomaniac, and Sir Topham Hatt of “Thomas” isn’t a neocolonial autocrat. They’re just the guys delegating responsibilities to their eager inferiors. And the fact that these leaders, both white males, look like most figures in position of authority in the real world is not lost on children.Via: CNN