Sunday, October 2, 2016

Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us

Article by Linda Christensen

"Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us" was such a true read in my eyes. I found myself saying "correct" to a lot of things that Christensen was saying about movies and children's books.

  As I was reading this I could not help but think about a children's toy in my life that I have at my house for my niece when my mom babysits her. We have a dollhouse that came with two families, one family who is white, and only family who is of color. This dollhouse which is typical children's toy, strikes up more of a conversation than I would have ever thought. Family members do not make racial comments, rather they are comments on how surprising it is that the dollhouse is sold with a family of color. Our generation and past generations have grown up with sexist and racist toys so to see this is surprising. Although I do think it is great that Fisher Price has started making dolls of color, like always, there is something to depict that this doll is not white and is in fact a person of color. Her hair is much different than the rest of the dolls hair. Something small yet very noticeable.

Arthur: As I was reading the article I was thinking of what children's shows I watched most frequently as a child that I would consider now to be racist or sexist. One stuck out the most and that is Arthur. I loved Arthur as a child for many years and my mom always let me watch it. One of Arthur's friends, Francine, is a monkey. Her hair is an afro and in an episode, she lives in an apartment with her family and her father is garbage man. The other white characters are wealthy and live in nice homes. Racism shown there. 

Disney movies are also an issue of sexism and racism. Christensen talks about The Little Mermaid and Cinderella. There are no characters of color in either movie. Generally, if there is a black person it is a servant, says Christensen's student(Christensen). A quote that stuck out to me is, "The stereotypes and world view embedded in these stories become accepted knowledge"(Christensen). No child notices what we discuss about this topic. As they watch these shows, they pick up on whatever the show wants kids to know. 

Points to Discuss in class:
When will tv show companies pick up on the fact that they need to include everyone? Also, when will people of color feel that they fit in with the rest of society? They certainly do not feel this way with the lack of people of color starring in movies and tv shows with lead roles. 
Since I did not talk about children's stories, here is VH-1's top 9 racist children's books. Interesting to read and see what has been chosen as "most racist". 


  1. Great point about how sexism and racism are two big factors that take place in most disney movies and I would have to agree. I didn't realize it so much until I read the reading!

  2. I did a reflection piece as well! This reading was perfect for that don't you think? Enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the different images you choose. So much to talk about on this topic!

  3. I really like the connection you did with Arthur. I loved the show growing up, but never really thought about how Francine's dad was a garbage man while the rest of the parents have "better" jobs. Good point!

  4. While reading your post I completely connected. Growing up my little sister always wanted the dolls that were black, and we would get the weirdest looks when we would checkout at the store or even when we went to someone house to play and she brought a doll. When I was younger I didn't think anything of it, but after reading your post it clicked why they gave us these looks.

  5. I loved the last few paragraphs especially. I connected to this in a similar way in my blog.

  6. I really enjoyed your post. So interesting on your connection with Arthur. My kids also grew up watching Arthur daily and I never even noticed what you said about Francine's dad. Why couldn't they have made Arthur's dad a garbage man? You don't expect racism to appear in shows that are broadcast on PBS. They are supposed to be educational and equal for all. Nice job!