Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Little Red as Gender Equality Cartoon

This cartoon by David Ebanez Bordallo from Spain won second place in a Gender Equality cartoon competition; the title 12 Comics That Sum Up How Men and Women aren't as Equal As You Think is definitely provocative.

Although I like the fairy tale reference...I really don't think this cartoon depicts women's rights all that well. (My personal favorites are below.) Once again it shows the same idea that equality means woman can physically conquer her enemies, and equality is about so much more than physicality (because let's face it, on average women are physically weaker...but it should be okay because that's not where value comes from!)

And if the wolf represents man, equality doesn't mean "subduing" him either.

Maybe I'm just reading too much into it...I definitely love a good female superhero. Bordallo's quote below indicates that he sees the "conquering" as more symbolic than literal. Still, I don't know that it should win second place in a contest sponsored by the United Nations Women.

But if nothing else the cartoon shows that we still tend to perceive Little Red Riding Hood as traditionally about a young, naive girl being taken advantage of, and the concept of her conquering the wolf as novel...when really, this concept isn't new at all. Many modern versions of Little Red Riding Hood play with the stereotype, but we keep forgetting that even in the Grimm's version of the story, after an unfortunate first encounter with the wolf, Riding Hood and her grandmother learn their lesson and outwit the wolf all on their own. *Maybe* this cartoon is a reference to the fact that we are already redefining fairy tales, because they are really about SO much more than passive females being rescued by men. But I kind of doubt it.

What do you think?

In Bordallo's words:

"Gender inequality represents one of the biggest challenges of our times. As a teacher, I believe in the power of education to change things. I hope that with proper education, creativity, and sense of responsibility future generations will be able to move more strongly in solving this and other problems that compromise sustainability and human happiness: I firmly believe in children's superpowers to overcome barriers that currently seem almost impossible to overcome."

Not fairy tale related, but here are the cartoons I liked best:
Laurence Herfs, The Netherlands

Agata Hop, Poland

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