Thursday, June 24, 2010

Horrible Her-story

I really love the Horrible Histories programme on CBBC: it's good fun, a little bit "naughty" for the children with its toilet humour while simultaneously making history interesting. We went to the Horrible Science live show a few weeks back, and it was great.

But one criticism I have is the routine use of 'girl' as an insult: "The Vikings were actually big girls". #Head-desk#

Half the programme's audience is female. If you don't think we still live in a patriarchal society with casual sexism/misogyny built in, ask yourself how come being a 'big girl' can be used as an insult. You cannot use 'you're a big booooy' as an insult, try as you might. #Head-desk#

And it would be so easy to avoid - there are so many non-gendered terms they could use instead. What about 'wimp' or 'wuss'? Neither are going to get parents in an uproar, surely?


ellie said...

I hadn't noticed that one, love the series though - just the right amount of horribleness.

Is it wrong for a mum to slightly fancy some of the male actors in it though? Hope not.

Mephitis said...

:) Nothing wrong with that at all. I find some of the phwoars I've had on children's tv presenters quite alarming! :D Especially Nathan of HI-5! :o

Don't get me wrong, I love the series, it makes me laugh loads.

It's just things like when they did about Neaderthals in Britain '6ft1 and he's tons of fun' being replaced by modern humans and chasing bears etc, and it's all great :) - and then you realise women aren't included there at all - it's male figures on the screen, and the roles women played, such as in making beer etc are nowhere. 'Man' invented this, that and the other. Women are supposedly included by Man as an over-arching term, but I'm not feeling it.

It was humans. One little syllable would make such a difference. Having my daughter watch this makes me very aware of this stuff.