I had a whole thing about this quarter and how hard it's been, both working for the university and in my own academic work. But that was boring and I realized that if I didn't even really want to write it, nobody would want to read it.
So! Instead. A video exploring gendered representations in children's cartoons in the 1980s and 19980s. I think that my girlfriend would probably have something to say about her dismissal of My Little Ponies (seriously, she's VERY knowledgeable about the collecting habits of this children's toy), but I don't know that she would disagree with the premise.
So why is it that male characters are expected to speak to everyone, but women only to women? Is it Laura Mulvey's male gaze? I'm not certain - although there is some value in what she is saying, I don't know that the gaze is the entire explanation, nor particularly accurate. So what is it, then, about our culture that makes characterization so static - female characters aren't just unidimensional, they're limited to a handful of characterizations.
And, really, what do we do about it? What can we do about it?