Indoctrinating the Torture Invaders of the Future

Inspired by female warrior characters in video games and movies like “The Hunger Games,” toymakers are going butch, selling violence-themed merchandise like bows and guns, but colored pink for girls.

9 Comments. Leave new

  • alex_the_tired
    April 7, 2014 5:20 AM

    Great cartoon.

    And don’t forget: a portion of every pink purchase goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation (up to a preset amount) to help pay CEO salaries (and pretend to look for a cure for breast cancer).

  • I guess every silver lining has its cloud, we definitely don’t need any more children indoctrinated into the MIC, and our gun nuttery is already out of control.

    But… But… I was happy to see girls looking to Katniss Everdeen as a role model. A strong, dynamic character, fighting against oppression and occasionally saving her whiny boyfriend. Her bow was the first female-oriented toy weapon I saw offered. It’s nice to see toys other than dolls & easy bake ovens – gosh, girls might start to get the idea that they have options other than mommy or bimbo. That’s certainly a win.

    While violence is overstressed in our culture, humans do have a violent side. Methinks sanity lies in nurturing all sides of our inner natures. Compassion and altruism are intrinsic in the human animal, and absolutely do want to reinforce them in our kids But what of our violent side? My answer is martial arts. Kids in karate tend to *not* be bullies, they learn discipline and focus, not to mention the obvious health benefits. They learn to assert themselves based on their inner strengths, rather than their fears. Martial arts are based on Buddhist philosophies, and as such stress peaceful resolution over violence. (The best way to win a fight: run away.)

    Where boys’ fathers often teach them how to throw a punch (and less often, how to take one) girls get a very strong message that they must always submit. Ever see a ten pound house cat defend her kittens from a hundred pound dog? That’s a good thing, and female humans have the same capacity, providing we don’t indoctrinate it out of them while they’re too young to know better.

    • I thought Katniss was a good role model too until I realized the writer removed nearly all agency from her. What kind of role model let alone heroine doesn’t have to make major decisions? The only one she makes in the first movie is to sacrifice herself in place of her sister at the very beginning. For the rest of the movie, she is almost a prop. Anything and everything else makes choices for her: men, fate, chance, anything but herself. Most of the movie is her showing off her dresses and bow skills for the men in the movie and then being rescued by other men. Honestly, what kind of strong role model is that? Even at the end there was no consequence for not killing the boy. Being ‘strong’ and being a hero involves choices and taking the results of those choices. She doesn’t really make any moral stand on how she will conduct herself during the games. And every time she is in peril, something falls into place for her. Once one recognizes what she really was like in the movie, she isn’t a good role model from any perspective. I was alarmed that I did not notice sooner and that the vast majority of viewers do not ever.

      But really. Are you stuck in the ’50s? There are all kinds of kickass girl power toys now. And no one is stopping them from playing with boy or unisex toys. Honestly: mommy or bimbo? The only choice today is to be ball-busting career skank.

      • > Are you stuck in the ’50s?

        No, I’m all for the feminist movement. Those that aren’t are the ones stuck in the past.

        PS: Read the book(s)

      • Oh, come on already. Feminism has been so wildly ‘successful’ that if anyone, male or female, suggests that perhaps doing X is not a great idea for a woman, that person can be expected to be shouted at for ‘wanting to limit women’s choices,’ being old-fashioned, etc. To act as if this is the first time girls could play with ‘boy’ toys is disingenuous at best. Anyway parents who try to control too much what their kinds play with or what they read are going to breed resentment and stifle creativity for either sex.

        I wondered as much about the Hunger Games. So you have read the books and they truly differ widely from the movies? Are the books any good? Either way, a majority of the girls you were speaking of are only seeing the movie version Katniss.

      • Girls have always been “free” to play with boys’ toys the same way boys have always been “free” to play with Barbie dolls.

    • «My answer is martial arts. Kids in karate tend to *not* be bullies, they learn discipline and focus, not to mention the obvious health benefits.» Interesting – as a judōka in Japan during the 60s, I remember quite well that the martial arts clubs at certain universities (Waseda comes first to mind) were employed by the authorities to keep the less pliant members of the student body from causing problems. The notion that these disciplines stress «peaceful resolution over violence», while making for splendid propaganda, corresponds as little to reality as the pronouncements of the US State Department….

      But it is pleasing to see that gender equality in spreading mayhem and murder to lesser breeds is making great strides in the US ; sort of restores my waning faith in humanity….


      • Hey, Henri –

        Like any proper propagandist, I do tend to emphasize those qualities I like over those I dislike. It does depend a lot on the school and even more so – the instructor. I’ve been lucky enough to find dojos and kwoons which stress peaceful resolution or at least minimum force. OTOH, I did walk out of one school where the instructor had a Marine Corps drill instructor attitude.

        (bowing in your assumed direction)

You must be logged in to post a comment.