Horton Hears A Tale Of Gender Inequality

Illustration for article titled Horton Hears A Tale Of Gender Inequality

NPR's Peter Sagal took his wife and three "excited and happy" daughters to see Horton Hears A Who and left super pissed. The number one-grossing film of the year so far caused Sagal to be "irritated by something even more annoying than Jim Carrey's tics." See, the filmmakers added a subplot to the Dr. Seuss story. Now the mayor of Whoville has 96 daughters and one son. Says Sagal: "Guess who gets all his attention? Guess who saves the day?" Ugh, yeah, it's the son, of course. Sagal's commentary (as a father with daughters) is only three minutes long but so full of ire and rage it's totally worth listening to. [NPR]



What bothers me the most about this is not just that the mayor's son is lavished with attention but that the mayor has 96 DAUGHTERS. Really, was that necessary? Why stop at 96, why not 6.022 x 10^23 daughters?

Probably because it fits the rhyme pattern of the Seusical in the story? Someone said something about the 96 daughters and 1 son being thought up by the film studio, and a quick google search wouldn't tell me if that was or wasn't true, but "ninety-six" has a great rhythm to the words that, if they were in the book (and Horton was never my favorite Seuss book as a behbuh), that's probably why.

But just because you disagree with some aspects of it, why does that turn you off to the basic fundamentals of feminism?

Because the basic fundamentals of feminism, as expressed by modern feminists, are no longer modern-ly relevant. Because much equality has been achieved, and many gaps have been narrowed by huge margins. I don't dispute the ongoing struggles of women, especially in other countries, but listening to privileged (especially by international standards) American women bitch about Dr. Seuss movies being bad for girls in terms of learning their self worth is just revolting. It's like when people blame Marilyn Manson for school shootings. If you must instill something feminist in your kids, teach them that they deserve an equal paycheck, or that their husbands have no right to demand that they give up their careers for family if they don't want to, or that women should be more assertive in the business and political worlds because that is where they have the largest struggles, or whatever. Betty Friedan was not concerned with cartoons.

And besides, actions speak much louder than words. And so much of feminism today is all fucking talk.