844: Meow Meow Meow

There's a part of me that's tempted to boycott Nickelodeon as they seem to be the worst offenders for gendered cartoons and general sexist worlds. Yet instead I find myself forking over $20 a season for Blaze and the Monster the Machines, the most to date that I've spent on a specific kids' show, because despite the fact that the monster machine ratio is 5:1 male to female and the world building is illogical and the advertised "STEM" component feels very shoehorned in, it's still the third best anthropomorphized vehicle show that I've found. My son asks for it by name and it does teach great concepts like 'friction' and 'buoyancy'. It's made me really think about how nuanced gender representation is in cartoons. Advertised ensemble shows like Doozers and Chuggington, tend to be beautifully gender balanced, though there are weird examples like The Octonauts, which technically is only a 2:1 ratio, but when you change the parameters from cast to main characters it drops to 3:0. Shows with a titular character like Jake and the Neverland Pirates (3:1 overall, but a whopping 5:1 in the first season) or the afore mentioned Blaze and the Monster Machines seem to be worse, maybe because they've chosen a focal point leader character. Then there's even the quality of the gendered characters. Jake and the Neverland Pirates in season 2 & 3 gain several female antagonists, something no other shows we've been watching can boat of and while Dinotrux has a sad 3:1 gender ratio, the females are just as hardcore and tough as any of the male characters, making them more appealing to the core audience in a way that I think Animal Mechanicals 3:2 drops the ball, since it has a character whose personality seems just be Girl. Ideally, I'd like my son to only watch gendered balance shows, but to do that would be to miss out on cultural cornerstones, great media that has a lot of other things to follow and ignore his interests. So in lieu of that I'm hoping to find a number of female skewed shows to balance out the male oriented ones.