In my blog post, I am going to talk about two very famous cartoons that show and glorify stereotypical gender roles. My focus will be on two cartoons, Shinchan and Doraemon, and how they portray stereotypical gender roles. Both of these cartoons are extremely famous among children, and these cartoons show children how a mother should do the domestic work and a father should work outside the home, putting in their minds that this is the normal way to live.
Looking at the cartoon Shinchan, we see how Shinchan’s father (Hiroshi) is seen going to work, not helping Shinchan's mother (Mitsae) with any housework. Rarely in the cartoon is he seen doing housework; he only does housework when Mitsae is not at home or is not well. Showing that men only do housework when women are nowhere to be seen. We also see in the cartoon that Hiroshi is seen working in his office every day and coming back home late at night. On Sunday (which is his day off from the office), he is seen just sleeping and watching TV, not helping his wife with any housework at all. Again showing the stereotypical gender role, that men, if at home, will never help their wives, no matter what.
Coming to Shinchan's mother (Mitsae), we see that she is always seen in the kitchen: she wakes up early to make breakfast, she makes lunch and dinner, she cleans the house and gives food to the dog (Shiro), she washes the dishes, she washes the clothes, all the housework is done by Mitsae, the food shopping is done by her, and she takes care of Shinchan and Himawari too. Showing that this is only a woman’s work. So the question is, when will they stop showing stereotypical gender roles in cartoons?
Now looking at the famous Japanese cartoon Doraemon, we see that the same pattern of stereotypical gender roles is visible. Nobita’s mother is seen cooking, cleaning, making food, and shopping, while Nobita’s dad is just seen going to work in the morning and then coming back from work at night; nowhere is he seen doing shopping for the house, cleaning, or cooking. This shows that even in cartoons, housework is considered women's work only. Not only this, Nobita’s mother is only seen as a good housewife, and all the decisions she makes are only related to the domestic sphere, whereas all the big decisions and decision-making is done by Nobita’s dad.
Not only this, Shizuka in the cartoon is portrayed to be a good wife in the future, showing that her only dream is to get married and be a housewife, despite being an excellent student, we don’t see her focusing on getting any jobs in the future; the cartoon just depicts how Shizuka is going to be a good wife to Nobita, and that’s it.
We also see that Jiyan and Sunio's families are also reinforcing the same stereotypical gender roles. Where the father works and makes the decisions of the family and the mother is portrayed as a good housewife who does the domestic work “happily”.
Not only this, we also see that in both cartoons, women are objectified in various ways. In Doraemon, Shizuka is always objectified by Nobita. Furthermore, Jiyan’s younger sister is also objectified in the cartoon, as she is a little chubby. For example, when Nobita sees his future and sees he is marrying Jiyan's sister, he freaks out, but when he sees he is marrying Shizuka, he likes his future, showing that men only want “beautiful” women. In Shinchan also, Shinchan and his dad objectify many women.
So I believe these cartoons are very problematic, as they glamorize stereotypical gender roles and objectify women. The impact these cartoons will have on children will result in them not acknowledging a change in gender roles and will think that these stereotypical gender roles are the only normal ones, and they will also think objectifying women is normal. These cartoons can have a devastating impact on children, as they are really problematic in many ways.
What do you all think? Should children be allowed to watch cartoons like these? Also, do you guys find these cartoons problematic? Your thoughts are appreciated.