Saturday, 17 November 2007

"Movies and bad science"

Julie Rigg 15 November 2007 - Movie Time ABC Radio National:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/movietime/stories/2007/2092253.htm
"Scientists have argued in the New York Times that animations like Antz and the upcoming Bee Movie are misleading the kiddies about what it is that ants and bees do -- at least, male ants and bees.
The article points out that these films show an entirely misleading 1:1 sex ratio of male to female. In the real world, it ain't like that at all. Only 0.5 per cent of a colony of, say, 40,000 bees will be male. Their sole job is to dance the mating dance with the queen and try to fertilise her. After which they die. If they fail and make it back to the hive, they're given a few more goes, and after about a week, heaved ceremoniously out of the hive to starve and die anyway. Try making a movie out of that, Jeffrey Katzenberg."


I am reminded of an article written by Maureen Shelly (former chief executive of the Australian Council of Businesswomen)in the press way back in Dec 1999. I was so impressed, I kept the article (and such a slacker Hausfrau that it was still on the pin board!). Her article was titled: Those Wiggles: wacky, wild, and misogynist? She discusses the roles of women in the Wiggles movie or, rather, lack there of. Now the Wiggles men, she notes, are all qualified early development teachers but their female characters are a big purple dinosaur, an annoying know-it-all girl, a comfortable matron and a woman with a fake moustache dressed as a policeman. Meanwhile those little Wiggler men always do the cute or preachy: eat right & be nice about people different from you thing. She also says - and this is good testament to how people don't really look around at messages or simply let it slide - "I only noticed this disparity when my two-year-old daughter, a devoted Wiggles fan, asked me where all the girls were."

How far have we really come?

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