New About-Face Post: Dance on Broadway

by | July 6, 2010
filed under Feminism, Pop Culture, Racism

I’ve got a new post up at About-Face about the character representations in Dance on Broadway for Nintendo Wii. Here’s an excerpt:

Fun for the Whole (Skinny, Female) Family

“Instead of the single, abstracted avatar in Just Dance, Dance on Broadway lets you pick from four pre-determined characters per song, which are supposed to be true to the musicals. Both the box cover and game trailer are filled with pictures of people dressed in musical theater costumes, demonstrating how you can put yourself in the characters’ shoes.

On the one hand, having four characters to choose from (each with slightly different moves) lends more variation to the game, but the downside is that there are a lot of people who won’t find themselves represented in the character choices available.

The truth is, the Dance on Broadway trailer says it’s “fun for the whole family,” but it seems the game is primarily targeted to skinny, white women and girls.”

So head on over to the About-Face blog and check out the article.

On a partially-related note, I was browsing the archives at Sociological Images and came aross this article called “Toy Website Shows Girls Playing with ‘Boy’ Toys”. I really liked how it dealt with the issue of how boys continue to be discouraged from taking on “feminine” activities even while girls are increasingly being encouraged to participate in traditionally masculine activities:

UPDATE: Commenter Alyssa nicely summarizes why see this difference:
Unfortunately, we don’t see boys as being treated as unfairly when they don’t get to do “girl things” because girl things are considered inferior. It seems natural to people that girls and women want to do boy/men things because we see these activities as worth while. But a boy or man doing girl/women things is seen as somehow deviant because they are seen as wasting their time doing something useless.
But the truth is things that are usually labeled as feminine, are worthwhile. Boys certainly are disadvantaged when they are discouraged to learn how to take care of themselves. They are disadvantaged when they are discouraged learn empathy and social skills. Our view of all things feminine are inferior hurts both boys and girls.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with that for today. Hope everyone’s week is going well and stay tuned for some exciting stuff coming around as my one-year anniversary writing this blog approaches!

-Jarrah

 


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