Today’s New York Times reports that shows challenging gender roles will now receive a rating from Common Sense Media, a group that offers online ratings for parents concerned about the shows their children watch. As a creator with a longstanding passion for gender fluid media, I am excited that parents will find it easier than ever to steer their children toward shows that encourage them to define themselves regardless of whatever gender biases they face.
The article focused mainly on the ways female characters are portrayed, celebrating shows that depict women working as scientists and engineers, for example. While Brother Bewitched does feature a female character breaking gender roles– Pattenia, who aggressively seeks power, it also examines a boy who discovers that he enjoys some things he once considered feminine and beneath him.
More and more, mainstream society has come to see that the gender binary we inherited from our ancestors does not work in the contemporary world, and in fact it functions against efficiency, pushing both men and women into roles that do not use their best selves to their best advantage. When a less able man rises into a management position over a better skilled woman, that hurts both the individuals and our economy, and when a man is discouraged from entering a field to which he is well-suited because it is a “pink collar” field, that hurts both the person and society as well.
Bottom line: these ratings will help more people be who they want to be, and that is a very good thing.