That just sounds ludicrous. Anyone wanting to check on Baird's academic assertions would have trouble, since these two studies she's referring to cannot be found on the Annenberg School website or anywhere else online. The Annenberg study was commissioned by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which has been compiling data on women in film. Davis, the actress who most recently played the president on ABC, told Newsweek that 17 percent of animators are female, and women form 17 percent of crowd scenes in family films. Only 17 percent of narrators are female.
Ridiculous -- and funny, too. How nit-pickingly intricate are these studies to count genders in "crowd scenes"? WHO CARES? As for only 17 percent of females being narrators, does Davis find it distasteful if her husband reads a bedtime story?
But Davis isn't done with her feminist footnotes. She also claims research shows that the more TV a girl watches, the fewer options she believes she has in life, and the more a boy watches, the more his views become sexist. A look at the Geena Davis Institute website shows that her group is marshaling feminist research attacking on all of these fronts -- the dearth of female characters, animators, directors and so on -- with the entire panoply of TV and movies, not just the family films.
There's nothing wrong with seeking more female directors, producers or major characters in Hollywood -- they're supposed to be feminist enough to have already imposed "affirmative action." But for Newsweek to single out family films as somehow shameful is beyond unfair -- especially since none of them are truly singled out. Tell us how "Finding Nemo" or "Toy Story" are the work of sexist pigs.
Baird isn't just an Angry Feminist; she's a hypocrite, too. Last year, her own magazine tried to embarrass Sarah Palin by putting an old photo of her on the cover in running shorts, suggesting this Caribou Barbie wasn't ready for prime time. Did Baird protest? No, she defended the cover since Palin "has been photographed and filmed more than once in aerobic gear."
Newsweek, heal thyself.