Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My issues with DORAEMON and similar SHOWS

I am blessed to be the parent of a child who loves to sing, dance, read, role play and paint much more than she does the 24 x 7 cartoon channels.

Moms tell me horror tales about how kids won't eat, sleep or get ready for school without one of their animated friends constantly on the screen.

Often we analyse the effect of cartoons on children regarding their impact on reduced attention spans, violent behaviour and self control but we fail to realise how they would affect our kids social behaviour as well as their gender sensitivity.

Me and my child watch a show called Doraemon sometimes and I find so many things about it that are worthy of criticism and evaluation.

What the show is about?

If you are uninitiated into the world of contemporary cartoon channels and their shows let me tell you that Doraemon is a robo-cat from the 22nd Century capable of pulling out gadgets at random from his pocket, mostly to help and rescue to  his kid owner, Nobita.

This is the basic format of the show where a cowardly and careless Nobita keeps getting into trouble , and his mechanised friend Doraemon has to come up with a weird solution in the form of a strange gadget to set things right.


Courtesy : Google Images


Issues

  • Nobita detests homework, fails in all his tests and hides the test papers every time. Certainly not an ideal we would want our young kids to emulate. He is basically a pathetic role model for a child who then seeks impossible solutions with the help of a robot.

  • All the other characters in the show are the usual stereotypes  namely the bully, his follower, the hysterical teacher, the shouting mother, the carefree father. All adults in the show are also flawed and are always seen as either rebuking or giving in. The mother in particular is only expected to slog all day and "keep the family happy" whatever that means.

  • The flawed vision of life portrayed is very straightforward. Conflicts get resolved every time, good wins, evil loses and  the hero with whom the kids identify the most is always right, hardly how life really pans out to be.

  • All the little girl characters are portrayed in a hugely regressive manner and are wide-eyed, feminine and only good at baking cookies. They never are naughty or strong and always look up to the boys for help . Hardly a feminist ideal for my girl or even little boys who may think girls never take the lead in life, they are only supposed to support and remain BEHIND a successful boy and man later in life.

  • The cultural context of the show is completely out of place and the bad HINGLISH into which these are dubbed does not teach our kids anything at all other than dragging their words and raising their voice.

Now some of you may argue that this cartoon was created in the Japan of the 70s so its contextual to that time and place, but my 21st century child is viewing this nonsense sometimes and most of her friends are viewing it every day. Will it not affect their world view?
 
 
We regret the regressive speech, costumes, storylines  and settings in TV soaps , I think its time we look at cartoon shows critically and choose wisely.
I would say NEVER ever let your kid watch any of these if at all they do without parental guidance so that we can help them differentiate between good and bad in realistic terms.

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