Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Of Patriarchy and Parades

I'm a sucker for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. For a couple of hours on Thanksgiving morning, I get to veg out in front of the TV with my sister, bury any cynicism, and bask in a cozy, saccharine escape from kitchen insanity. Also, Broadway. Lot's of it.

Last year, there was a mild hubbub over the fact that among the parade's iconic character balloons, only a small minority are female. I am not a cafeteria feminist, but I initially rolled my eyes at this one. The majority of the balloons aren't even human! 

What gender is Pikachu? Seriously, I'm asking.

Plus, if the costumed characters, performers and floats are considered, gender representation numerically evens out. I am now warming up to the legitimacy of the complaint, but I still think the numeric focus wasn't the best approach. Quality of representation is the main issue here, and, being a retail run event, it's not great. I seem to remember some sort of garish, pink princess float from last year. 

As all the event's attractions are based on some popular media, usually children's media, it's the source we should really be talking about. So, as a response to the real problem, enjoy an appropriately Broadway themed take on the subject. Happy Thanksgiving!

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