Two nights ago, we watched the 2012 film Mirror, Mirror. It is a retelling of the Snow White story. In this version, the women hold all the power and the men are bumbling idiots who need continual rescuing.
What princess would want to marry an overgrown infant at the end of her fairy tale, anyway?
The filmmakers' message is clear and intentional: women don't need men. Women are more powerful than men. Men are women's accessories. Is this a message to celebrate? Like Beyonce's "Girls" song ... do we want our girls to have to "run the world"? This just replaces one problem with another. Women are strong, but men are, too. Our world and our children need both types of strength.
Movies, books and TV shows that portray men as superfluous and weak are harmful. I believe in equal rights for women. But the images of women we see in 2013 are just as manufactured as the images that sold home appliances in the 50's; they're just different images. I think the greatest work we can teach our girls--and our boys--is not how to be independent but how to be interdependent. When men and women learn how to live with mutual respect for one another, I think we'll start getting somewhere.