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Singer Songwriter & Vocal Coach, Lizanne Hennessey - Voice Coach


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Where are the female role models in children's TV?

I am currently working on a concept for a children's TV show, which has a female lead role. During my research, I have discovered that there is a serious lack of female role models for in children's television.

Where are the female role models in children's TV these days?

How are women being portrayed in children's television?

Would 'Bob the Builder' be as popular if it had been 'Beth the Builder', or 'Tara the Tank Engine'?

Here are some related links:

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media:


I am curious what you think!


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    May 5 2013: Where are the male role model or father figures in prime time TV?
    • May 5 2013: Theodore, I don't watch prime time TV and am focused on children's programming in particular for this topic... but gather from your comment that you feel there is a lack in that area too? Maybe we need to expand this conversation - any thoughts on this one, TED friends?
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        May 6 2013: I think Theodore has a very valid point. He is examining the question at it's core, I suppose. That is, what and how are these role models after all.
        My observation on this may sound a bit radical. I think the whole concept of masculinity/femininity that our literature, arts, social customs and therefore attitudes espouse is flawed fundamentally. This view came under interesting scrutiny in my past conversation 'He, she or s/he?' http://www.ted.com/conversations/17103/he_she_or_s_he_should_langua.html
        I find no reason why there cannot be a 'Beth the builder' in today's world. Such differences have yielded interesting social movements like those of 'lactivists' where lactating mothers breastfed in public in front of a restaurant that disallowed a mother feeding a baby in the pretext of common etiquette.
        Except defined biological roles ascribed by nature on men and women with some difference everything else is a delusion, IMO. So role models should be as non-gender specific as possible.
        • May 6 2013: Seems you and Fritzie are on the same wave length, Pabitra!
          If the media places too much emphasis on a female playing a masculine role (ala 'Beth the Builder'), we get into role reversal and feminism, resulting in a competitive 'anything you can do, I can do better' scenario. Not good, not healthy, not educational.

          This is all extremely good to take into consideration, thank you!

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