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You're the reviewer: how many moons?

We love media--movies, books, TV shows, etc.--that focus on interesting, unstereotyped girls. We're against stereotypes that can make girls feel that they "have to" be a certain way. Take princesses: They can be great, but not when they hide behind a male hero and don't have interesting lives of their own. And isn't it ridiculous that both real and animated male characters outnumber females 3-1 in movies for kids? And that way more than half of the lead characters in kids' movies are male? Think about the little kids who watch all these harmful stereotypes--it gives them the idea that the real world should be that way.

As you watch movies, notice what the girl and women characters do and how much they talk.

It's fun to do this with friends, too! Here are things to look for.

* Count the important characters--are there more males than females? How many more?

* Do female characters act in stereotypical ways?

* Do females lead the action or do they support the male characters?

* How are females dressed? Do they have more revealing or tight clothing than males?

* Is there a female character you'd like to be, or would you rather be one of the males?

* Check the movie credits--are the producers, directors, and writers female or male?

* What would you change if you were the screenwriter or director?

Talk about the movie with friends and family and see what they noticed. It's also interesting to see if the movie shows other stereotypes, too.

Does the movie show people of color, older people, or low-income people in unstereotyped ways?

Now give the movie a Moon rating on a scale of one (lowest) to five (highest). A Five-Moon rating would mean that the lead character is a girl who is an awesome human. She's not afraid to speak out and do things for herself and others. Five-Moon doesn't mean that every female in the movie is perfect, but most of the female characters should be as interesting and important in the story as the males.

While you give movies Moon ratings, thank the activists who have spoken out for many decades against media stereotypes that harm girls and women.

Our voices and actions make a difference!

Cartoonist and author Alison Bechdel invented the "Bechdel test" in the 1980s. She said there's an easy way to see if a movie is not sexist. To be unsexist, it has to include at least two females who talk to each other about something other than a man. This got people all over the world talking about sexism in movies. And now all movies shown in Sweden get a Bechdel rating!

Actor Geena Davis founded See Jane, a project that researches children's movies to see if they are sexist. She encourages moviemakers to make more gender-fair movies.

You can join other girls in the many movie conversations at NewMoon.com. (Online membership costs only about a nickel a day.) Members have all kinds of conversations about everything. Plus they share their own creative works--poems, art, stories, opinions, photos, and even videos.

More Movie Rees!

Here are some girl write-in votes--search "favorite movies" at NewMoon.com to find more recommendations.

Despicable Me 2 (2013, PG)--Lee, 11, New York ... Mary Poppins (1964, G)--Natalie, 10, Oregon ... The Parent Trap (1998, PG)--Stephanie, 9, Maryland ... Frankie and Hazel (2001, G)--Emma, 14, Pennsylvania ... Lemonade Mouth (2011, G) --Hadley, 12, North Carolina ... Chicken Run (2000, G)--Ahna, 12, New York ... Pitch Perfect (2012, PG-13)--Maisie, 13, Massachusetts ... Inkheart (2009, PG)--Claire, 12, Manitoba ... Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2005, PG 13)--Emma, 11, Utah ... 9 to 5 (1980, PG)--Jessa, 14, Michigan

Margot Magowan says too many movies put males front and center in kids' movies. She's the blogger at Reel Girl and an activist for gender-fair children's movies.
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Publication:New Moon Girls
Date:Jul 1, 2014
Words:636
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