This advertisement from GoldieBlox, a company that makes engineering toys for girls, makes you think about the gender of heroes in popular stories. The video reimagines scenes from famous movies and television shows such as The Matrix, Back to the Future, Rocky, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ET, Braveheart, and Pirates of the Caribbean, replacing the male leads with Goldie Blox and Ruby Rails action figures as the heroes of these well-known popular culture action stories. Goldie Blox is the main animated character for the girls engineering toys company, and Ruby Rails, named after the web application framework, is Goldie’s tech-saavy, coder, software engineer best friend. Interspersed between the reimagined movie and tv scenes, the video shows statistics from research studies about inequities of representation in Hollywood, such as “Only 1% of popular films star women of color,” “Only 12% of lead film characters are women,” and “Men get twice as much screen time as women.” Near the end, the video states, “All girls deserve to see themselves as heroes…we need more heroes, share this with yours.”
What famous movie scenes are being reenacted in this video? How many iconic action movies can you name that star female lead characters? Why do you think there are so many more male action hero leads, and why does this difference in representation matter?
Why is it important for girls to be able to view themselves as “action heroes?” How does this relate to the representations of girls and women frequently seen in movies, television, and other popular culture?
What statistics are shown in this video? What do they tell you about systemic gender inequities in Hollywood and other parts of the entertainment industry? Where do you think these inequities come from, and why do you think they persist?