I’ve written a lot of posts on this blog related to feminist issues or portrayals of women in media. I’m not a scholar or an expert on this subject, but I try my best to do it justice. But I have blind spots. This isn’t an excuse I’m making; it’s self-awareness. As a male, my upbringing and conditioning was totally different from girls and women and because of that, there are so many activities or points of view that I either take for granted or don’t even give a thought that girls and women can’t think or act the same way about. In the city I went to college to, I constantly walked everywhere by myself. I did so assured that the passersby wouldn’t catcall or harass me, or that someone who smiled at or said hello to me wasn’t trying to proposition me. And that is just one example.
One of my earlier posts on this blog was a post about Johnny Bravo, which I defended from a feminist point of view (although I stopped far short of asserting it was a feminist cartoon). Looking back at it, although I think the points I made about the influence that a post-Women’s Lib society had on its conception vs. let’s say a Pepe Le Pew cartoon are accurate, I may have been too generous to Johnny Bravo. I mentioned in passing that there is a possibility that the show inadvertently glorifies the Johnny Bravo character despite its effort to ridicule him. It’s a bit like how Norman Lear created the Archie Bunker character in All In the Family to be a takedown of that antiquated and reactionary conservative point of view he embodied but discovered that a large chunk of his audience agreed with him and sympathized with him constantly getting dogpiled by his liberal daughter and son-in-law. Anecdotally, I’ve have noticed that all of my other friends that I have talked to about Johnny Bravo and really like it are men. My female friends that I have talked about Johnny Bravo with don’t seem to like the show very much. I don’t know their reasons, but I can imagine that a character like this may not look so hilarious to people whose reality is constantly getting hit on or harassed by real-life Johnny Bravos simply for stepping outside.
Finally, this brings me to the Animaniacs character Hello Nurse.