Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mighty Morphin Power... Sandwich Maker?

Anyone else see the obvious gender stereotype here? Anyone, anyone?

Well in case you lived under a rock during the 90's and know nothing about the MMPR, there is a clear difference between one of these characters and the other five... the pink ranger is a female.

Couldn't you tell by the very feminine pose that no other character in this shot is using? Her legs are together femininely, and even her hands are poised a bit differently, higher up on her waist rather than her hips, and fingers flared outward.

Now, in the story of the show itself, there wasn't too much of a gender bias. The female rangers weren't ever necessarily the leaders of the group, but they got just as much screen time and fighting action as, say, the blue ranger.

No, just the fact that the one girl of the group was given the color pink was enough of an obnoxious stereotype for one television show to dish out. And not shown in the picture above (and again, in case you never saw the show), in other seasons of Power Rangers, another woman was included in the group, given the color yellow. Another feminine color. And while we're on the subject of stereotypes, for a long time, the yellow ranger character was Asian. Asian, yellow... really? And mind you, this couldn't even have been misconstrued as the color gold, because a gold member came along later... a male, of course.

So we have a blonde, white-skinned pink ranger, and a quite racially insensitive Asian yellow ranger. And when the yellow ranger wasn't played by an Asian woman, she was played by a black woman. Why couldn't we give the black actress the pink color?

This is how blatantly easy it was to be sexist, let alone racist. And worst of all, I totally bought into it. I remember as a child fighting with my best friend about who got to play the pink ranger. No girl wanted to be yellow, let alone a male oriented color such as red or green.

So have the Power Rangers gotten their act together in the past 20 years? Well let's see...

Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008)

Okay, the yellow is still a woman, but they replaced the pink with a purple ranger. But it's not really purple, it's "violet" and its animal is the wolf, so it's okay for a guy...

Power Rangers RPM (2009)

The pink is gone entirely now, I guess because who has ever heard of a pink racing car? But the woman is still yellow, of course.

And the most recent,
Power Rangers Samurai (2011)

Okay well, the pink ranger is back, but both pink and yellow are still women, and now they're shoved to the back of the picture...

But hey, at least the blonde white chick is stuck playing the yellow ranger now, and the indistinguishable minority woman is allowed to be pink. If that's not a huge step forward in women's rights everywhere, I don't know what is.

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