After lecturing children about the scourge of systemic racism, the Cartoon Network is now telling kids about the many different “gender identities” they can partake in.
In a social media post on Monday, the children’s channel shared a comic strip about the supposed importance of not guessing someone’s pronoun or gender identity based on appearance.
“Here’s to not only normalizing gender pronouns, but respecting them, too. Whether you use he/she/them or something else, we acknowledge and LOVE you!” Cartoon Network captioned the post.
Here's to not only normalizing gender pronouns, but respecting them, too 💖 Whether you use he/she/them or something else, we acknowledge and LOVE you! Toolkit 👉 https://t.co/ZbhthybrdC
— Cartoon Network (@cartoonnetwork) December 14, 2020
“Gender pronouns describe a person’s gender identity,” says one comic strip. “Examples of pronouns are she/her, they/them, and ze/zir. A lot of people are learning about gender. If you’re comfortable, you can share your own pronouns.”
Another comic featured two characters teaching a girl about different pronouns like “they/them.” “I’m Alex! Mine are they/them too! I feel seen,” one character says.
“Using someone’s pronouns shows respect. We all need to be seen and loved for who we are,” says the final comic strip.
The Cartoon Network also linked to a toolkit from National Black Justice Coalition that specifically seeks to change language as a preventative for violence.
“LANGUAGE IS OFTEN A REFLECTION OF CULTURE, and when unchecked, can be used to perpetuate violence and oppression,” said the toolkit. “Words have the power to reinforce stereotypes, marginalize the most vulnerable among us, and support harmful ideas about race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Language also has the power to be a revolutionary tool in dismantling existing power structures. Language has the capacity to liberate and empower.”
“The Words Matter Gender Justice Toolkit is designed to facilitate uncomfortable and, at times, difficult conversations that can save lives,” it continued. “This specific toolkit has been designed with the goal of ensuring gender justice in mind, which means ending the violence that Black women and girls—both cisgender and transgender, as well as gender non-conforming people— experience simply as a result of who they are and how they exist in the world.”
Earlier this month, the Cartoon Network released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) schooling children about alleged “systemic racism” in our nation’s education system. In the video, the character Pearl from the show “Steven Universe” lectured about how “black heroes” are often erased from history, citing the case of Lewis Latimer.
“The lightbulb could more rightfully be attributed to Lewis Latimer, the Black inventor behind the filament inside the bulb,” she says.
“Hold on, we’re not going to mention why he invented the filament,” she later laments. “To create a better standard of living for people who had only just been freed from slavery. Are we going to ask why kids are apparently learning about Thomas Edison and not learning about Lewis Latimer? These textbooks are incomplete!”
“Thanks to systemic racism, most of your storytellers prioritized white accomplishments which leaves you with an incomplete picture,” she later added. “Ask yourself as you’re learning history, who is telling the story? Was this modified to make white readers comfortable? Are major details being left out that would credit people of color and center their point of view?”