Few crimes are as stigmatized as those that stem from pedophilia. Pervasive tropes of the pedophile as the serial child abuser, shadily lurking in public parks, have worked to demonize the mindset to a degree rarely seen with other crimes. This stigma is so strong that, in states like California, therapists must report clients who admitted that they viewed child pornography, regardless of their attempt to seek treatment. Such measures may seem like a strong stand against pedophilia, a mindset that contributes to the abuse and exploitation of thousands of children. But is criminalizing pedophilia in this manner effective?
The Imperialism of Animal Crossing
When I first popped the cartridge for Animal Crossing: New Leaf into my Nintendo 3DS, I had no idea I would be playing a game about imperialism. I had played iterations of the cute “life simulator,” complete with its talking animal villagers and customizable houses, since it first came to the United States on the Gamecube in 2001. The colorful art style and simplistic premise of New Leaf checked all the right nostalgia boxes, and I was excited to see what the latest iteration in the series had to offer. Considering imperialistic narratives was hardly the priority.
Animated Television: A Boys’ Club?
For many people, animated cartoons form a central pillar of childhood. Whether they are classics like Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry or newer shows like Spongebob Squarepants and The Adventures of Gumball, cartoons have been a primary source of entertainment for generations of children. Besides the occasional fart joke, such cartoons seem fairly harmless. In their representation of women, though, such shows can act as anything but.