Ah, women objectification. Just as wholesome as metaphors for spousal abuse (The Honeymooners). As long as it’s couched in dim-wittedness, who cares? Surely showcasing these humorous antics with failure as the only result will teach kids it’s not okay to objectify women, right? Who cares as long as it’s funny! Or does it even matter?
Johnny Bravo was one of the three original shows created by Cartoon Network, along with Dexter’s Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls. The show was a series of shorts featuring the titular character, Johnny Bravo, a blonde, Elvis-like character, and his inability to attract women. Many jokes involved Johnny being shot down, or beaten up by women as he boorishly tried to charm them, usually by flexing. Johnny had a few catch phrased such as “Whoa Mama!” and “She wants me!”
Bravo had many similarities to Dexter’s Lab. Both shows were created as shorts before full season were commissioned, with both seeing retooling and brief hiatuses during their run. They two even shared writers: Butch Hartman, creator of The Fairly Oddparents, Craig Bartlett, creator of Hey Arnold!, and Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy.
As I said in the opening, I’ve always had a problem with Bravo. While the show was decently entertaining, the way he hounded women was nothing short of objectifying them. An argument could be made that it was over the top, emphasizing the humor, but this is only one step removed from reality. The same could be said of the over the top violence in Looney Tunes, but how many kids can get their hands on an anvil, or have ever seen one? Violence like that doesn’t normally exist on a day to day basis. Treating women as possessions does.
If a cartoon is perpetuating unacceptable stereotypes, it’s an underlying symptom of a fault with society. Johnny Bravo everyone!
Do you agree? Don’t you not agree? Do you not don’t agree? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.
That went off the rails, huh?