In this video, sent in by Martha, Lindsay Ellis asks why it is that female characters in general-audience cartoons, if present at all, are always plot points for the male characters. Her point is clearly sound, but damn does she marshal the evidence!  She appears to have really done her homework… but I have no doubt that those of you who are experts in My Little Pony, Transformers, Scooby Do, and She-Ra will have something to add.

Here’s another video on the same topic:

For more on the phenomenon in which women are women and men are people, see our analysis of the “Human” Bodies exhibit, girls as an afterthought, dinosaurs are for boys (and girls), traffic lights with female figures, stick figures and stick figures who parent, and default avatars.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.