" Stories. Girls regularly immerse themselves in stories with male protagonists and identify with male heroes, boys and men. But boys aren’t encouraged to identify with female protagonists or to idolize women as heroes to anywhere near the same degree. Fifty-seven percent of children’s books published each year have male protagonists, versus 31 percent female. If the books feature animals, 100 percent of them have male characters and only 33 percent have female characters, often cast as mothers or romantic interests. The average number of books featuring male characters in the title of the book is 36.5 percent versus 17.5 percent for female. Statistics about television and movies are the same, where fewer than one out of three (28 percent) of the speaking characters (both real and animated) are female. It’s not only a quantitative imbalance, but also a qualitative one in which girls and women are misrepresented. Immediately after girls watch television, their self-esteem drops. (This is true of all children except young white boys.)"

From this article which everyone should read. Depressing fucking statistics, and ones that highlight two things.

1. It's not pointless to discuss media portrayals of women and men and how those portrayals aren't serving us. Even if there are other issues (Syria, the government shutdown, etc.) that we also need to focus on.

2. Feminism is not just for women. Men aren't being served by these portrayals either. We are forcing our children into boxes and telling them that one box is better than the other. But either way, we're forcing them into boxes.