As I get back to my original theme of children’s media, I would like to talk about their rights. In class, when we talk about racist and sexist media aimed at children, we usually end up saying things like, “How can they show these things to kids?” and “That’s why they have parents to monitor them.”
This is under the assumption that children do not have rights beyond the Universal Human Rights that should be afforded to everyone. The right to life, liberty, security and the like.
I had assumed that kids really didn’t have many right beyond that but I was wrong. In a couple of cases, minors have even been authorized to represent themselves in court when separating from their parents.
In 1899, the only time people wanted to hear from children was when they were selling papers on the street. But even those kids knew when they were being jilted and held a newsies strike that halted news production all over New England. They got their raise in pay because they worked together to defeat the paper conglomerates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer.
Some minors have proven in this way that they are competent enough to deserve the rights of adults. Not the right to drink or smoke, but to hold their own council and decide their own fate. For what it’s worth, I think that a couple of minors in some large scale production meetings would bring a fresh outlook on how media treats women, minorities… and children.