- Dan has a single mom and his uncle is his male role model. There are so many children in the U.S. being raised by single parents, but television shows often depict the "traditional" 2-parent family. It's nice to have a show that reflects a different family structure.
- Dan's mom is a police officer. 'Nuff said.
- Dan's social circle is made up pretty equally of girls and boys. And the girls aren't busy worrying about make-up and clothes. They are talking dino-talk right alongside him, playing frisbee, solving scavenger hunts, and just generally doing the stuff kids do.
- Although he is overwhelmingly preoccupied with dinosaurs, Dan is smart and curious and loves to learn - and that is totally cool.
I want my boys to see that girls and women can be strong and intelligent and creative and capable, so that they support these qualities in the girls they encounter at school and in our community, and so they don't play a role in reinforcing damaging stereotypes. I want them to see girls as their equals and treat them as such. When they work alongside women someday, I want them to treat those women as their equals and reap the benefits that come from partnering with smart individuals regardless of gender. Someday I hope they will choose strong women for their partners (if they wish to have female partners) and if they have daughters someday they will know there are no limits on who she can be.
Wild Kratts is also great about depicting girls positively. Aviva and Cokie are the brains behind the Kratt brothers adventures, feeding them the information they need about different creatures and designing their "creature power suits." It's just too bad they do all that work but rarely get to leave headquarters. I'm still looking for shows that the boys will watch that have girls in lead roles (and leading African-American characters, but that's a whole other post).
If only the show was Dino Danielle, we'd really be onto something.