There’s no doubt we wouldn’t be the people we are today without having idolized our favorite characters from the TV shows that raised us. We all know they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. Our generation is generally more socially conscious than the one before, and maybe we have our childhood icons to thank for that. Just like Blair Waldorf was totally responsible for my headband phase, these OG SJWs definitely played a part in our generation’s attitude toward social issues. Here are some of their wokest moments.
If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the internet going crazy over the fact that the kids’ show Arthur just revealed that the teacher Mr. Ratburn is gay. The show’s season premier featured Mr. Ratburn’s wedding to another man. While this obviously didn’t happen during our childhood (seriously who even knew Arthur was still getting new episodes?), the show has tackled a lot of issues over the years that have taught us to be more understanding people, like in the episode where they introduce a character with Asperger’s syndrome.
2. Bill Nye the Science Guy
Another recent woke moment that blew up was Bill Nye the Science Guy’s appearance on John Oliver’s show. How could anyone forget the man who made learning infinitely better? Any day at school when the old TV was rolled in and you heard the infamous chant “BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL!” it was bound to be a good one. Damn, I miss being in middle school when I was young and carefree and didn’t have knee pain. Anyway, Bill Nye was just so wholesome. He almost made it seem like, at least for my quiz on the solar system that week, everything was going to be okay. Which is why him yelling at us all to “grow the f*ck up” about climate change is so shockingly hilarious and amazing. It’s exactly what the world needs to hear right now, and Bill Nye is honestly the most trustworthy person we could possibly hear it from. Even before this, he has had a history of being pretty woke, like the time he spoke on his show Bill Nye Saves the World about the spectrums of gender and sexuality beyond just X and Y chromosomes. Bill Nye is the educational voice that we have always needed.
3. Blue’s Clues
You may have not even realized that Blue from Blue’s Clues is a girl. Yes. She is a queen who doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes. She and her bestie Magenta were saying F U to the idea that blue is only a boy color and pink is a girl color all the way back in ‘96. No question, these female dogs made us the bad betches we are today.
4. The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls taught us, like, the rules of feminism from a very young age. They were not messing around about dismantling the patriarchy. Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom were the epitome of girl power. They were sister superheroes taking down any villains (one of which was literally called “Him”!!!) that got in their way. Name a more iconic trio. You can’t.
5. That’s So Raven
I literally can’t hear the title That’s So Raven without getting the theme song stuck in my head. Everytime Raven had a vision I was so jealous I didn’t have the power to ~gaze into the future~. But her forward thinking went far beyond predicting what she and her friends would get themselves into that week. She progressively tackled issues like body image, racism, and cultural identity, and opened all of our eyes to accepting ourselves and others regardless of their differences. Raven Baxter was such a boss and I honestly feel blessed to have been a kid at the same time That’s So Raven was airing.
6. Kim Possible
Another girl boss that challenged all the gender norms you’d expect of a superhero was Kim Possible. What’s her sitch? She was the fierce-ass leading lady whose male sidekick, Ron Stoppable, was clumsy and dorky without nearly as much power and suave as Kim. Instead of the boy being the one to constantly save the world, this show featured Kim battling villains and preventing catastrophes. It showed all of us that girls are just as (and sometimes even more) capable of kicking ass.
We for sure grew up in a time where pop culture taught us a lot of the right lessons. Don’t get me wrong, we had (and still have) a long way to go, but our generation’s open minds give me a glimmer of hope for a world that has seemed pretty messed up lately. So let’s listen to Bill Nye and get our sh*t together, okay?
Images: Giphy (6)
The holidays are a upon us and that can only means we’ll all be spending a lot of time at home watching Netflix. And sure, you could use this valuable Netflix time to re-watch every episode of Friends or veg out to Great British Bake Show (understandable), but you could also *drumroll please* learn some shit. Crazy, I know, but in addition to being an archive of all your guiltiest pleasures, Netflix is also home to a bunch of amazing documentaries that will help anyone who included “get woke” on their list of resolutions.
Here are 10 docs to add into your queue that will make you go from “the drunk one” to “the one who won’t shut the fuck up about this documentary she just saw” ASAP.
For The Vegan Environmentalist: Cowspiracy
Sure, you know eating meat is mean to the animals, but did you know that, like you with a hangover, it also requires an insane amount of water? Like, more water than we currently have. And unlike you, the Earth can’t send a fuckboy out to bring it Gatorade. This doc explores all the environmental effects of your obsession with chicken parms, *and* takes time to shade most environmental groups for ignoring this issue.
For The Business Betch: Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room
Like Katherine Heigel, Enron used to be like, a huge fucking deal, but now it barely exists. This doc explores how the fucked up finance bros of Enron low-key screwed over everyone, and casually kicked off the the financial crisis.
For The The Legit Activist: How To Survive A Plague
This documentary is about the AIDS crisis in the 1980s so — spoiler alert — it’s fairly depressing. That said, it focuses on the efforts of activist groups like ACT UP and TAG, and how they used peaceful protest to try and get Reagan to GAF about AIDS. It’s actually p. inspiring.
For The Religious Scholar: Jesus Camp
This documentary about an evangelical summer camp will confirm everything you ever thought about evangelical summer camp – it’s fucking bonkers. Yes, there is speaking in tongues. Yes, there is an insane rant about Harry Potter. And yes, they do pray over a powerpoint. Get ready to say “omg” and then get kind of nervous you just took the Lord’s name in vain.
For The Person Who Just Watched Jesus Camp And Wants To Get Even More Fucked Up: One Of Us
If you’re on a religious extremism kick (weird choice for the holidays but okay), One of Us is Netflix’s new documentary about three Hasidic Jews who attempt to leave their ultra orthodox community. It…doesn’t…go…great…
For The Person Who Can’t Handle Any More Depressing Shit: Meet The Patels
If you need to laugh for the first time ever in 2017, Meet The Patels is for you. This doc follows Ravi Patel (Master of None) as he tries to save his love life by letting his family play matchmaker for him. If you’ve ever wondered how dating is done in other cultures, this doc is for you.
For The True Crime Fanatic: The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson
This doc looks into the mysterious death of Marsha P. Johnson, an LGBTQ activist who was a major player in the Stonewall riot. Her death was ruled a suicide, but as any true crime fan can tell you, “ruled a suicide” is usually code for “100% did not commit suicide.” This doc has a little bit of everything — LGBTQ history, never-before-seen footage, and a juicy unsolved murder to keep you focused on anything but your Aunt Diane’s divorce this holiday season.
For The Social Justice Warrior: 13th
This Academy Award winning documentary by Ava DuVernay about racial inequality in the justice system is like, a must watch for any self-respecting liberal snowflake. Be warned, you won’t walk away from this one feeling great about America, but you haven’t felt great about America for a while now so it’s NBD.
For The Conspiracy Theorist With Time On Their Hands: Wormwood
Full disclosure: I haven’t finished Wormwood yet. That’s because it’s not just *one* documentary, it’s a whole series focused on the CIA’s use of experimental LSD during the Cold War. If you’re the type of person who has spent more than a few nights googling government cover-ups, this documentary will literally be your life for six whole episodes.
For The Political Junkie: Get Me Roger Stone
If you’ve spent every second since the 2016 election thinking, “HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN” let me introduce you to Roger Stone, aka, the Republican devil. Between his literal tattoo of Richard Nixon, and the fact that he told Donald Trump to run for president in the ‘80s, this doc will at least provide you with a new person to blame all of America’s problems on.
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