Gender issues

OK. I need some help here. In my quest to find quality programming for my toddler, I stumbled upon “Back at the Barnyard.” (For the record, the search continues.) But something about this Nickelodeon cartoon gives me the creeps:


Do you feel it, too?

This is Otis. Hey, Otis, that’s quite a rack you have there. What, wait, Otis? Are you a male? As in a bull? Hey, bulls don’t have big pink udders, they have … well, you know, bull parts.

I know I’m a city girl but hey, I’ve been to the country a few times. I visit the zoo. I paid attention in science class. I know my X from my Y.

Otis the sexually ambiguous cow has a deep voice, bulky shoulders and a thick neck. All qualities of a bull, yes? Or maybe Otis smokes too many Camel unfiltereds and has pulled too many plows around the field? Maybe someone slipped a Mickey into his/her hormone cocktail? 

Maybe we have the first-ever cartoon hermaphrodite? Perhaps the time is ripe. We got over the gay children’s character barricade with Tinky Winky of “Teletubbies” fame, didn’t we?


I can’t help but think that the show’s creators decided, based on this experience, that to make an anatomically correct bull character would be far too frightening for small children. (Frightening? How about hilarious. Have they been around any children lately?) Better to just make all the cows have udders. Udders that look like four toilet plungers fused together. Or the closest thing to a bovine Pamela Anderson. Either way, the udder is a far more familiar and comforting site, right?

As it turns out, the whole thing is some kind of inside joke with the creators. Yeah, except, as I said, the show is supposed to be for kids, right? Are they going to get the irony? 

Makes me yearn for simpler times, when beloved cartoon characters didn’t have genitals at all.


9 thoughts on “Gender issues

  1. i never processed that about otis. now, i bet sarah palin will ban him 😉

    of course, i have never gotten over caillou. he’s no hermaprodite, but he sure is the kid most likely to get beaten up for his lunch money once he enters elementary school.

  2. MZ, I’m not up to date with the cartoon cows, but this one has issues. You know, I’m not sure about the Teletubbies or what the deal is with them either, but they’re creepy in my opinion. Bugs Bunny was metro sexy wasn’t he?

  3. So glad I am not the only one who noticed. I was perplexed and decided I just didn’t know anything about farm life. “Otis, the sex change farm animal-coming out of the barn” Movie of the week I think……..

  4. Pingback: Mom Zombie » A few of my favorite things — and a prize

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge