"Mars Needs Moms" = Anti-Feminist Propaganda {For Kids?}


“Mars Needs Moms” = Anti-Feminist Propaganda {For Kids?}

My husband went searching Redbox (a last alternative) to find a movie to watch for Thanksgiving tonight and he picked up “Mars Needs Moms”, a Disney film that circulated widely this past year.  We were hopeful that since the title included “moms” that it would be a family-friendly view, but I’m disgusted to report that it was not.  Perhaps many reading this already are aware of the tragedy of this film’s production, but since my husband and I rarely stay on top of the entertainment industry happenings, we were in the dark on this one.

So, why was I disgusted?  Well, the main premise of the film is that mars needs to abduct disciplinarian moms to program their nanny bots, who will then spank and discipline Martian children, minus the love and compassion of real blood, sweat and tears moms.  The film escalates more and more through each scene with some graphic depictions of moms nearing destruction as the aliens drain their disciplining skills in order to program their nanny bots.  That irked me…A LOT, but still held hardly a candle to the heavy anti-feminist overtones present in this film.

I am deeply offended by the assumption that feminists are somehow connected to man-hating and selfishness!  Are we really ok with children’s films telling our children that “complaining” about inequalities is “evil” and female success and authority equates to “reverse-sexism” against men??  I’m sorry, but this isn’t the lesson that I want to teach my daughter and if I had a son, I sure wouldn’t want to paint a scenario for him that makes it acceptable for him to silence female concerns.  We should raise our daughters with the strength to stand against inequality and our sons to support them and be a voice of reason to men who may not be aware of their privilege and misconceptions about what a woman should and should not be.

Honestly, this film shocked me in the worst way.  I really didn’t expect to see a children’ film that was quite so anti-woman…all the while claiming itself to be “pro-mom“.  Maybe some haven’t noticed…but we are ONE.  I am BOTH a MOM…and a WOMAN.  Yes, I know…shocking, isn’t it!?

Mars Needs Moms projects a highly anti-feminist message to our children that 1) men are mindless, useless and cannot contribute to parenting or family life, 2) women who are driven are selfish and cold-hearted and don’t see the value of cultivating a family, 3) these women are not capable of mothering and are actually repulsed by it, 4) moms are made for mothering and those who fail to tap into that truth are “evil”, 5) the act of feminism  — that’s female equality folks — can be summed up as a show of controlling, ravenous, man-hating motivated by selfish pursuits that leave children alone and unloved in an icy “mom-less” world.

Mars Needs Moms prompts our daughters and sons to believe that a choice must be made.  A woman can either be a GOOD mom, or an EVIL man-hating, she-beast.  Even more interesting is the fact that the main character’s father is hardly present throughout the film and in the beginning it is noted that he is “too busy” to commit his attention to his son…because he’s working.  However, at the end of the film, when the father returns home, the film runs right past the opportunity to demonstrate the father’s importance in the home.  No apologies for his demonstrated lack of involvement are given and the son seems satisfied in knowing that his care is solely in his mother’s hands.  Is this then, another signal to our viewing children that a father’s lack of involvement is both acceptable and necessary and therefore…good??

More ridiculous still, is the fact that this film is presented all the while America is experiencing one of it’s steepest inclines in fatherless-ness EVER.  Is it really the disappearance of moms that makes the world colder?  Or could it be the societal belief that a man’s place is outside of the home??  I mean, if women are beginning to work outside of the home, shouldn’t men be picking up some of the slack for more in-the-home duties??  The fact that many men are ok with leaving a double burden on women is a direct result of sexism.

Whether or not Hollywood will accept that women face inequalities, they do!  Women are EXPECTED to take on the majority (if not all) of parenting and this isn’t because women are better at it or because they “make the babies”, it’s simply because sexism allows men to view women’s abilities and responsibilities from a place of privilege.

But, the fact that this TRUTH was completely ignored in the film, made it even more volatile.  In Mars Needs Moms, no mention is given to the inequalities that women face, yet there is ample focus given to caricatures of man-hating, selfish women who are cold-hearted and “bad mothers”.  A good example is the female leadership (note: the “supervisor” in charge had a Hillary Clinton haircut…coincidence?) which forces males to live underground and who rely on robots to raise their young.  Please tell me why anyone would want their children to watch this drama playing out?

I wonder if others were also put off by clear racial and gender overtones visible in the film…what do you think?  Are the intentions of this film clear?  I feel like this film had a clear agenda…perhaps more than one.  Personally, I’m not one for the whole “Planet of the Apes”/”1984” references and I don’t think they’re appropriate for mentions in a “FUN” family film.  Call me crazy.

Learn more about feminist tropes & how they dismantle the feminist (read WOMEN’S EQUALITY) movement:



Facebook Comments


  • Biculturalmama
    November 26, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I haven't seen the film so had no idea what it was about. Didn't know it was like this, definitely not the kind of message that should be sent not just in a children's film but any film!

  • GG
    January 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Word! My kids just watched this on Netflix and I was appalled. What's worse is that we love the book, which is completely different and lovely. This movie was so transparently anti-feminist. Thank goodness it was a giant flop at the box office.

    • biculturalmom
      January 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks for commenting. Wow…it's even more surprising that the book wasn't like this. Makes me wonder about Disney…

  • biculturalmom
    January 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Yeah, it's really obvious in the film too. I was shocked by how far they went…

  • earl
    February 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    You have to admit there are just SO many "feminists" out there who deserve being ridiculed and undermined. Equality is great. Feminism is/has become a bad joke.

    • biculturalmom
      March 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Earl, I have to completely disagree about feminists "deserving" to be undermined and ridiculed.  Yes, there are some (a tiny minority) of feminists who may not handle things the best, but the vast majority are simply women seeking equality and the men who support them.  The feminism you're speaking of is in large part a myth, like the images here in this film.  It's a story that the media weaves to discredit women who deserve equal rights and media attention.  Their opinions and concerns are valid, even if mainstream male audiences don't agree.

  • henriklundberg88
    March 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    well  I must admit when I saw the film I didnt think it was anti feminist , like I saw the supervisor as just another villain and I thought the whole point was that the martians choose their targets based on the children being recorded saying they dont love their mother or they hate them. The boy also is always whining about his mother when she askes him to do things and he doesnt show much respect to his mum, but when tehy come back from mars he takes out the trash which he refused to do and really shows love and respect for his mum because the message was not to take your mum for granted, that was my understanding from the film. I mean in reality villains can be anyone. As my mum puts it whom is strong and independent women, and a feminist (not the mythical one) whom had to deal with sexism when she was working when she was the manager at her workplace. She once said  that “Women can be anti-woman as well”  , she uses it to relate to magarat thatcher whom many americans see as an amazing symbol but in the UK she is seen very different by many and was very anti feminism in her policies, and also continued to push the line that feminists where idiots. I think what my mum says still holds ground when you see women in america that condemn and put down women whom dont get married, have abortions and attack pro choice and can be just as cruel if not crueler then men and incredible aggressive in their attacks on other women in those battles.But it is true that the word feminism has been pushed to the side and many women in my generation think its anti men idealogy and also think that the balance between the sexes isnt that bad or bad enough to complain about and they just moaning. I know it isnt balanced world tbh.It is shocking when you see in america new attacks on pro choice including ultrasounds before abortions and if a person refuses in some states it being ok for a ultra sound scanner to be inserted against the wishes of the women some of those bills seem to have had support of female senators and congress people.  

  • hot_pants
    May 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Sounds like somebody can't take a little criticism to me.. >_>
    FYI I heard this is a free country..Anyway you don't see Asians tripping on how they clearly bashed Asian tiger moms in the film. Rest assured, this movie isn't going to reverse title 9, I think the battered daughters of the country are safe for now 

    • Chantilly Patiño
      Chantilly Pati&ntild
      June 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Thanks for the comment, but I think you're missing the big picture. Likely, this film will play no large role in setting a child's (or parent's) perceptions of gender, but if you look at the wider picture, you can't ignore the fact that several images/themes like this over time can have a serious impact on our children's (and our) perceptions of women and feminists. In the same way that "white washed" media makes skin color and culture a negative in our society, it can also control the ways in which we think about gender and how we (as a society) perceive women overall. Something to think about.

  • holy cow
    June 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Together with everything that appears to be developing inside this particular area, a significant percentage of points of view are generally rather stimulating. Nevertheless, I am sorry, but I do not give credence to your whole idea, all be it exciting none the less. It seems to everybody that your opinions are actually not completely justified and in reality you are generally your self not completely certain of your assertion. In any case I did take pleasure in reading it.

  • L. Byron
    September 6, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I had the completely opposite experience:

    The first few minutes of the film i was genuinely quite impressed. I've never seen such fluid, believable movement in digitally animated characters before, it's got to be at least as good as Avatar in that department. It's pretty cool people can make such an authentic looking world with computers.

    The problem is, what kind of world is it?

    Mars is a world which badly needs mothers, it turns out. It's a female-run planet (shouldn't that be Venus then?) where babies simply pop out of the ground in a kind of immaculate test-tube conception. We don't see any male martians, they are referred to once in the film then forgotten about. "The boys are sent below, where they are raised by the hairy tribe guys". There are no fathers. They don't need fathers. No one needs fathers.

    There's a section in the film where family is discussed & the writers go to some quite tortuous lengths to not mention the words 'man' or 'father' anywhere. Keep an eye out for it if you end up watching it. When Milo is asked by a martian what parents are, he replies 'you know, people like my mom, who look after kids like me'.

    What kind of message is this for little boys, like the one in this film, & the ones watching this film, who after all must grow up to BE fathers? Here's the message:

    You are not needed. A father's role is sperm donor & ATM machine. The miracle of life is a exclusively female domain.

    This is a misandric movie because there are no normal, ordinary men in it, only Gribble, a fat, creepy overgrown child (subtext: what little boys will grow up to be if they don't change their ways & get with the feminist program) & Milo's unreliable, absent father, on screen for literally seconds. Milo's future is laid out for us along these two roads.

    The female characters, on the other hand, are kick-ass & cooooool… with Ki, the strong, independent, heroic graffiti artist rebel who rescues Milo & saves the day. There are practically no other speaking roles except for her & the mother, who is wholly good. Flawless, in fact. She doesn't have to learn or change or grow, there is no lesson for her. I guess mothers are the target audience for children's films, after all they're the ones that are going to be choosing which films their children see. So i suppose it makes good business sense to pander to their egos.

    Awful belaboured dead-horse beating dialogue aside ("I'm looking for my mom. She washes my clothes. She vacuums the house") this isn't actually a badly made film, it's just a bit needless & empty, with shiny technology being used in service of some disturbing & hateful politics.

  • Bob
    December 30, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I have not seen the movie but I doubt it is as bad as manyof the movies I have seen where men are literally mown down in their hundreds to being portrayed as incompetent simpletons and bad fathers (who are by implication acceptably excluded from their family). I think it is important to ask oneself if this form of misandry is being foisted on your kids. I will never let my kids be subjected to propaganda, certainly not without me indicating to them that that is exactly what it is. Not an easy task thesedays!

  • Bob
    December 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    The triumph of gender feminists in media propaganda and their infiltration into many government departments has led to equity feminist (who are far less vocal) being tarred with the same man-hating extremist brush. To a lesser extent Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) are having the same problem, though this may partly be a deliberate attempt to undermine their movement by gender feminists/ misandrists themselves who dislike men organising to assret their rights in the family for example. There are a few MRA sites and organisations that have succumbed to this form of infiltration. This applies to the US and UK.

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