Feminism and fun house mirrors

Art has, since its inception, been a way to depict and reflect life and society. Whether it be the crude paintings of cavemen, the poetic works of Van Gogh or the thought provoking scripture of Tolken. It is a rudimentary, straightforward or a personal take, or an extreme twisted into a story. It is something that people have used to convey how the world is or how they view it.

In light of this it has always struck me as strange that some feminist critique of art tries to ponder how society reflects the art we create (even the twisted fantastical extremes are a somehow molding society). To me, this feels illogical. Nobody goes to a plastic surgeon on the advice of a spoon’s reflection nor do we base our diet and self worth off the reflections we see in a fun house mirror.

When studies have shown that from the age of three children are able to discern reality from animation, fact from fiction, why is it believed that society as a whole are unable to do the same at a later age?
This critique believes people are taught and influenced by things commonly understood as fantasy by the general public. Things that have had multiple studies proving little to no long term influence on people.

Media and Young Children’s Learning

https://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/18_01_03.pdf

 

A longitudinal study on the relationship between video game use and sexist attitudes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844719

 

Yet beliefs, such as the ones listed below, seem to prevail from those who would deem the opposite to be true. When an inability to differentiate fantasy from reality is a sign of poor mental health, what is the implication on those that view art as an influence on development? Are they themselves, unable to separate the two or just believe this to be a widespread issue, or is it little more than the push of disproved theories to condemn ideas they personally frown upon in an attempt to gain authoritarian control over a subject?

 

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