I have something I need to say.  This really bothers me, and I’m just not sure there’s a solution.  It’s been weighing on me for a while, and I need to get it off my chest.

Dora and Swiper really bother me.

Wait, that’s not earth shattering news?  Dora’s ear-splitting voice is pretty obnoxious for a lot of people out there.  If you’re like me, you’ll do pretty much anything to get out of watching Dora – including tuning in to Strawberry Shortcake instead. *Shudder*

Dora’s voice and the stupidity of the plot are annoying, it’s true.  But is an aspect of the show that is almost sinister: the lack of true role models.

Source: www.popmatters.com

Source: www.popmatters.com

Let’s start with Swiper.  Why is it that we have to tell Swiper not to swipe three times before he’ll listen?  And when he doesn’t listen, why aren’t there any repercussions for his actions?  I struggle with this, as Laura is a typical little kid – who often doesn’t listen to what she’s told.

I don’t need a beloved sneaky fox (who is often in the car with us, which is just peachy) telling my impressionable child that it’s ok to ignore the first two warnings.  I really don’t need the beloved sneaky fox telling Laura that there aren’t any consequences for poor behavior!  Swiper swipes the bouncy ball and hurls in into the tree – consequence: Dora forces her subservient monkey to climb a tree to retrieve it.  Swiper darts gleefully out of the scene, nary a care in the world.  Hardly the sort of role model to teach children about responsibility and listening.

But even more bothersome is Dora’s attitude towards Swiper.  Clearly, Swiper is trying to get Dora’s attention.  He’s probably crushing on those sweet orange shorts, and doesn’t know how to get her to notice him.  It’s really sad when you think about it.  Swiper is putting himself out there, and Dora doesn’t even begin to try to include him in any of her activities.  I try to teach Laura the power of inclusion.  I’ve been that kid left out, and I would hate to know that my daughter was on the other side, purposely excluding potential friends.  Perhaps Swiper would play nicely if Dora would only invite him into her inner circle from time to time.  Dora teaches exclusivity and is not a nice friend.  And her voice is like nails on a chalkboard.

I have tried talking to Laura about the evils of Swiper and Dora to no avail.  Laura is insistent that Dora the Explorer is the coolest.  Just this morning, Swiper swiped my mittens while getting into the minivan, and my hands were really cold driving to daycare.  I made Laura make Swiper apologize (and he did) – but I know he’ll be back to his swiping ways again tomorrow.  I just hope Dora doesn’t start telling me I can’t sit with the cool kids at lunch.

Incidentally, I went searching on Google for an image of Swiper and found the above through this article.  It’s a fascinating look at the Swiper phenomenon, and worth the read!