The Disney Princess panic

Ariel is mute through most of The Little Mermaid.

Ariel is mute through most of The Little Mermaid.

Princesses get fewer lines than their princes in most new Disney movies, according to a new research study reported in the Washington Post. Sidekicks tend to be male too.

Female characters spoke more than males in classics such as Snow White and Cinderella, but that reversed with The Little Mermaid, in which Ariel trades her voice for the chance to live as a human and woo her prince.

“In the five Disney princess movies that followed, the women speak even less,” the study found. “On average in those films, men have three times as many lines as women.”

In Brave, Merida is a talkative archer working out her mother issues.

In Brave, Merida is a talkative archery-loving princess working out her mother issues.

Don’t panic, advises Carrie Lukas on Acculturated. Tangled and Brave both featured empowered — and talkative — princesses. Males, including Olaf the snowman, have more lines in Frozen, but who thinks that movie tells kids that males rule?

Instead of sleeping beauties, these movies send “messages of female achievement, independence, and strength,” writes Lukas. “These princesses are going on adventures, taking action, and rescuing themselves and each other, rather than just waiting to be saved by princes.”

California: Black boys expect to fail

By kindergarten, 1 out of 4 African American boys in California is convinced he will fail in school, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, citing a report by an Assembly select committee. By fourth grade, 60 percent of black and Latino children score below proficient on reading tests; by eighth grade, 1 in 4 are chronically absent.

Oakland Unified is implementing many of the report’s recommendations, including “full-service schools with health centers, discipline policies that keep students in school and programs to support at-risk youth,” reports the Chronicle.

For example, the district has an Office of African-American Male Achievement, which supports manhood development classes at middle and high schools and other programs for black males.

The manhood classes offer black male students positive African American male role models who encourage the young men to focus on their education and future and offer a curriculum that includes everything from how to tie a tie to an analysis of historical black figures.

So far, black male students are doing very, very badly in Oakland Unified.