disney Princesses are often criticized. And while I see some negative points in the franchise, mainly its tendency to reduce the characters to pretty woman in glittery clothes, I also think that those people who rage against the Princesses as if they are the devil incarnates (it’s frankly disturbing), overlook something: They are not just puppets. They are characters in movies, and those film are way lebih feminist than some people give the credit for. At least they should get some credit for being film with female protagonists – god knows there are not a lot of them out there. But let’s examine what disney has to offer in the education of young girls.
If this artikel were about the most feminist disney Princesses, cinderella would be slightly higher on the list. I don’t agree with the complains that she is a bad role model, because she supposedly acts like a doormat and is only interested in finding her prince. She is simply a character who makes the best out of a difficult situation, and when she gets her chance, she takes it. No, the reason this movie ended up at the bottom, is this one line from the work song: “Leave the sewing to the women”. Yeah, thanks for that. There is no denying that this movie not only follows the usual gender roles, it also enforces them actively.
Okay, okay, hear me out. Yes, melati is fighting for her rights in this movie, and disney tries to give her some strong personality traits. But nevertheless, the story told is everything but feminist. For starters, melati is the only female character in the whole movie, with the exception of some harem girls and belly dancers. She is not even the protagonist, aladdin is, she is only the cinta interest. Her one contribution is to distract Jafar from aladdin towards the end, but not only are her weapons of choice a sultry voice and swinging hip, on puncak, atas of this the plan also fails, leaving it to aladdin to rescue her in the end. Really, if not for this one line in “Cinderella”, this movie would be at the very bottom.
8. Snow White:
Yes, Snow White is basically a house wife. Yes, she spends the movie waiting for her prince. But she is also a female character, who plays to her strength. She ends up in a situation she is not equipped for, but does she give up? No, she faces the new situation, and she manages to find a new halaman awal oleh offering her ability to cook, and very much manipulates the dwarves into doing what she wants. There are some problems with her character and her movie, but in my eyes, a competent house wife is still a better character, than an incompetent female action star. Plus, the one character who controls everything in the movie, who is causing the plot to evolve, is female too. Naturally the Evil queen has to fail at the end, but without some intervention from a bold of lightning, she would have actually won.
7. The Princess and the Frog
Yes, the movie with the “feminist” disney Princess is pretty low on this list. Why? Well, certainly not because of Tiana. When it comes to feminism, she is way ahead. The movie is another matter, and the main problem is, no, not Lottie (she is too crazy to be a statement about gender roles, plus, she is actually a very decent character and a very good friend…if anything she is a statement that even under a blond and berwarna merah muda, merah muda layer is lebih depth than one might believe), but the romance. Not that Tiana has a romance in the first place, but the way the romance plays out. First of all: Naveen is an a-hole, who uses women with no regard for their feelings and plans to marry Lottie for money. Second: He never does anything, to redeem himself. That he doesn’t really want to marry Lottie at one point but is ready to do it nevertheless is hardly a sacrifice, considering that this was his original plan, he just doesn’t feel any enjoyment about it. And third: If there is anything which really annoys me in film than the idea that men are some sort of overgrown boys who have to educated oleh woman. And in Naveen’s case, he doesn’t even finish his dicing, he is so slow that Tiana ends up doing it for him, and he abandons his waiter duties at the very first opportunity in order to have fun. So basically, career woman Tiana chooses a relationship, which is not based on supporting each other, but on her taking care of an overgrown child on puncak, atas of her own career. Not really my idea of gender equality.
6. The Little Mermaid
Maybe the most hated movie oleh feminists everywhere, mainly because they are under the misconception that the movie promotes the idea that it is a good idea to give up the own voice to get a man. No that’s not the reason this movie is so low, especially not considering that it makes a point of emphasizing that Ursula’s words are actually bad advice, and that Eric very much wants the speaking and lively Ariel, not some sort of demure puppet. Nevertheless, I can’t put this movie higher, mostly because Ariel isn’t particularly mature, and most of her actions are motivated oleh her cinta to a man she has only seen once. In principle the movie follows this pattern: Ariel wants something, takes action without any regard to her friends, family atau eventual consequences, and then her (male) friends have to bail her out. That she is allowed to rescue Eric from the wreck along the way doesn’t really make up for this.
For 90% of the movie, Pocahontas is even worse than Ariel, perhaps even worse than Jasmine. This woman seems to be unable to make any decisions. Does she want to marry Kokoum? No, nevertheless she never does anything about it, inadvertently pushing him to his death (not that anyone forced him to attack, but the whole situation wouldn’t have arisen, if Pocahontas had been lebih honest with him). Pocahontas inability to act is an ongoing theme in the whole movie, especially towards the end, where the only thing she has to do is to tell her father the truth in order to rescue John Smith, but nevertheless, she waits until the very last menit to do it. But at least, after that she is better in making decisions, and has her priorities straight. And is respected for her wisdom oleh her folk.
4. Beauty and the Beast
Yeah, yeah, I know, Stockholm Syndrome. I would call it Lima Syndrome, but the reason I put this movie so high on the daftar is Belle. For the villagers she is “the odd beauty”, but the movie actually suggests that she seems so beautiful because she is so “odd”. The three blondes who do nothing but dream of Gaston, with their blond hair and overly developed bodies are considered less beautiful than Belle, who has a mind and a good character to go with her outer beauty. Plus, she is the first truly proactive princess of the DP-Canon. Think about, with all of the princesses before her, they are mostly only reacting, atau manipulated oleh the villain. Belle is the one who chooses not to reject Gaston. She is the one who decides to cari for her father. It is her suggestion to take his place as prisoner. She is the one who runs away when the beast scares her too much, and she is the one who comes back after being rescued from the wolves. In short: She is a woman who decides her own fate. And she is not the only great female character in the movie. Think about it, who is the true decider in the household of the beast? Madam Pottine, naturally. She even tells off the Beast, something neither Lumiere nor Clockworth would ever dare.
I thought a lot about where to place the movie. It is one of the few which actually addresses gender issues, and I think it does a good job doing it without being too preachy about it. On the other hand the movie never really challenges the status quo. Not even mulan herself does, and in a sense it is a good thing. That her motivation is first and foremost not selfish (even if she pertanyaan the point herself) and that she basically is a “normal” woman, who discovers a lot of hidden talents in her new environment makes, imho, a way better statement than a character who is a warrior from the beginning. But since Mulan’s achievements are treated like a “once in a dynasty” thing, I decided for this placement for the whole movie…the character mulan itself would be on the very top, though, if that were my list.
It is no secret that Rapunzel is my favorit princess and some might say that her movie is so high on the daftar because of it. It’s actually the other way around. She is my favorite, because she is a very strong female character, and the movie does in this case nothing to undermine the fact. Let’s take a look at her. For one, she is basically a mix between the classical and the “I want more” princesses, getting the best of both worlds. Like Snow White and cinderella she is a character who has to deal with a lot of emotional abuse through all her childhood, and like both of them, she displays some impressive inner strength. And like the “I want more” princesses, she has a dream which motivates her to take action. The most important thing about tangled is that the romance is not Rapunzel’s main motivator – she is similar to Belle and mulan in that regard. But unlike Belle, she actually fulfils her dream first, before finding cinta with Eugene and eventually her true family. And while in mulan it is strongly suggested that mulan stops being a warrior after the movie (as always, I ignore the sequels), tangled actually ends with the suggestion that Rapunzel eventually became the leader of her kingdom, with Eugene at her side after turning him down a few times. Which makes her the only princess who eventually became a true queen.
There isn’t much talk in “Tangled” about gender equality – but a lot is shown. Rapunzel might be naïve of the world, but otherwise, she is a very capable woman who learns fast. Her relationship with Eugene is one of two equals. He is streetwise, she believes in people, they are both able to fight for themselves (and later for each other) and they are both capable of sacrifices. During the movie, they learn from each other.
And the other female characters are great too. Yes, the queen doesn’t say much but neither does the king, and the movie doesn’t even clarify who of them is the true regent – it could be the queen just as well as the king. And Mother Gothel is certainly one of the smarter disney villains, expertly playing everyone around her.
1. Sleeping Beauty:
Unexpected, isn’t it? After all, Aurora is considered the blandest of all the princesses, some people even say that she has no personality at all and is only a pretty face. Perhaps, but while she is the judul character, she is not really the protagonist of the movie, is she? The story is not about her, it is about Maleficient trying to kill her and the peri trying to protect her. And those ladies kick ass! To quote from the review of Sleeping Beauty unshavedmouse wrote recently:
“Name me a big, blockbuster, mainstream film made in the last fifty years that has:
A predominately female cast.
Where none of the main female protagonists are young atau conventionally attractive (this is if anda consider Aurora to be a supporting character.)
Where they are not sexualised in any way.
Where the fact that they are women is simply incidental and in no way effects their competence.
Where the female protagonists are working with rather than against each other.”
If anda are able to come up with one, congratulations, I thought about it for weeks and I’m still drawing a blank. “Sleeping Beauty” is not only a very feminist movies, I would go so far to say that it is one of the most feminist film of all time. And every feminist who tries to tell me that this movie is a bad influence, first has to come up with another movie which fulfills all those requirements. Than we can talk.