Uh Oh…..so I totally forgot about my blog last week, sorry guys! For some reason i had thought I had already done it. So anyway, here it is….
Soooo……I am at kind of a disadvantage here because I hardly ever watch movies. What I have decided to do then is write about movies that I watched a long time ago and thats is; Disney Films!
Ever since I have been in the higher education system Disney films have been somewhat ruined for me. My eyes have been opened to the true stereotypes that exist within them and the gender roles that they are engraining in children’s minds at such a young age.
For example, if you look at Beauty and the Beast, Belle does not have a voice within the film; she is a passive, innocent, young woman who is controlled by a man (the Beast). The Beast consistently yells at her, denies her food and locks her in a room; in the real world this is abuse. However, Belle feels the need to ‘nurture’ the Beast, and even though he has treated her like this she still continues to care for him and eventually ‘falls in love’ with him. Because as Disney movies suggest; women are the nurturers; the wives, the mothers, the housekeepers and their only purpose is to serve men.
From every Disney movie, it is easy to pull out gender stereotypes and the subordination of women to the male characters in the film. In most Disney films, their is the ‘heroic’ male that saves the female and wins over her love; this is sending young girls the message that they need a man in their life, and no matter how he treats her (even abusively as in the case of the Beast) then the woman should still continue to love and care for him. Women are portrayed as being sexual objects for the pleasure of the male characters and also as servants. The female characters rarely possess any positions of power, they have little say in their future which usually lies within the hands of the male characters. In the case where a woman attempts to gain a position of power, say in the film “Mulan” for example, she was forced to disguise herself as a man in order to enter the army.
All of these messages can have negative effects on children and the development of the stereotypes associated with both men and women. I could go on and on, but I won’t cause this isn’t a soc. class….haha but hope you all enjoyed the blog and could get an idea of a feminist perspective on Disney Films.
The question I have is what to do?! When i have children do I show them these films, or am I contributing to the construction of negative stereotypes and gender roles?
Are any films appropriate or does it seem that every film gives into traditional gender roles?