Tag Archives: feminist

‘Wonder Woman’ (Quick Movie Review)

13 Jun

Last weekend, I had a movie day. I saw two long movies in one day at the movie theater. Spending money on movies isn’t normally my thing, but I needed someplace to cool down from the heat.

‘Wonder Woman’ was one I’ve been wanting to see for awhile.

I have grown up with the DC universe more than I have the Marvel universe. I watched the Batman cartoons on Cartoon Network as a kid, read Superman‘s comics, and was obsessed with Teen Titans. I know that’s not saying much in comparison to the serious fans, but it made Wonder Woman an attractive movie for me. Also, as a woman, why wouldn’t I support a female super hero movie?

That being said, let me sum up my feelings on Wonder Woman in one sentence: Your typical super hero movie.

Wonder Woman is getting quite a bit of praise from crowds. I can see why. It has the bells and whistles: Flashy lights, explosions, a moral center, and an attractive lead female character. Oh yes, and did I mention a lead female character?

Of course the feminists were going to eat this up. First off, it passes the “Bechdel test”, the test that requires a movie to have two or more women in a movie, discussing something other than men. With a look into the island of Amazons kicking this movie off, we are introduced to a warrior tribe of empowering women.

I was quite interested in this island. In fact, I found some of the other female Amazons on the island to be better representations of feminism than the leading goddess and would’ve liked to see more development for them. But no good movie can keep going without an idiot. Yes, the lead character has to be the “fool” otherwise this story wouldn’t have existed.

Yes, I said it. Wonder Woman played “the fool” in this movie. She was all brawn and no brains. I’ll give some spoiler examples…

When Wonder Woman, real name Diana, was trying to help the “strange American man” named Steve back to his home so she could “save the world”, there was this awkward scene with her speaking to him about the Amazons’ view of men, with her trying to understand why he won’t sleep next to her, and then her ultimately  convincing him that this is okay. I couldn’t help thinking to myself that she probably shouldn’t have been running away from all of her studies as a child. I’m sure the Amazons wouldn’t have just taught her how to wield a sword, but I’m sure they were adamant about teaching her the details of life. That is, if she had actually stayed in one of her classrooms. But because she focused so much attention on being strong, no one was able to teach her to be observant. If she had been observant, she would’ve been able to maneuver in the “world of man”. When the American man refused to sleep next to her, a shrewd warrior would’ve quickly caught on to the custom of man and kept a healthy distance.

When Diana first arrived in the world of man, she walked around sporting a sword and shield. A truly observant warrior would’ve observed the people around her and realized, “Hey, no one else walks around with their weapons drawn. I should keep a low profile until the time is right.” Without the careful shrewdness of a real warrior, I couldn’t take this Amazon princess seriously. Then again, I’ve never been able to take most super hero stories seriously, and I suppose this moment was to give us light humor and add flaws to her almost-perfect package, even if it didn’t exactly make her the “feminist” ideal. Furthermore, she wasn’t considered a real warrior. She clearly lacked experience.

I applaud the female director Patty Jenkins for bringing a female superhero to the screen, though. And she is exactly what all the other heroes onscreen have been: balls of power with dim wit. Very few heroes are depicted as intelligent creatures. She was treated equally, and that’s all we can ask for.

If there was one area Wonder Woman delivered on, it was on the battlefield. Sure, she’s stupid. But she’s not afraid to charge head-first into bullets and bombs. She shows no restraint or hesitation when she slices her sword through a man she assumed to be Ares (the villain she believes is responsible for causing WWI).

Still, her whole voyage was lead by her naivety.

I also wasn’t too convinced of her romance with American spy Steve. To me, from the first encounter, the romance seemed to be developing, which made it feel forced. It was bettered developed than the romances in other super hero flicks, but that doesn’t mean it was the best. I’m not one for romantic flicks much anyway, but the few that I’ve gotten into seemed to develop slower over time and moved about unexpectedly. I’ll take the Hermoine and Ron coupling for example (though I’m still team Harry x Hermoine). Hermoine and Ron’s relationship developed over the course of the series. Yes, it took several sequels to build them up, but for me, that’s how long it should take. In that sense, the romance didn’t have to stand in the way of the main plot and story. I can’t jump on the bandwagon of a love-at-first encounter match nor can I side with a story where romance becomes the center (or even a secondary plot) without the proper time.

Despite the hang-ups, Wonder Woman was still an enjoyable time. I particularly liked the scene where Diana (aka Wonder Woman) hopped out of the trenches, sword and shield in, and faced the guns firing at her, repelling bullets with her wrist guards along the way, too. Even though this part was in the trailer, something about this scene on the big screen brought out the best of the character: her determination and her strength.

Throughout it all, Wonder Woman also showed remarkable compassion for humankind, even when they showed more flaws than she expected. She was outspoken and spunky in her own way. She doesn’t have the slut-shaming mentality, so she doesn’t care if her skirts are above her knees, which made us all seem small-minded in comparison. She truly had a broader view of the world, even if the world wasn’t as idealistic as she’d assumed throughout the story.

Still, as “compassionate” as she was, she was blind to who her real enemies were and failed to truly investigate the situation around her. For example, I wish she could’ve talked to her indigenous friend a little more. So captured by her boyfriend-to-be Steve, it’s almost as if she ignored her comrades’ words regarding how Steve’s people wiped out tribes of other people. Once I’d heard of that, as a warrior, I would’ve immediately questioned Steve about it and that would’ve lead me to truly question the honesty and integrity of humankind as a whole. It could’ve opened a gate to more knowledge about humans and brought deeper truths to the screen.

But I forgot, Diana is stupid. And they obviously wanted us to continue to see Steve as tender and handsome. So, I guess some issues will just have to be tossed to the back.

And then her “compassion” did not compel her to spare a General’s life, even after she was repeatedly told that individual might not be who she thought he was. Heck, she failed to truly understand Ares, the God she was seeking. Her whole moral character seemed to sit only on the surface.

If you want to turn your brain off to real history, but you enjoy a slice of it with some mythological tales, lots of explosions, action scenes, and a strong female kicking butt, you’ll love Wonder Woman. If super hero movies are your taste, you’re in for a treat. It was a good movie, but for me, it could’ve been better.

I give this an 8/10.

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The Bechdel Test Amendment: The Bly Test and The Socratic Test

24 Oct

Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For_(Bechdel_test_origin)

I recently just heard about the Bechdel test. As someone who is all about equality, I am surprised I’m the last to know about this examination. I heard about this test when I was in a debate about whether Frozen was a feminist movie or not. I was told, “At least the movie passed the Bechdel test”.

The Bechdel Test was a short, three-step test designed in the 1980’s by cartoonist and feminist Alison Bechdel. She had a character in her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, that presented the idea. The character said she would not go to the movies if the movies were missing certain standards. These were the following requirements:

1) It has to have at least two women in it who…

2) Talk to Each Other About…

3) Something Besides a Man

Later someone added a fourth requirement:

4) The women must be named characters

I know, the requirements are amusing, but very well-thought out. It’s a good start, considering the ideas were formed over 20 years ago. This three-step standard seems to have become the deciding factor over whether a work of fiction is female-suitable, and thus whether the fiction makes it “feminist”-friendly.

Again, while I think the standard is a good start, I think the test is too simple and is flawed. Critics have pointed out the flaws. While I think it was an amusing strip, and good for a short read, I don’t think it’s thorough enough for people to go off of full-throttle. Here are a list of flaws:

1) While it mentions that a movie should have at least two main characters, it doesn’t specify whether those two females should be important to the story or influential (which the Mako Mori test covers, more on this later).

2) It doesn’t cover content. While there may be females in a movie, the content could be very sexist or very stereotypical in nature.

3) The idea of whether a man is included in a story conflicts with true feminism. Feminism is the idea that the genders are equal. The exclusion of male roles would not be fair or equal. It would also not make a woman’s movie equal that of a man’s because every “male-oriented” movie includes a woman in it. The extent to how much a man should be mentioned isn’t specified. Does this mean that a woman can’t even mention one man at all with another female? Does this mean that she can talk about a man, but not exclusively? Does this mean the content should exclude a relationship between a man and woman? Could a woman have a romantic interest that’s male, but still not talk to another woman about that love interest? There are too many blurred lines here…

So, if we only let the Bechdel test alone decide feminist content, we would be glossing over greater fictional issues.

mako mori

The second test that comes after the Bechdel Test is the Mako Mori Test. The standards for this test is as follows:

1) At least one female character…

2) Who gets her own narrative arc…

3) That is not about supporting a man’s story

I think Law and Order: SVU passes both tests…

This broadens the requirements a bit more, but still fails to cover content or gender equality. We are in the depths of the 21st Century. It’s time to bump up the requirements.

It seems extra strenuous to tack on more requirements. Even meeting these requirements is challenging. One of the reasons it’s so challenging is because there are not enough women influencing entertainment beyond being an entertainer. Though women have influenced literature, there are hardly any women producing music, music videos, or movies. One in six directors, writers, and producers are actually women. I’ll bet the greatest number of females are singing, dancing, or modeling…Being an image for the camera rather than behind it…

Another reason this is all so challenging is because it’s easier for male-oriented movies to appeal to both genders, but it’s harder for female-oriented movies to do so. Many times, female-oriented movies have to cave some of these requirements in order to get box office hits. Let’s face it: Men will not support a woman if she’s not attractive. Men make up viewer numbers, and if they don’t watch it, it will have a harder time being bigger than a male-oriented movie that gets viewership from both males and females.

The third issue is whether the standards match reality. The reality is that some women themselves are only interested in movies that deal with men and/or traditional feminine interests. Look at the success of the Twilight series. Look who wrote the series: A woman. In order to meet these standards, there needs to be a complete re-working in the mentality of the next generation.

To add, there are women who audition for stereotypical roles in movies, write about stereotypical lifestyles, and present stereotypical images in music videos all the time. If they support it, the issue will persist. As long as up-coming actresses settle for any female role, even if that role is stereotypical in nature, directors will continue to represent women the way they want to. The real question is: How does the modern female see herself, and will these views conflict with another female’s idea of “equal”?

Read my article: Feminism Today: Is it Real or Overrated?

The fourth issue is the true goal of all women. Is the Bechdel Test designed to promote a feminist agenda or some other form of female empowerment? We have to remember that female chauvinism and misandry still exist…Do women really want a movie that is equal to a man’s? Or do they want a movie that exclusively represents women and her glory? Women are not all united in what they want, so pleasing women on a universal level is difficult.

What is the difference between feminism, chauvinism, and misandry? Click me and Find out

The Bechdel Test hasn’t done enough to put men and women on the same level. This depends on if this is really what women want…

The Bly Test

Because of the above issues, there needs to be stronger, firmer lines and boundaries. I decided to write an amendment to the Bechdel Test. I decided to create my own modern, 21st Century test called the “Bly Test”. These requirements are for the ULTIMATE feminist movie. If you readers agree with my test, then you can set it as your standard. If you don’t, feel free to comment on my draft. I will always consider possible flaws in this draft, but I at least want to begin somewhere new.

Why the name “Bly”? I am inspired from Nellie Bly, a daring female reporter who invented Investigative Reporting. She went undercover as a mentally insane person and wrote about her experiences in an asylum. She also traveled around the world in 72 days! That female dared to do what no female before or after her would do and she broke ground in the reporting industry. This new test I’m thinking of is made to break new ground in fiction. If Nellie Bly can dare to be a different sort of writer, why can’t women dare to be something different in writing? Nellie Bly wrote about exciting stories with herself as the main character! And her stories would probably pass both the Bechdel Test AND the Mako Mori Test, if ever someone gets around to writing her story or creating her live-action movie. I’m really surprised there are no movies on this woman…

bly

That aside, I have my own standards. So, here I go.

1) The fiction has to have a female lead character…

2) With her own Story Arc…

3) That should not be supporting a Man…

Very similar to the Mako Mori Test. Sure, there are plenty of female lead characters in movies today. So, keep it rolling. We need more women playing the lead and not the lead love interest…I will keep it moving…

4) There should at least be one or more female supporting characters…

Yes, this bothers me. There are a lot of lead female characters, but I notice that all the other supporting characters tend to be male, especially in animated movies. For instance, in Mulan, Mulan was a strong female heroine, but she was the only one. All of the other supporting characters were male. Princess and the Frog had one female supporting character that provided comic relief, but the rest were male (Yes, I’m including the alligator and firefly). In male movies, most of their supporting characters are male, with one female love interest. Sadly, women only choose males for most of their support, too. It’s okay to have a love interest, but one work of fiction should still include more female characters as support. Even Hunger Games had more male supporting roles than female. Divergent took a risk and ended up having more female supporting characters, but the lead support was a male love interest…Not that this makes the movie different from a male-directed movie.

5) If it has elements of comedy, Main Female Character and/or Female Supporting Characters Must Provide Comic Relief and Personality…

Many females do not get respect for being funny. More male comedians get respect than females. I was very pleased when Terk from Tarzan and Dory from Finding Nemo provided comedy. Both female supporting characters did not turn out to be love interests. I was very grateful. Even Thor had one female comic character. I wish that more movies made women entertaining, and not dry and serious all the time.

And main female characters are usually even more boring, moral, and serious. Women seem irritated and defensive about everything. I don’t think that’s how they should be represented. Even Katniss Everdeen, Tris, and Hermoine seemed overtly serious and focused.

I find because women lack “personality”, they lack entertainment value. They are so serious, so focused, determined, defensive, and ambitious, they are too serious. We need some recklessness, some drama to the character, some humor from her.

6) All Female characters Must Be Named.

As was added to the Bechdel Test, it will also be added to the Bly Test.

7) The Female Must Have a Goal, Dreams, or Aspirations…

I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but I will. Just in case.

8) And the Female’s MAIN GOALS In life Must Not Lean Toward Fashion, Romance, Social Status, Singing, or Dancing.

We are missing a strong group of females in the sci-fi or technology genre. Most lead females, especially in fiction geared to children, focus on fashion, social status (like Material Girls or Mean Girls), romance, and music, like dancing and/or singing. The problem are these goals focus a heavy lot on appearances and the body. We need more characters that aspire to be rulers, adventurers, or even women who discover something or invent something. I would love a female to lead a story like Atlantis the Lost Empire. I’m not saying there should be no fashion, social status, singing, romance, or dancing AT ALL. BUT I feel women need to move away from these hobbies and goals just a tad bit more. It would do some good to have variety. Women should show the world that they have various interests and that they are capable of intelligence.

9) Female Lead Must Not Focus on Her Looks, Not even to Impress Love Interest, to Satisfy Herself, or to Impress Viewers/Readers.

Women in fiction focus entirely too much on fashion and pretty looks. Even Frozen‘s Elsa decided to dazzle the crowd with a glittery dress when she could’ve expressed her freedom with the clothes she had on. I have more to say on this on another article. A female must use her actions to impress the audience/reader, as well as any love interests or admirers. Is this so hard to ask? If women themselves focus so much on their own looks, how can anyone ever think women are anything more than pretty faces?

Surprisingly, Alice in Wonderland accomplishes this.

10) The Female Must Save the Day Without the Assistance of a Male.

The female must take down the final villain all on her own, with no assistance from a male. Mulan accomplished this.

11) If there is a female villain, She Must Be A Strong Female Villain and/or Rival, who isn’t evil because of her appearance or a broken heart. If he is male, he must still be a strong opponent, even if the hero is a female…

12) And they should have Female Minions

I’m so tired of these weak female villains who turn out to be victims. We need some seriously ferocious female villains. That’s what I appreciated about Divergent. Why must a woman only be evil or have ambition when a man is her motivation for wanting revenge or anything else in life? And I know a villain isn’t flattering, but sometimes a movie is as good as it’s villain. Look at the Joker from The Dark Knight? Even a good female anti-hero would suffice, one like Jack Sparrow. Women are too, well, stuck-in-the-mud with righteous views. Why can’t women be good super villains or confusing ani-heroines? Why should female heroes only have villains that are easy to take down? That was what was disappointing about Frozen. Aren’t women strong enough to be challenged in a a great way? Villains test the strength of main characters. Without a good antagonist, how can we admire the hero? And what better way to challenge a female heroine than with another strong female antagonist?

13) All female animal characters should not be defined with a bow or with the color pink.

As if all girls like pink. I hated pink as a child, and I still do. It’s my least favorite color. I’m the least attracted to characters in pink, which is why the Pink Ranger in Power Rangers was my least favorite Ranger…The bow thing just adds to much girlishness. This wouldn’t happen if #4 was exercised. Once you use the bow on one character, what will you use on the second female? Oh, maybe something pink. How frustrating. Again, this is why I liked Terk and Dory.

There is also a sad lack of female minions. The male minions even take center-stage over female minions.

Basically, if a movie meets these requirements, some of our feminist problems will be solved. There would leave no room for women to complain. We covered adventure and action because without fashion, performing arts, and romance, what is there left in genres? Sci-fi, action, adventure, or family drama is left! We covered women being a main character for once. We covered women having a shot at supporting other females, and we even covered villain equality. We covered content and goals. Everything else should be up to the creativity of the writer. If we put too many rules on this, it would actually be limiting.

The Socratic Test

While putting standards on a movie that is geared towards women with female leads is challenging enough, it’s really not enough to equalize the genders. There are still challenges. Really, to achieve a completely feminist movie experience, we have to alter our views of men in movies as well. Really, the reason many women are portrayed so stereotypical is because men are also portrayed as one-dimensional. The roles that our men play influences the  roles that will be pinned on women and vice versa. If women have stereotypical views of men, how can they expect men to open their minds on women? If men have very rigid views of themselves, they will be rigid in the way they view women. For instance, if a woman expects a man to be the bread-winner in the household instead of stay-at-home dad, to be the brave one, and to suck up all of his emotions instead of crying, then who does she think should play those roles? It will fall back on her. It will have a reverse effect.

I remember reading the comments’ section on Youtube about the recent “Brony” movement. You know what was sad? There were women who said they wouldn’t date a man who liked ponies. Many of the girls had the nerve to say, “They want a manly man”. What, by chance ladies, is a manly man? If you think that a man should be a certain way, if you are that way, do you believe that is “acting like a man”?

Read article on Bronies: Brony Movement

Read up on the Feminist Frequency, as she talks about tropes dealing with men and women: A Real Feminist

Therefore, the next challenge rises.

The Socratic Test is named after the Greek philosopher who was the principal founder of many of the modern philosophies many westerners go by today. He believed that people should be concerned about the welfare of their family’s “souls”. He believed virtue could be taught, and that successful fathers did not necessarily make successful sons. He believed that each person had their own virtues separate from their upbringing, and he encouraged men to develop friendship and love among themselves. He believed that good virtues were more valuable than possessions. I believe he had the best idea on life for men.

Socrates, AC Grayling

The biggest problem is again, deciphering what is real and what is ideal. So, if any of you disagree with these standards, feel free to comment and explain why you do.

The problem with this test is that some men are very traditional and very rigid. In fact, men tend to be more closed-minded in this regard than women. Thus, men still admire the tropes that have actually been to the detriment and decline of men. It leaves men trapped in stereotypes and limits the options men have.

So, here are my standards for male and female-oriented movies:

1) The male protagonist must not have the main objective of winning a female love interest, she must not be the reason for his goals, neither must the Villain use her as leverage. 

I can’t tell you how many male movies are like this. In fact, what male movie does not have a woman as his main objective? Most males seem to do everything to impress a woman. And worse, the villain always uses her to get under the main protagonist’s skin.

This goes for female-directed movies, too. Most of the men in these movies serve no other purpose than to be the love interest. Their goals in most media is geared towards women. Even in a music video, the men are portrayed as showing interest in the woman while she just shyly rejects him. His goal throughout the video is usually to obtain a WOMAN. This shows people that men live their lives through women, and without women, they don’t have a life.

In fact, if we omit the women out of every male-oriented movie, for many, there would be no story.

I’m not saying there should be NO women or no female love interests. But she should not be the main goal or a reason the villain finds the hero weak. If this stereotype is omitted, that would be the end of damsels-in-distress, therefore, fitting a feminist agenda as well as showing more sides to men.

Superman fails this so strongly. Pretty much, every super hero movie existing today does.

2) The Story must not be focused on Sports if the male is the main character.

I’m not saying that the male lead can’t have an interest in sports, however, I don’t think the movie should be sports-focused. There is a heavy load of men missing in other professions on the big screen. This is especially evident in the black community. Black men are only portrayed as successful when they are athletes. This limits their options. Even movies about famous historical figures center around African American athletes. What about Black inventors? Artists? Dancers? There are other famous historical black figures that are male.

Again, I’m not saying a male can’t be interested in sports. That’s unrealistic. But the main goal of the story should not be driven by a sport.

3) The lead male must be a good character with a clean background.

I’m tired of the bad-boys-gone-good tropes, especially in female-directed movies like Endless Love, Twilight, Divergent, and many others. Why can’t men, especially love interests, be portrayed as good guys? It’s no wonder boys have such pressure to act bad! The highest number of crimes in the world are committed by men. And it’s all attractive until someone gets hurt. We can do better than that.

Men are always associated with chaos. For once, I challenge a producer, director, and screen-writer to create a character who doesn’t commit a crime or doesn’t intentionally harm someone. I dare them to create a character without a “bad past”. These portrayals aren’t always realistic anyway (Twilight). They glamorize a life that is not real. I had one girl tell me she hopes to find a man like Edward from Twilight…A vampire, she said. Face palm time.

I’m including “playboys” and “pimps” in this category. I’m not including men from the slums or “the streets” if they did nothing wrong on those “streets”. This especially applies to black men. This is why people don’t respect black men. They are portrayed as thugs and men who don’t have any stability or money unless they are committing a crime or pimping off some women. I’m tired of these tropes.

I’m not including one minor mistake the main character makes. That’s passable.

4) Violence should not be encouraged as the only way the main male protagonist solves his problems.

In almost every single movie surrounding men, violence is usually the main theme. It’s as if men do not have more intelligent ways of solving their problems unless someone is dead. Perhaps they could use their brains? Perhaps he could use other tactics, just like in Atlantis the Lost Empire.

In fact, Atlantis the Lost Empire passes the Socratic Test. Drumline also passes the test.

So let me know what you think about my amendment! You think it would work? What other additions do you think I should add to the Bly Test and Socratic Test? Leave a comment and let me know.

My Frustrations with the “Modern Woman” and Her Feminist BS (Inspired from “Ladies First” by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel)

13 Oct

ladies-first

The other day, I got a hold of a VERY inspirational book called Ladies First: 40 Daring American Women Who Were Second To None. This book is for intermediate learning, and I think it’s good for girls of tween-to-teen age to read. It’s just as impressive, if not more-so, than the American Girl book series. The real gem is that this book introduces girls to adult female figures who have done great things. This helps girls to realize their possibilities. And I just don’t want to say this to preach to girls about them thinking about their “future”. I literally think the book will inspire girls to “think” rather than “dream”.

I’m not the first to jump on the feminist brigade, but I have touched this base before:

To read more articles on feminism:

Frozen-A feminist movie?

Feminism, Chaivinism, and Misandry: The difference?

One thing I can agree with this book about is the fact that many of women’s achievements have been greatly ignored or scoffed at. As I flipped through this book, I recalled great forgotten figures in my own memory. This book focuses on 40 women who have been the “first” to do something. All of these women are of different races and social backgrounds, which makes the book even more appealing for me. As a woman and an African American, the book sparked my interest immediately. Some of my favorite female role models showed up. Wilma Rudolph, the “fastest woman in the world”. Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American self-made millionaire. Carrie Catt, lead woman suffragist at the Turn of the 20th Century. Hellen Keller, the first blind and deaf person to achieve a higher education. But then there were so many other women I knew nothing about that did so many exciting things!

It seems the only women recognized in the world are Amelia Earhart and Susan B. Anthony. Beyond those two, the other women fall behind. I like that this book brought out the record-breaking Nellie Bly, and her two major dares: She went undercover as a mentally insane person, enrolled in an asylum, and wrote about her experiences. She also took up a dare based off of the fictional book Around the World in 80 Days…and made it around the world in 72 days! Nellie Bly was determined to be a ground-breaking reporter, and was a great inspiration to me as a writer.

The other woman that struck my interest was a more modern hero: Katherine Switzer. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon at a time where women were considered too weak to run. She hid in a bush, and secretly ran with other men. She also dressed in “gender-neutral” clothing, signed herself up, which was against the rules, ran a race and won it. When she revealed she was a woman, she caused quite a raucous that proved women were capable of doing daring stunts.

Wilma Mankiller got a lot of heat for being the first female Chief of her tribe. I respect her so much. Despite living with racial prejudices, she had to deal with sexism and many other challenges.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree. Her story is a bit funny. She tried to enroll in several colleges and was rejected. Colleges usually had a board of members, usually consisting of staff, decide who enters. But one college in particular let the students vote. When she signed up for their college, the students, being young, thought it was a prank. So they accepted her for laughs. Soon, they realized she wasn’t joking!  She became the first woman who could legally practice medicine.

So many stories, all entertaining and beautiful. I can’t begin to capture them all in this article.

Despite the beautiful stories and wonderful achievements of these women, something was missing. These women were the “first” of their kinds, true enough. But there was something I was looking for…and sadly, I only found that in one woman in this book. I was looking for ingenuity…INNOVATION. Basically, a female INVENTOR. We need more “Tinkerbells”.

The only female in this book that invented something was Madame C.J. Walker. She was the ONLY woman who took up something that was not championed by men first. And what she created was exclusively interesting to women alone and not everyone. To add, it held so much controversy because the Black Community at the time claimed she was trying to make black girls’ hair “feel more like white girls”. Many of her products helped tame and straighten black girls’ hair, and many black people felt it was an invention that promoted “self-hate”. Sure, Harriet Quimby was the first female to receive her piloting license, but did she invent the airplane? No. Sure, Nellie Bly wanted to be an exciting reporter (and she did invent Investigative Reporting, something never done before), but did she invent newspapers? No. Of course, we know that many women have been excluded from history books, even when they did invent something. Though what’s stopping us now, I can’t imagine…

What I was looking for was the recognition of females who really “broke ground” in something that had never been thought of. I was hoping that old stereotype of women not being able to think outside of the box, of being too “scared” to dream up new things, would be broken with this book. But sadly, it was not. It was my only disappointment with this book.

I’ve been trying to find books of female inventors as a project. Sadly, I have come up short. I have been looking for women who invented great things, not just for maternal needs (like Kitchen items, baby items, food, fashion, cosmetics, and other things that only interest traditional women and no one else), but something scientific, electrical, tech: things that interest all age groups, genders, and backgrounds. Things that are “cutting-edge”. Two women showed up: Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, a rod-like molecule that is used on bullet-proof vests, skis, radial tires, break pads, suspension bridge cables, helmets, and hiking gear. Another woman was Mary Anderson, inventor of the windshield wiper. Thank you, Mary! These are women that MEN can respect because they invented things that even MEN use today!

These women are hardly recognized for their achievements, and I thought it necessary to note them here. I am so tired of women being associated with only child-birth and the kitchen. Aren’t women capable of so much more? Maybe. Who knows. Maybe not…

Another thing that was sorely missing in this book was the list of YOUNG women. No one in the book was under the age of 50. Or even rather 60! It was almost as if progress stopped after a certain generation, and a new generation of dim-witted females rose to bring physical pleasure to men on television and movie screens. The large number of females became movie stars, models, and famous singers. In fact, the field is over-populated with women. The glam and glitz of everyone treating a female like a Goddess, her having to be lazy and taken care of by someone else, and the fact that she gets to wear so many “cute outfits” drew in women…and returned them to their traditional state-of-mind, though with modern masks. Then the rise in teen pregnancy outside of wedlock, which sadly stifled many young girls’ progress…Oh yes, and now the rise of dead-beats, since women can now “take care of themselves”.

I’m not here to scoff at these achievements. Being an actress, model, and singer is hard-work, and there are men there, too. But I find men to stretch themselves among a variety of talents (Sports, acting, music, science, etc), whereas women tend to limit themselves and follow each other…or rather, MEN. They are attracted to a life of ease, not a life of excitement, thrill, adventure. Men are naturally more curious about the world and our existence today, and it almost seems that all women are interested in is their boyfriend, his life, their social life, and what outfits they are wearing to so-and-so’s party. Don’t we think that the world of the celebrity is a little too over-populated with women? Perhaps, just maybe, we might be able to find women who, I dunno, want to try other things. Maybe I’m hoping for too much…Isn’t it fun to be both a celebrity and a scientist? With the money these celebrities make, I’m shocked none of them have truly taken advantage of this. No wait, I’m not shocked.

My big question is: Where are our modern women? Our modern women are a large consumer crowd, buying Galaxy and Apple phones and other products, spending hours on video games, and wearing fashions invented by WHO? MEN. There are more male fashion designers! What? But what have women contributed to the modern world? Modern women can no longer live on the breath of the women of the past. What are WE doing today? Are we progressing into greater women, becoming stronger feminists or…digressing from the main point of feminism?

When I look at women today, talking all of their feminist bull-crap, which usually surrounds how men look at them, I laugh to myself. Feminism today is nothing but a bluff. It’s a bunch of butt-hurt women, who before their precious hearts were broken by their “boyfriends”, they hardly thought of women empowerment. What they really become are female chauvinists and/or misandrists. You know why men today don’t respect women? Because women don’t respect themselves. They talk the “female game” after they have already burned their bridges. In fact, all of these women are just…TALK. What HAVE these women done to prove themselves? What amazing feats have they conquered? And I’m not scoffing at the small contributions that are not any less significant. After all, I’m a small contributor, as an educator (that’s how I’m able to get a hold of books). But maybe that’s just it. We women have been thinking too small. We’ve been too satisfied with our “small” efforts. We lack insight. We want to force men to respect us through loud words and open minds, but we have not applied anything to action. Are we too afraid to go against the grain? Are we too shallow to achieve a larger brain capacity?

I recently asked a question about women inventors on Yahoo Answers, as I was trying my project. One response I got was from a male. He answered: “The extreme lack of female open source programmers proves women’s brains are different. [There] is no discrimination in that work at home field.. Women just aren’t interested in tech.” Could I get angry at such a bold statement? Could I rant and rave that he is wrong to judge women, or that he is wrong about our minds being different? No. I couldn’t. You know why? Because logically, I have no modern examples to prove him wrong. Have women created I-pads, XBox games and consoles, or touch-screen cell-phones? Have women created social networking websites like facebook, youtube, and twitter? Are women today even INTERESTED in technology? NO. And yet, we use these things more than men do. Are we doomed to follow men the rest of our lives without inventing anything that interests the consumer world? Or are men truly the “greater” part of our species as humans?

Women hold on to child-birth as the beauty of their gender, but it is the very thing that links them to animals, not to a greater species more intelligent than a horse, cow, rabbit, or fish. Whereas men can say that their inventions and intelligence have proven them to be greater than any living male species on the planet. Have women thus shown men that they are inferior? This has to change.

It’s ignorant to say that men have bigger imaginations than women. But it appears that men are more than likely to follow through with their dreams and make it a reality. Women will only invent things that are practical for everyday living…but not usually something for entertainment, like video games. BORING.

Come to think of it, as much as women shop, I’m surprised that there haven’t been any women who have created major department stores or super markets, such as Walmart…But I’m a little more relieved that women haven’t fallen into that stereotype. Still, it just further proves that women have hardly invented anything noteworthy outside of items that are exclusively used in the home, and have just ridden on the success of men.

The goal of this article is to bring new thoughts on women’s progress to the plate, and inspire a stronger future for women.

My Experiences with Woman-hood and My Push for a Better Female Experience

If I sound like a self-hating female to you, you might be on to something. Currently, I can’t psycho-analyze myself and expect to be objective, but I can tell you that my experiences with the women in my life and my own womanhood have been nasty.

I grew up with a mother who was girlish on the outside (into fashion, make-up, etc) , but not fond of the main fundamental points of woman-hood: child-birth. My mother did not plan to have me. When she was pregnant with me, she was in her early twenties. I know, many women have had children much younger than that. But the thing is, my mother was not ready to have children. She wanted to have fun and live life. My mother even told me she thought of dropping herself down a flight of stairs so she could miscarry. I know, who would tell their children this? She says that I have grown to be a blessing in her life as an adult, but she always discouraged pregnancy. Not only does my mother suffer from a “youth syndrome”, where she never wants to be called grandmother, but my mother also wants to live her life and has made it perfectly clear she will not support me by baby-sitting or taking care of any child I accidentally have. At first I thought to myself, “All parents say that at first”. But then I think about how she’s always treated children…She really always felt children were holding her back. She got rid of the two children who came after me. She just couldn’t be pregnant. My mother was into her looks and having fun. She always dumped me and my sibling with baby-sitters. I never bonded with her. You know how mothers usually hold their newborns in their arms once they have them? Not my mother. She refused to look at me until later. This is what she told me from her mouth. My mother went out partying the day after I was born and stuck me with a baby-sitter. I’ve never had a mother who “bonded” with me. I don’t even understand mother-daughter bonds. I always think, “Won’t they get sick of each other after awhile?”

Thus, she instilled her own ideas in me. She thought of pregnancy as a curse that would end a young woman’s life. She thought of pregnancy as something miserable, something to mourn about. Well, for her, it was. She was always deathly ill. She almost died having me. She was always tired, and everything was expensive. She felt she lost herself as she felt she had to take care of someone else. It always felt like obligation rather than love…I grew up hating woman-hood.

Eventually, I began to form the same thoughts. However, I would always think to myself. I would always say, “If pregnancy is this horrible, and having children is such misery, why was I born a woman?” I used to be so jealous of men. I was jealous of how they could have sex with anyone and never get pregnant. They wouldn’t need “protection”. Men could have many children and never know them by name. And it wouldn’t matter if the men accepted responsibility, except to the women stuck with the children. I grew up thinking that men lived a lucky life. Nothing could ever hold a man back from living life. In this way, I envied the fact that this made men young forever. They never had to take responsibility if they didn’t want to. And of all the moral BS you can throw at them, it was still their choice. For women, it never felt like they had a choice. It just felt so limited. With men, life was just pleasure. With women, it seemed pleasure always came with pain.

I didn’t grow up viewing babies as humans with feelings. Women would tell me how beautiful it was, but due to my upbringing, I just couldn’t understand it. Child-birth is beautiful? It seemed stressful, hard, and limiting to me.

Even as I grew up, this up-bringing has stayed with me. But now I’m older. I no longer believe that everything my mother taught me was right. My relationship with my mother grew very tense as the beliefs I developed began to differ greatly from my mother’s. First, I grew into a tomboy, which was a far cry from my prissy mother who just wished I would wear a dress and heels sometimes. My appearance was the only thing she paid attention to when it came to me. And at these times, she found many moments to look down on me and execute her critical judgment. Thus, I ended up resenting all the glitz and glamour that most women were into. Fashion was not fun or a way for me to value myself. It was just another chore. So no, I don’t believe in dressing up to impress men. If I liked a guy, I would just tell him. If he likes me for who I am, just like I to him, then he’s worth my time. When I sense superficiality, I’m gone…I’ve been taught all men are superficial…So, I just stopped caring altogether. This was a far cry from my mother. It was her only expectation of me, and it was the one expectation I had a hard time meeting.

Second, I began to work with children. I’ve seen that children are a responsibility, but I’ve also learned that they can be your best friends. Like any human, it is about how you treat them. Children know when they are loved. Through examples of some good mothers, I’ve seen that children haven’t limited them, but helped their mothers in many ways. Still, that in-born fear stays with me, and I just can’t have children.

Well, literally. My doctor told me that if I had children, I wouldn’t live. I’m frail. Woman-hood has cursed me. My own menstrual cycle has been monstrous. It has been so severe, that I become extremely ill. I’ve fainted twice in public during my school days. I’ve…gruesomely…puked. It was also these moments that I envied men. Why were women stuck with such awful bodies? My self-hatred grew. Why couldn’t we share the pain?

My own hatred with the women in my life and with my own woman-hood has put distance between me and other women. It caused me to distrust women greatly. It’s the main reason I can’t be a lesbian, even if I tried.

Don’t worry. It’s no better with men. Though I’ve always gotten along with men better than women (which is why I enjoy their company more), I never trust men, so it’s hard for me to be deeply involved. I’ve hurt some feelings. None of the father-figures in my life have been trust-worthy, from my father on down. They have all been liars and cheaters. I was even told that “All men cheat” by several men. At one time, this made me question why any woman would want to deal with men at all. But in my family, I have found some good men and bad. This was more than I could say about the women in me life…

However, as I grow into a mature adult, I realize there are ways to resolve my relationships with the genders, and thus humanity. I’ve thrown myself into studying the genders. I’ve found that both genders have a lot to work on in order to iron out the kinks created by the ignorance of our ancestors.

I am determined to create a brighter future for women who want more out of life, who want to strengthen their self-esteem and confidence. I am determined to look at woman-hood as something to be proud of. What I wanted to know most, what I needed to resolve in my heart, is whether our bodies limit us truly, or whether we are as capable as men?

Through the Ladies First book, I’ve seen women with large families…and yet they have still done great things. Many of these women have had husbands, have lived hard, simple lives, and have had much opposition. Did it stop them? No. If they didn’t let anything stop them, what stopped my mother? What is stopping women now? Nothing.

I’ve realized that all of woman’s obstacles has made woman a strong gender. She is responsible, driven, and practical. She is capable of many things, despite her own weaknesses. I realize that this marginalized position gives women the chance to do great things. Where a white man will just be labeled the first person if he is, a woman can be the first person and the first WOMAN. Men will only be recognized if they are first. But if a woman does it first, and a man does it second, he won’t be recognized as the first man to do anything. I know this sounds unfair, but it just shows us that maybe men are not so lucky after all, even if most of them feel lucky. Her obstacles truly makes her worthy of respect when she achieves something because we know how hard it must have been for her. 😉 So much so when this woman is of a marginalized ethnicity. This is why I now appreciate my woman-hood.

But there is always room for improvement. Perhaps there is more women could be doing.

What is Stopping Women Today?

1) Child-birth

The greatest excuse women have is having children. Many women give up their goals when they begin to start a family. And hey, some women choose a new passion in life. And that’s alright. But why is it that men always continue their careers after they have families? This doesn’t apply to all women, but a good number. I will give an example. Lacy from the band Flyleaf was the lead vocalist. She made the band as great as it is today. The moment she got pregnant, what did she do? She quit the band. She gave up her career. If she’d have been a man, a new baby wouldn’t have stopped her. And heck, there are a lot of celebrities who have children, but still continue their careers, like Beyonce. I know raising children is a hard job as it is. But I don’t think it’s any harder for women than men. Men have it built in their mind-sets that they have to provide for their families. That should be built in a woman’s mind-set, too. Even if you have a husband who takes care of you, you have to think of “eventualities”. I know it’s scary to think about, but sudden deaths and lay-offs occur. If you haven’t developed a skill, how will you continue to help your family survive when the Mr. can’t? It’s something to think about. Single mothers, you are capable of so much. It’s amazing that you are the main provider as it is. Still, ladies, don’t let it limit you from shooting for great.

2) Physical Appeal

Ladies, I know appearance is important to a certain degree, but it isn’t everything. Women need to actually stop focusing on their appearance, and yes, risk losing the interest of their partner. We were not born glamorous. We were not born fake. Don’t take away the beauty you were born with by obsessing over looks. You will expose the real man when you show the real you. These music celebrities focus so much on their appearance. They dress up in glamorous clothes and make-up and this influences young girls to think that appearances are important. It’s alright to do this. It’s not wrong, it just doesn’t give girls many options in the world. I think other professions should be promoted more in the home, on the internet, and on t.v. screens.

3) Traditional Viewpoints

There are still women out here who believe that a woman’s place is at home, taking care of babies, and in the kitchen. I was watching Wife Swap on Lifetime the other day, and I just couldn’t believe there were so many women who believed women should be at home, while the man should be a “man” and work. Well, in my opinion, a man who stays home with the kids has just as much of a job as a man working with the public. And I feel if it makes a man less valuable, it should make a woman less valuable if she sits on her butt all day, too. After all, a human at home is no different, no matter the gender. If you belittle a man who stays at home, wouldn’t that mean you are belittling most women who stay at home? But that’s a subject for another day…

There are also women out here who throw me the bull-crap that women are more nurturing, and thus they have to give up their careers when they have children. They believe it’s the woman’s job to bond with the kids. I disagree. It’s BOTH parents responsibility to bond with the children, but it’s also BOTH parents’ responsibility to house, clothe, and feed their children. Some women want to be spoiled and pampered like children while men never get to experience such privileges. And many of these women don’t appreciate their “servants” aka men. This is coming from one episode on Mom Swap that sickened me. This spoiled rich lady had her husband bring her breakfast in bed. He did all the cooking, all the cleaning, and he worked. And all she did was shop, whine, and boss her husband around! She acted like a child! I couldn’t even believe she was an adult! And she thought her life was so hard because she had to spend time with her daughters…

4) Laziness

This brings up my next point. Some of these women today are just plain lazy. They would rather let the men invent everything and they just enjoy the ride. Women are too tired to work their brains.

OVERALL,

What’s missing in our world are women who have the guts that the women in this book have. The ability to dare. As modern as it’s supposed to be, feminism has only been an idea. I have yet to see any women today stepping up and trying to push the envelope. Where are our inventors? Where are our modern women who have an imagination that thinks larger than our existence? Where are our women who push for the respect of the world?

Hopefully, in the future, we see a female topping Apple products. I hope to see a woman create a major video game title. I hope to see a woman burst out her “inner child” and create a more advanced future. Perhaps that woman could be me. I want to do more, just as I’m encouraging others to.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about modern feminism and progress. If you know any modern women who have made the same differences, please tell me them and I will take back what I have said. Though I’m still pushing for more women to do great things. Walk the walk, don’t be about talk.

Is Frozen a Feminist Movie or a Sexist Movie?

12 Jun

frozen

I know. It has been, what, six months since Frozen arrived in theaters? And yes, people are still talking about this movie. I recently just heard “Let it go” on the radio.

Frozen has received surprisingly positive reception and has walked away with an Academy, Golden Globe, and Oscar Award, despite the severe plot holes, unintelligent lyrics, and half-done character development. What’s going on with today’s critics? Did Disney promise them a piece of the pie? Or did the beautiful animation blind them to the fact that this was a poorly written story? It’s no wonder we put little faith in any of these award shows anymore…

https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/disneys-frozen/

That aside…

Frozen is also getting all kinds of attention for being a modern iconic movie that promotes feminism. This movie is getting all kinds of attention for doing something “different for women and Disney” when it is just that: different…as in, the first sexist movie ever to come out for female children. And different isn’t always good.

Here were some of the reasons some people have claimed this movie to be a symbol of “feminism” in comparison to Disney’s former movies:

1) There are two strong female characters in the movie who have goals and dreams, unlike Disney’s other characters.

2) Anna bravely searches for her sister instead of sitting back letting a man save her sister.

3) Elsa becomes queen without having to marry a man.

4) Anna decides who she truly wants to marry instead of being betrothed.

5) Frozen teaches girls not to fall in love with the first idiot (usually in the form of man) that comes along.

6) Frozen shows the world that women don’t need a lover (usually a man) to provide their icky kisses in order to save the day. The “day” can be saved by someone else who loves her (preferably a woman, and preferably a family member).

While many of these ideas are good in theory, and encourage girls to be smarter in choosing boyfriends in the future, or rather, not to date so soon at all, this movie doesn’t exactly push REAL feminist values.

Though I do think it’s important for all children to be a little more realistic when choosing mates…That also includes boys.

To add, many of these points just aren’t valid. Disney has only had two, yes TWO, Disney heroines who relied on a kiss to wake them up. The other heroines worked hard. In fact, Cinderella worked harder than Anna and Elsa ever could. She wasn’t born into nobility. Sure, she seemed to rely on a man to get out of her poor situation, but Anna relied on Kristoff to get up an ice mountain…

The other heroines like Belle, Princess Jasmine, Esmeralda, Kida, and even Meg were all feisty, brave, and intelligent. All of them were independent. Esmeralda saved Quasimodo. Meg was a bit of an anti-heroine, which Elsa failed to be…Belle read books (which Anna seemed to do little of). Princess Jasmine was much more cautious in love than Anna was. And Esmeralda, Meg, and Jasmine both conveyed as much sex appeal as Elsa did when she decided to “slit” up her dress…

Tiana worked hard and helped her Prince out of financial debt. In exchange, he helped her get her restaurant. It was a fair exchange. Mulan was never saved by anyone! Neither was Ariel! Ariel was bright, intelligent, and curious. To add, she also saved her prince. So what are people talking about?

I think it’s because Elsa is the first “emo” character. Maybe that’s what it is.

What is feminism?

Feminism has been misconstrued in today’s society. Many people today think feminism is the idea that women can do any and everything better than men. People think feminists carry the idea that women don’t need men at all. Many people think feminists HATE men. This is because many women who are bitter or angry with men have come to hate men (especially if they were in a poor relationship with a man). Many of them thus end up forming SEXIST generalizations about men, and then end up hiding behind the label “feminist”. But it makes it bad for the real feminists.

Here’s an example of someone who has misconstrued what feminism means:

Time magazine (and other magazines) asked Shailene Woodley (Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, Divergent, and The Fault in Our Stars) if she was a feminist. She stated,

I don’t consider myself a feminist because I love men. I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 per cent feminine and 50 per cent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that’s important to note.

Yahoo article on Shailene’s objection to feminism

See how confused Shailene is? And based on the comments, other people are confused, too. Many aren’t, but understand why she wouldn’t WANT to be one. I can understand, too. Feminism has come to mean something totally different from what it used to mean. It’s no wonder people step away from the word as if even the word is a monster.

Dictionary definition-Feminism-the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

So feminism is not believing that women can do everything better or without men. It’s the belief that women should be given the exact same opportunities to do the same things as men (whether they try and succeed or try and fail, as long as they are given a fair shot). It is the belief that the two genders are EQUAL. And as one Yahoo writer points out, it also benefits men. In a feminist situation, men will not think they have to have the jobs all the time. It introduces the idea that a man can stay at home, cook, and clean for a change. Or places can open up on dance teams and cheer-leading teams for boys…Though boys started cheer-leading in the first place…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheerleading

So, if we look at feminism as being equal to men, would we really say Frozen is advocating equality to men, or is it promoting female chauvinism? Chauvinism: The idea that one gender is superior to another.

A Lack of Male Character Development

It’s alright to say women don’t always need men, because yes, women are capable of taking care of themselves if they choose to be single. But Frozen takes this concept to a different level. We do need each other to a certain degree. We both live in this world. Ideas that promote the uselessness of a man is just as damaging as making men out to be Gods…

If a man went around saying, “I don’t need no woman”, he would be labeled a misogynist…But back to Frozen.

There are only three supposedly “important” male characters in the whole movie, and a couple of male trolls. Not one of them are important to the story. All of them are useless.

Kristoff is simply in the story to serve as a lover and to be the chauffeur for Anna (which she could’ve taken herself on her own journey up the mountain, if she was so “strong”). He was a card-board box character that didn’t need to exist. Doesn’t that sound exactly like how women “of the old days” were portrayed? Oh, but then, we complained that it was sexist. Is making Kristoff a useless lover in a traditional male role (ice lifter, because men are so “strong”…) ANY different? He has no family, no interesting back-story or dreams, and when he could have served a purpose, he failed to do so (knowing about the Anna incident but doing nothing about it…).

Then the other male character is an evil, selfish, douche who’s only goal was to improve trade relations. He was the weakest villain ever, and he only served to teach Anna that men are pigs and only care about themselves. Even if, from a woman’s perspective, this is true, it doesn’t make it any less sexist. Sexist movies in the past, despite everyone’s beliefs, took three turns: women would either be useless, objectified, or absolutely evil.

Look at the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s , and even 1960’s movies. They Drive By Night, DetourThe Ten Commandments, and Gone with the Wind all portrayed women as absolutely evil and no good. Most movies had a “vamp-like” character in them. It made men respect women even less. It made men think of women as conniving, wooing snakes, only bent on power. Isn’t that the EXACT same message Frozen gives to women about MEN? Is the movie not also portraying a man as a snake only focused on power? Come to think of it, so did Maleficent. So what do you think it’s doing to the young female mind?

But then, it was called “sexist”. Now that the roles have switched, we want to call them “feminist”.

And that dumb snowman, Olaf, was it? He served absolutely no purpose but to provide cheesy comic relief, as did the male trolls and the horse. Similar to the female friend in Thor.

If you want to send a message that women don’t need men, why don’t you just OMIT the men altogether? In fact, this story would’ve been way better without them. Kristoff was such a distraction, the true bond between Anna and Elsa barely evolved. The villain was thrown in at the last minute because, oh darn, Disney changed Christian Andersen’s story so badly, they lost their only villain: The actual SNOW QUEEN.

So no, this movie isn’t a feminist movie, it is sexist.

And while we’re at it, let us have Anna punch Hans in the face. Imagine if that scene was replaced with a man. We would’ve thought this movie was misogynist, even if the woman was a psycho. How is punching a man, when he’s never touched her, making her equal to a man? It just makes her abusive and volatile. Tell me, if a lady “played” a guy for his money (similar to what Hans tried to do to Anna), do you think he should punch her? No? Why not? It seemed to go over well when Anna did it.

SEXIST POINTS

How else can you tell the movie is sexist? Because both men and women can’t enjoy this film. It is NOT equal in direction or presentation. This film is bent on making men feel bad about who they are, and making women feel vindicated. Feminism’s goal is to help women earn a man’s respect, and vice versa. How can a man respect this film when it’s girlish at the core, but puffs out sexist views while it’s at it?

For example:

1) Elsa proves how free she is by (obviously) doing what she always wanted to do: Put on a pretty, sparkly, sexy dress, and decorate her home, like the average traditional woman would do. This same “freedom” also causes her to leave her kingdom and her sister destitute. Instead of setting things right and taking responsibility for her actions (like Disney’s male characters would’ve done), she is forced to go back to the kingdom in chains. No, she didn’t go off on an adventure to explore the world or try to figure out if there were others like her. Oh no. She decorated a home and wore a new dress.

Let-IT-go-Disney-660x330

2) Anna dreams of romance, dancing at a ball, and dressing in fancy clothes…which is traditionally feminine, too.

Thanks for representing Venus, the epitome of traditional femininity...

Thanks for representing Venus, the epitome of traditional femininity…

3) Anna is still basically saved by Kristoff because apparently she couldn’t find the ice mountain by herself…without a man’s help.

4) Anna and Elsa have pretty dolls on the shelves, while Kristoff’s toys look just as boring as ever. And how many outfits do you think he comes with? Oh, I forgot. They made him the “stereotypical male” who doesn’t care about his appearance AT ALL. So Equal.

disney-store-frozen-classic-kristoff-doll-profile

5) Most of this story is spent on Anna and Kristoff’s relationship. Only 29 minutes and 43 seconds were spent focusing on Elsa, out of 106 minutes! Anna and Elsa had very little interaction with one another, and yet, we were supposed to believe this was a sister story? This is still a movie focusing on the traditional feminine genre of romance. Despite his romantic role, Kristoff is still a pointless figure. If only this story had a clear goal…

6) While the movie was trying to push a message meant to encourage girls not to fall in love “at first sight”, the movie’s message was contradictory. It was ridiculous that Anna only knew Hans for a couple of hours, thought she was in love, and entrusted her whole kingdom to him. We knew that was going to end badly. But crap, she only knew Kristoff for a day, and also claimed to be “in love”. What’s the very difference?

7) Having a woman or man save the girl is no better if the damsel-in-distress is STILL A FEMALE.

There are some other points mentioned here: Frozen Review

I know feminism isn’t the idea of breaking all traditional rules or anything (though lately people seem to think that’s what it represents). It’s the idea that men and women are created equally, which may break some rules, but not all.

But if that’s the case, what’s so wrong with having the loving man in your life kiss you to save the day, especially if he has done nothing else in the whole film? That does nothing different than a girl using superficial pretty dresses and home decorations to represent her freedom, neither does it do anything different when it comes to a woman wishing and dreaming to dance at a ball. It also doesn’t make a difference whether a male or a female saves the girl. The female is still acting “in distress”. She’s still being saved by someone.

There is no way a little boy can learn about feminism from this film. This movie won’t help men understand women or respect them. Rather it sends the sort of message that makes men hate them, fear them, be bored, or confused by them. This is why most of the people who hate this movie are male. Again, how is this movie feminist? How does this movie prove that women are indeed equal to men, and not above them? Is this movie showing men that women are just like them, or is this movie placing distinct differences between the genders? Sounds more sexist to me. This movie is the epitome of female chauvinism.

10 Reasons Frozen Can Never Equal a Man’s Movie

While this movie thinks it’s doing something by trying to equal men, the only thing equal about this movie is the success of the movie. Sure, it has the same box office success as most animated films where males are the main characters, but that’s where the equality ends.

Most movies geared to men have several factors that Frozen is missing:

1) Long adventures with many obstacles, and then a huge fight with a villain

Does Frozen have that? No. They barely even have a villain. And then, the “villain” is so weak, it’s almost as if he could be broken in two by Elsa. I guess women only deserve a villain that can’t do much harm. After all, they are women. A huge action-fighting scene can’t POSSIBLY be in a girl’s movie…

Really, Hans isn’t even the villain. He is a weak antagonist. A minor adversary. There is a difference.

Definition of villain: a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.

Hans was not the important evil agency in this plot because he was not the main obstacle throughout the whole movie. Elsa was.

Definition of antagonist: a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.

Really, Elsa is the deuteragonist of the story, and she acted as both villain AND heroine. She is the person who froze the land, ran away as if she didn’t care to fix it, and sent an ice monster to attack her sister, Anna, the true main character of the story.

2) Male movie “anti-heroes” don’t play the victim

The “half” antagonist in this movie, who we usually call the “anti-hero”, Elsa, proved to be a victim. Elsa’s “evil powers” did little damage beyond bringing snowmen to life and prettifying her new castle. Whoopy, she “accidentally” almost kills her sister, though all the love in the world could’ve broken that spell a long time ago. And who cares if the land was covered in ice in the summer? Their main export is ice! Another sappy character, playing the victim. Doesn’t happen to males.

3) Men always have ladies as prizes in the end of their movies

While women may not like this point, equalizing a man’s movie would mean having a man as the prize for once. Does Frozen have a man as the prize for once? No. Men never portray themselves as having total and complete independence, like they don’t need a woman at all, but rather portray women as a goal or a prize to be won. How many female movies do that? I can think of one, but I’ll save it for last…

Frozen has copped out on the idea, “I’m so helpless when a man is around, that I’ll have to make a man completely unimportant to feel more important”. Have women fallen to the idea that they only have two options: I’m either saved by a man and useless, or I’ll do everything myself without any man at all? There are other options, you know: You can save the man…

Or maybe Disney was too busy focusing on rising above the reputation they’ve been stamped with. They have the reputation of presenting the idea that women need men in order to “get things done”. Though, how Frozen proves otherwise, with Kristoff leading the way for Anna, is beyond me.

4) Men usually risk their lives for a damsel, often putting themselves in harm’s way

Did any Frozen female characters do this? No, they mostly risked their lives for each other. But the man was just…there…for whatever reason. How did Anna show Kristoff that he was special to her? What sacrifices did she make for him? She did nothing. Why was he there again?

And again, the female was the one in distress. Not surprising.

5) Men usually do fall in love at first sight of a beautiful figure

While women may not like this point, to equal a man’s story, and make it truly a little different, why not have a woman fall head over heels over a man’s beauty…and him still be a great guy? Again, only one movie equalizes this point…

6) Male characters are usually losers who prove themselves to the world through courageous acts

In movies where males are the main characters, the males are usually looked at as losers who show the world that they are brave, courageous, and can protect others.

While Elsa could’ve done this, all she did was prove to herself that her powers were helpful, but she wasn’t courageous or brave about it. She only fixed the mess she made. What feat did she conquer other than her own inner demons? Elsa isn’t even considered the main character. Anna is, and she was never looked at as a loser, and so never had to prove herself.

7) Male movies are starting to portray better female role models

The Matrix, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, it doesn’t matter. They all have good, strong women in their movies, and most of the villains are male. They don’t make women seem like evil arse-wholes.

But Frozen, quite frankly, does that to men.

8) A Male’s goal is usually to gain honor, fame, or respect

Frozen follows the same old female tradition of setting love and a good social status as a goal. Another “social status” flick, like any other catered to women.

9) Male characters focus less on the fashion or their charm, and more on their worth as human beings

Females focus too much on trying to charm a crowd and look “prettiful”. Yes, I know it’s not a word. Anna’s greatest quality is her charm. Anything beyond that…pointless to discuss. Elsa obviously loves to charm us in pretty gowns.

10) Male protagonists usually make mistakes and suffer consequences

In male movies, even the protagonists make mistakes, and have to suffer consequences. Example: Hercules wouldn’t listen to Phil when he was trying to tell him about Meg.

Anna and Elsa are just victims. Elsa never apologizes for anything she does, though she froze her whole kingdom and didn’t even care what happened to her sister.

Disney’s Breakout

With all of the above mentioned, it makes you wonder why people really look at Disney as breaking from their traditional ways of doing things, when they really haven’t. Their female characters still wear pretty dresses meant to sell merchandise. That will be the day when their female main character looks plain, drab, ordinary, or ugly…

And why is Frozen looked at as the first movie to break from social norms out of all of Disney’s movies? The only truly feminist movie I’ve seen is Mulan. Oh, but maybe she’s too Chinese to be considered an actual feminist…Or maybe these kids today are too young to remember her…

No, I know what it is. She wasn’t wearing a dress like a normal girl, and didn’t act like a normal girl. Wait, isn’t what we consider “normal” similar to what is traditional?

Maybe it’s because it didn’t pass the Bechdel test

Or maybe it’s because she finds a nice guy in the end…

But her movie fits all of the above standards for being just like a boy’s movie!

Mulan equals the boys in every way. 

mulan

1) She starts off as a loser, and earns her honor, fame, and respect, much like the boys usually do.

2) She wants to bring honor to her father, not her mother, and follow in his footsteps.

3) She also chose her own romantic partner, and got to know him much more than Anna did Kristoff (which was still love at first sight because Anna only knew Kristoff for one day). And yes, Shang was a physical hunk. He was very much objectified and loved for his beauty.

4) She saved a whole country, much like most men do, rather than just one single person.

5) Her villain was a fearsome war leader. And though, yes, he was an evil male, he didn’t suddenly become the villain because he broke her heart. He was generally the enemy of the whole freaking clan, including the men of the land. As the saying goes, a good story is as good as the villain…

6) She defeated a whole army, all by herself!

7) She actually sacrificed for and saved a man, not another weak female character, getting a battle wound in the process.

8) Mulan made some serious mistakes. She lied about her identity, stole her father’s armor, and ran away from home. But she recognized her mistakes and made up for them.

9) Very little merchandising can come from this movie, much like in male movies. Unless girls want to buy her armor…

She honestly has one pretty dress. Most of Mulan’s playsets consist of war materials and a tent.

10) In the end, she wins her prize: Her man, much like male movies…

11) All of the males had personalities, not just Mulan, and all of the main characters helped Mulan defeat the villain. They were all useful in some way.

12) Mulan never dreamed of love, romance, freedom, lots of fancy clothes, none of the traditional female hopes and dreams. She dreamed of finally knowing where she belonged and honoring her father (much like Hercules).

So, Mulan equals the movies usually geared toward males. And guess what? Mulan earns the respect of males. It is a gender-neutral story that people of both genders can enjoy. There are more males who consider Mulan a better movie than Frozen. And I’m talking about adult men. They can enjoy this movie and still respect women. When they see Mulan, they see that a woman’s feelings, ideas, desires, hopes, and dreams are no different from theirs. They realize that women are capable of taking down a whole army, surviving a brutal military camp, making their fathers proud, and taking a pursuant role in a relationship by impressing a man with her strength, instead of using her particular charms or her beauty.

Frozen does none of that. While Frozen shows men that women are brave because they can go on adventures to save their sisters, they fail to show that they can find directions on their own and survive a deadly forest without the assistance of a male to escort them. While these women have goals, hopes, and dreams, they don’t seem to mirror the same hopes and dreams as males. They are indeed traditionally feminine in nature. And of course they can’t make their fathers proud, they are orphans…

But does that mean they can’t impress men with their strength instead of their beauty? Anna is simply a pretty figure with a charming personality at the ball when she falls for Hans, even if she was a little quirky. Though Elsa doesn’t have a love interest, she never fails to dazzle the audience with her elegant gown in the solo “Let it Go”, possibly to appeal to the eyes of future toy consumers. Why else would she change her clothes?…Yet, she didn’t use that freedom to go explore the world…Or find others like herself…Or read some books…

So, that’s my spin on this feminist issue.

Women, don’t use feminism as a means to gain power, it’s not right, even if you feel vindicated.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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