Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Disney Movies and Sexism

Ah crap - I've known this all along (it's horribly obvious) but have tried not to admit it to myself - Disney movies are SEXIST, in the big, bold caps lock kind of way.  I've debated showing Disney movies to my daughter over and over again because, well, I saw them all when I was young.  And, I loved them.  It's difficult for me to make the connection between the subtle beginnings of self-loathing and those Disney movies from childhood, but, when it's pointed out to me in such stark form, it's hard to deny.  It's also hard to deny their impact when you imagine what our lives as little girls would be like WITHOUT those princesses.  What kind of roles could our daughters imagine for themselves if they couldn't so easily slip in to the role of the incapable, beautiful princess woman in search of her knight in shining armor?  

My daughter has seen mostly all of them - if I get rid of them now is it too late, have they already irreparably influenced the future she imagines for herself?


  1. I just wrote about this!

    I figure, so long as their exposure comes with my won commentary (which is SCATHING) and so long as I keep sort of pushing positive female role models...

    I mean, which is more fun? Playing Princess, or playing Pipi Longstocking? A Princess wears pretty dresses, Pipi goes on adventures with pirates and monkeys and all sorts of excitement.

    I also try to limit the princesses and mix it up with more positive female role models in cartoons. Like Spirited Away, where the girl saves her parents and encounters all sorts of neat monsters.

  2. We haven't seen Spirited Away - we will check it out! I also supply my own commentary, and I hope it is getting through! Great post :)

  3. Also - you wrote the post on my daughter's birthday, how poetic!

  4. I think it's kind of hard to avoid this sort of messaging, because it seems to come from everywhere. Sometimes I think the best you can do is let them watch this stuff, and make sure you discuss with them anything that you find problematic or make sure they understand in separate conversations that this sort of thing is problematic.