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The Disney Princesses and Sexism

disneyprincesses

I found this picture on feministing yesterday. Considering the response to my last post about Disney, I thought you guys might find this pic interesting.

I think the sexism they point out in the picture is legitimate as far as plot lines go, but statements like, "Her only asset, physical beauty..." and "her only asset, sexuality" get to me a little bit. Sure, I think Disney created some pretty sexist characters here. But they weren't exactly dumb bimbos who acted without any purpose throughout the entirety of the movies.

As I recall, I actually identified with Belle quite a bit because we were both voracious readers. I'd say an appetite for literature is a pretty good asset to have. And Jasmine was totally empowered by demanding to marry only who she wanted.

So, yes, these characters were definitely crafted by a sexist hand and existed in a rather sexist setting (for the most parts). But to imply that these qualities were the only qualities that mattered or the only ones to come through doesn't ring true to me.

Also, as represented by this picture, there is definitely a race element with Disney princesses. As feministing wondered, where are Pocahontas, Mulan and Disney's newest princess, Tiana? Sure there's sexism, but there's a heck of a lot of racism, too.

What do you guys think?



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Julie Zeilinger
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