February 8, 2014

Frozen & Feminism

Dani Coleman on Frozen (via Medium)
What else does Anna have going for her? She isn’t intelligent, no matter how many words she can spit out per minute. If she were, she wouldn’t rush into an engagement with Hans, nor — for that matter — leave a man she barely knows in charge of her kingdom while she rides out in the snow without a coat. She’s certainly self-absorbed, using the first opportunity to make Elsa’s coronation all about her; and she’s vain, believing absolutely in her ability to talk some sense into Elsa despite having had no relationship with her sister for what looks like roughly ten years.
To be honest, I didn’t read the entire post. To be fair, the post is longer than the actual movie. There is something to be said for a writer that can rant for so long about a film and make it mostly coherent.

I didn’t think of Frozen as a feminist triumph. Not even close. I did notice some of character traits that the author complains about, but I definitely didn’t let them bother me to the extent that she does. There are quite a few other things that I think she gets completely wrong. My first reaction is to say… lighten up, but I understand why she felt the need to write the article and don’t fault her for over-analyzing a Disney film to make her points.

The reason I read most of the article is because I’ve got two daughters. Specifically I have a 3 year-old that is currently obsessed with Frozen. She has Anna and Elsa dresses. A day doesn’t go by without her acting out a scene or reciting dialog from Frozen as she plays with her toys. I don’t know if she sees either of the characters from the movie as role models, but if she did, I’m not sure I would want her to. As a father I have wondered if it is okay to let her pretend to be these characters day after day. Should I force coax her to pretend to be other characters.

Even before I was a father to girls I never felt good about the whole princess fantasy that seems to be almost forced on little girls these days. While it is mostly harmless fun, there are lot of things about the Disney princesses that I don’t necessarily want rubbing off on my daughters. At 3 my oldest daughter is still too young to understand, but what she watches does influence her understanding of gender roles and how she sees herself. I don’t know the right time or the right way to talk to her about those sort of things, but I’m sure I’ll make it as awkward and painful for her as any father could.

➔ The problem with false feminism — Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks and Western Animation — Medium

Filed Under: , , ,