Media and the Antifeminist Agenda

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Media and the Antifeminist Agenda

The cinema conveys representations of race, gender, and class that indicate the development and cultural ideologies of society. Motion pictures illustrate and are depicted from real life settings, and it is for this reason that the cinema plays a vital role in shaping and sustaining cultural normalcies. Socialization of gender and identity are mirrored through sexist media depictions that convey the relative positions of women and men in modern western democracies. There are substantial quantities of motion pictures that ascribe traditional gender roles to both men and women that continue to perpetuate social constructs of inequality. Contemporary media places men and women in defined categories, and to further explore this, we must consider a retrospective look into one of the cinemas most notorious patrons of sexist archetypes, Pixar and Walt Disney Productions.

Brave is Pixar’s 13th movie. It is centered on a red haired princess named Merida who doesn’t want to get married. Interestingly enough, though she is cast as the leading role (traditionally the lead has always been male in most Pixar productions), this movie is a failure to female empowerment. Merida’s qualities of resiliency and courageousness are only over shadowed by the traditional roles imposed onto her, where her only concerns are marriage. Merida’s coming of age brings forth the inevitable adult duties that she must assume as a woman. Through the context of the film, marriage is a tradition, intended to keep the peace among clans with a history of warfare, and therefore its Merida’s duty to maintain amity among these groups; a theme that is not at all to different from modern day society, were marriage is used as means to ...

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...r a more privileged elite group (e.g. the slave trade). Much likes previous Disney princess films, Tiana eventually does ascend from poverty, and is given a new social status, but this is only done when she marries the prince (another common theme across all genres, marriage to a man will provide a better life).

Though these three animations are centered on different plots, the recurring gender stereotyped themes are evident and prevalent across a wide set of genres.

Girls choose the Disney Princesses as role models because they enjoy watching the films and see the beautiful characters overcome difficult trials. These associations are impractical and denote the wrong message to girls. Women do not need to marry to overcome obstacles, no should they need to. However as long as these stereotypes continue to exist, it will continue to influence newer generations.

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