Jump to content


Photo

Racism and Sexism in disney


  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#1 laydee-zee92

laydee-zee92

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 01:02 PM

Ok, so we pretty much know Disney is one of the most racist and sexist companies around.

So I'm gonna do my sociology coursework on 'em! :D

I don't know, should I focus on Racism, Sexism or both?

Racism may be easiyer because it still exsists in disney today

But sexism is also interesting to anylise.

Which one?

~Plus~

The examples of each I have are


Sexism


Beauty and the beast
Cinderella
Snow White
Mulan
Peter Pan
Little Mermaid
Alladin

And the general image of women in disney e.g Big boobs, coy, seductive, thin bodies etc
and for men, the male fight for pride and how the men are always over muscly

Racism

Dumbo
Alladin
Snow White (Apparantly)
Oliver and Complany
Jungle Book
Fantasia (Original version)
Song of the south
Little Mermaid
Peter Pan
Tarzan
Lady and the tramp

Any more examples?
Help me guysieeees!

Also, I have to research to answer my hypothesis, so my teacher suggest I watch a load of disney movies, take notes, get kids to watch the clips I would deem as being able to be considerd racist or sexist without telling them the purpose and ask them questions about the clips.

Any more I could do?

Please help!
You guys are clever!!!!
=/ :D :D :P :P

Edited by laydee-zee92, 03 November 2008 - 01:02 PM.


#2 Yuuki_Haruka

Yuuki_Haruka

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 278 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 01:57 PM

I'm having a hard time buying the sexism examples you've given. Disney heroines are generally empowered characters who stand their own ground and aren't just flimsy sterotypical old-world women(despite the stories taking place in these eras), especially Mulan, who, spends most of the movie dressed as a dude.

#3 Cori

Cori

    Teh Hajiman Sexy Fail Kru's Ultimate BoA fan

  • BoAjjang Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,304 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 02:01 PM

Racism example would be 'Song of the South', It is a disney movie that wasn't displayed in the united states due to others thinking it was too racist. It might be a good movie for your paper. It's the movie that the theme of Splash Mountain (ride at disney parks) is based off. The lead role is an african american man that is seen as not very intelligent.

#4 laydee-zee92

laydee-zee92

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 02:37 PM

I'm having a hard time buying the sexism examples you've given. Disney heroines are generally empowered characters who stand their own ground and aren't just flimsy sterotypical old-world women(despite the stories taking place in these eras), especially Mulan, who, spends most of the movie dressed as a dude.


Talks about sexism in here - Skip to 01:15

Rockwithme - I'm doing it about disney films in general :D
My hypothesis is "Do racist/sexist steryotypes in disney affect a childs mind set...." etc I havent decided on a title yet, but you get it hahaha

#5 kaminokami2086

kaminokami2086

    I can't get BoA off my mind!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 906 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 09:07 PM

I have to agree with Yuuki, I watched some of the video, they seem to focus on image only, which is true. But I feel that the actions of heroines speak more than how they looked. For instance, you posted Mulan, to me she wasn't overly feminine and was very empowered by her culture of filial piety. Also you mention big boobs on women, care to show me an example of a character with big boobs on Disney characters. I mean they seem much more realistic than what you see in anime.

And then you list that most males in Disney movies are overly masculine, but I think most of the males were depicted as average size. Only one I can think of that had huge muscles was Hercules, but that's because he's a demi-god of strength.

Also can you explain to me how Alladin and Little Mermaid were racists? Alladin was meant to depict the old Arabian mind set right? So of course it wouldn't represent modern perspectives. And was there even any other race besides whites in Little Mermaid? I don't find a movie to be exclusively one race, racist. I mean look at most urban movies, they are only blacks in there, would you consider those racist?

#6 Jax

Jax

    I can't get BoA off my mind!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 820 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 11:37 PM

Seriously off the top of my head. I should say that I never really paid attention but if you want to find some you have to dig really deep. I'm just saying stuff not sure if they fit or have holes. But I'm trying.

The Little Mermaid - Ariel gets the guy in the end but has to leave everything she knows behind to be with him. It works in the story but not something I would want my children to know. In real life, you shouldn't have to give up everything to be with a man.

Cinderella, Snow White- The women in here are happy cleaning the house and just wait around waiting for their prince to come. Then life really starts.

Beauty and the Beast- This is one my friend told me ages ago. So the Beast is abusive towards everyone. He never physically touches Belle to harm her but he shows an intense amount of rage at her that he could potentially use against her. In the original story, the Beast isn't violent. He looks horrifying but he is still gentle and kind. The moral of that story is that you should look deeper than the surface. In the Disney version, Belle makes him into the kind and gentle Beast. No one else could change him but the sweet beautiful Belle. The others aren't so they couldn't change him. You could say that if you aren't sweet and beautiful you deserved to be abused.

Aladdin- While everyone is Arab here, there are differences between the characters. Jafar looks more Arab than Aladdin. That is his features have the Arab features more pronounced than the others. Aladdin has no facial hair and is lighter than Jafar despite spending a majority of his life in the streets. Jafar should look lighter because of the life of luxury he lives and all. The king and Jasmine are lighter, but then they are the good guys. Also the whole if you steal then you get your hand chopped off is barbaric. There is even a song in there where they say that. The lyric is 'Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home' it was changed to 'Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home'

Lion King- Scar is said to be gay because he's really dramatic and does all this posturing and checking out his claws and stuff. I know crazy, but watch this video and you'll see what I mean. Considering the Scar is jealous and actually kills his brother and everything else he does to his own country(?) and people, it's a negative view on gays. Also the lioness need a lion to get them out of trouble. They do NOTHING while they are starving and their country's ecosystem is being demolished. Just follow the orders of Scar because he's a man. Nala has go find someone to save them from Scar. AND then when Simba does come they do nothing to help him fight Scar. I know it's for dramatic effect and they were separated but just saying it doesn't make them look good.

Pocahontas-It romanticizes what really happened between the Native Americans and the Europeans. When you match up what really happened to what happens in both Pocahontas and the sequel, it's a major difference. Kids might actually think they are learning about history when watching Pocahontas. I did, but by the time I learned otherwise I knew the Disney movies were works of fiction. That was me, I don't know how it was with others. And what's up with Pocahontas
switching love interests between movies? They build up the love between Pocahontas and John Smith to be this big major thing and then suddenly they meet again and she feels nothing for him. I know she thought he was dead but it still a little cold to me. Message:Women are fickle and you can't leave them alone because some other man will take her away.

I hope I helped you here. I spent a ungodly amount of time coming up with this stuff. But i hope you do well on your report.

Edited by Jax, 03 November 2008 - 11:45 PM.


#7 e n v i i

e n v i i

    I can't get BoA off my mind!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 551 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 12:19 AM

I would suggest finding another topic....maybe sexism or racism in other media. I seriously doubt kids are going to see anything racist/sexist in those movies. Kids have been growing up for ages with those movies.

The Lion King -- I literally grew up on this movie. I loved it. Scar was my favorite character, and hearing that he's a "negative view on gays" is effing hilarious. I definitely didn't even pick up on that when I was little, if that was the intention of the character.

Pocahontas -- So it doesn't completely follow the original story. It's Disney; they change things. The whole John Smith/Pocahontas romance is actually showing that people from two different worlds/cultures CAN get along and can love each other. The Native American tribe and the Englishmen ended up making peace at the end. If showing how two people from different cultures/races can accept each other's differences and fall in love is racist, then you've got yourself a great topic. ^_^

Aladdin -- This is one of my favorite Disney movies. I can't understand how it's racist. The only race in the movie is the Arabian people~! The punishment for stealing (getting your hand chopped off) is actually HOW they did things back then (and maybe still do).

Beauty and the Beast -- It's not one of my favorites, but I love the message: beauty is within. Belle was able to reach the Beast because she was kind and caring, something which the Beast had not been offered in a long time since everyone was frightened by his appearance. It also shows that "kind words soothe the savage beast," to treat people with kindness even if they're rude.

Mulan -- How is this sexist? She sacrifices her life for her father, and ends up fighting for her country. That's girl power if I ever heard of it. Sexist? what. Mulan is like the best Disney female role model.

"And the general image of women in disney e.g Big boobs, coy, seductive, thin bodies etc
and for men, the male fight for pride and how the men are always over muscly"
Seriously, they're just cartoons. I think anime is far more sexist if sexist = big boobs and thin bodies.

how is Lady and the Tramp racist? they're all dogs!!

#8 laydee-zee92

laydee-zee92

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:02 AM

I would suggest finding another topic....maybe sexism or racism in other media. I seriously doubt kids are going to see anything racist/sexist in those movies. Kids have been growing up for ages with those movies.

The Lion King -- I literally grew up on this movie. I loved it. Scar was my favorite character, and hearing that he's a "negative view on gays" is effing hilarious. I definitely didn't even pick up on that when I was little, if that was the intention of the character.

Pocahontas -- So it doesn't completely follow the original story. It's Disney; they change things. The whole John Smith/Pocahontas romance is actually showing that people from two different worlds/cultures CAN get along and can love each other. The Native American tribe and the Englishmen ended up making peace at the end. If showing how two people from different cultures/races can accept each other's differences and fall in love is racist, then you've got yourself a great topic. ^_^

Aladdin -- This is one of my favorite Disney movies. I can't understand how it's racist. The only race in the movie is the Arabian people~! The punishment for stealing (getting your hand chopped off) is actually HOW they did things back then (and maybe still do).

Beauty and the Beast -- It's not one of my favorites, but I love the message: beauty is within. Belle was able to reach the Beast because she was kind and caring, something which the Beast had not been offered in a long time since everyone was frightened by his appearance. It also shows that "kind words soothe the savage beast," to treat people with kindness even if they're rude.

Mulan -- How is this sexist? She sacrifices her life for her father, and ends up fighting for her country. That's girl power if I ever heard of it. Sexist? what. Mulan is like the best Disney female role model.

"And the general image of women in disney e.g Big boobs, coy, seductive, thin bodies etc
and for men, the male fight for pride and how the men are always over muscly"
Seriously, they're just cartoons. I think anime is far more sexist if sexist = big boobs and thin bodies.

how is Lady and the Tramp racist? they're all dogs!!


My dear, I totally have to disagree with you :P

Lion King - The talk is like that of African American kids in the suburbs. A black phsycologist even noticed it, so it's not just me with a thorn up my ass.

Pocahontus - Completely ignores the fact that the Europeans commited a mass genecide, and totally overly fluffy's the story.

"The punishment for stealing (getting your hand chopped off) is actually HOW they did things back then (and maybe still do). " -Nope, my family have lived in saudi,where "agra whatever" was set, and my family are muslim. The law is, that the merchants have an islamic obligation to feed the hungry. and you only get your arm chopped off if you steal three un nessacary things, like erm, an Ipod, Playstation and a Wii, cause they are for pleasure, or if you were stealing to fund gambling or something three times. That was an exaggurated view of islam, and to me and my family (though I am not muslim any more) very offensive. The merchant was going to chop off jasmins hand as she was feeding a HUNGRY little boy, and it was her first "offence". Plus, all thieves get the right to a fair trial, unless it involves the army...but we won't go into that. Jasmin didnt get one. I know it's a movie and all, but still.

Plus, like Jax said the lyrics in the song were "'Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home' it was changed to 'Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense/It's barbaric, but, hey, it's home'". Now as an asian who have some relatives that live in saudi, I find that offensive, and again, so did my family. The New York time backs us up too :P

New York Times Article on The Aladin Themetune

Beauty and The beast - Oh come on, that is oozing with sexism! :P My mum works in domestic violence and we could see it too. She lives with a guy that yells at her, imprisons her and cuts her off from her family. What is this? Domestic violence. And before somone comes in with "but he dosnt hit her though!", it dosnt have to be physical, mental or verbal too.
But she interprets his anger and violence as "bad temper" and is all nice to him in the hope that he won't shout. This is what women usually do in a relationship with domestic violence untill they run away. Not ALL woman do it, but most do. Then, what do you know, the beast turns into a prince at the end. So what message does this send? If you live in a relationship with domestic violence, be all candy cute and live with it, cause if not it's your fault if he lashes out.

"And the general image of women in disney e.g Big boobs, coy, seductive, thin bodies etc
and for men, the male fight for pride and how the men are always over muscly"
Seriously, they're just cartoons. I think anime is far more sexist if sexist = big boobs and thin bodies. - Yes, but manga characters seem to be stronger personalities. Plus, the assignment isnt on manga, it's on disney :P

Mulan - Yes, but no one wants to listen to her when revealed as female untill she moves her own ass and does something herself. Also, when she comes home, the grandma makes a comment "Great, she brings home a sword, if you ask me she should have brought home a man" which means that she gets home "great, ok, you just won a war, now go get married and make yo' babies"

Lady and The tramp - Errr, the siamese cats? If you don't see something just a liiitle bit wrong with the portrayal of asians in that, then I don't know what you will see....

I remember when I was a midget, growing up thinking arabia was like in Aladin, and that I have to find a man to be happy, untill I was about eight. My younger cousins at eight have the same feelings now.

Cary on watching the rest of the documentary I posted and you'll come to a bit where the black lady says that one of her white friends had come to her saying her son had heard some black kids talking and said "Look Mommy, the Hyenas!" and the white mum couldnt move her son away from that image, and the image of them being bad.

Alsoooo, in Dumbo, asides the crows, there is a scene where the circus people are asemling the circus are black and arse singing ""We work all day, we work all night
We never learned to read or write
Were happy-hearted roustabouts"
Plus, the leader of the crows is called "Jim Crow" and the crows are voiced by white guys trying desperately hard to do a white voice

Nine Most Racist Disney Characters

Read this for more info too ;)

#9 Jax

Jax

    I can't get BoA off my mind!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 820 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 11:07 AM

"And the general image of women in disney e.g Big boobs, coy, seductive, thin bodies etc
and for men, the male fight for pride and how the men are always over muscly"
Seriously, they're just cartoons. I think anime is far more sexist if sexist = big boobs and thin bodies.

You are looking at the cartoons from a older ,worldly perspective.
Kids know nothing about the world around them. Everything that happens around them, they take it in as information. When watching these Disney movies, do kids take in what they see as fact?

Lion King - Back then I didn't pick it up either. I only did because the media portrays gays in a certain way and Scar acts that certain way. He could potentially be a negative influence on kids.

Pocahontas-I have ancestors that were massacred and forced to become 'civilized' by the Europeans so Pocahontas is offensive to me. When you consider what they really did, Pocahontas makes Europeans look good. Not to mention that the message is not true. Wouldn't it be nice if when two people from different races fell in love and everyone just put their differences aside and got along? That's not what happens in real life. Puts up this standard that will never be met in life.

Mulan- It stereotypes what a man and woman is supposed to be. Listen to the song Make A Man Out of You(Love that song). Poor little boy who doesn't fit that mold. Mulan doesn't fit the mold of what it takes to be woman of marriageable stock. She has no aim in life but to be a wife. She walks around all depressed because has no purpose in life because now she can't be a good wife because she didn't pass the test. The song Honor To Us All says 'Men want girls with good taste/Calm/Obedient/Who work fast-paced/With good breeding/And a tiny waist'. She has to be all these things to be a girl that a man wants because 'A girl can bring her family/Great honor in one way/By striking a good match'.

None of these things were done intentionally but you have to consider what effect it has on kids. When I was a kid I loved to watch Ren and Stimpy until there the one episode. Stimpy falls in love with and marries a whole raw chicken. Stimpy is over the moon happy with his new chicken bride until Ren one day, consumed with jealousy, grinds the chicken into sausages and then feeds it to Stimpy the next morning. From that day on I hated Ren with a passion. Well as much passion as you can hate a cartoon character. I refused to watch that show as a show of protest. I had Ren and Stimpy posters that I tore up. I got over it but still remember it vividly. That hate has transferred over to little dogs esp Chihuahuas. Can't stand those dogs. ^_^

#10 Jonnie

Jonnie

    HP:

  • BoAjjang Founder
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,931 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 11:17 AM

@Jax

I'm slightly confused... Mulan was based off a famous Chinese legend. So in this particular case, wouldn't you have to blame its origin as opposed to Disney?

If anything Disney did a good job exemplifying the story of a young woman serving her country, her family and bringing honor to her family's name.

But then again I don't know much about Chinese folklore beyond "Romance of Three Kingdoms", "Water Margin" and "Journey to the West".

edit: Also, back in Mulan's era in Ancient China, sons were valued much higher then daughters. The sons would carry the family name, could do farming tasks (being physically stronger), and could fight (also because of physical attributes). Girls were often married off or at times, thrown away at birth. I think Disney is hardly to blame for a historical fact in the case of Mulan.

#11 laydee-zee92

laydee-zee92

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 01:41 PM

You are looking at the cartoons from a older ,worldly perspective.
Kids know nothing about the world around them. Everything that happens around them, they take it in as information. When watching these Disney movies, do kids take in what they see as fact?

Lion King - Back then I didn't pick it up either. I only did because the media portrays gays in a certain way and Scar acts that certain way. He could potentially be a negative influence on kids.


Totally agree, with your other points, but your first in the quote, the films are aged at girls from 4 to about 9 right? The ages of about 5-9 and plus are when girls are discovering them selves. The image of women dosnt affect you imediately, but subliminally, you don't even realise. it happens in all media obviously, but Disney is dangerous because of the amount of coperate power it has.

#12 Jax

Jax

    I can't get BoA off my mind!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 820 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 01:58 PM

Who's to blame isn't the point. The point is the message being sent to kids accidentally. Kids don't know that it isn't that way anymore unless a parent sits them down and explains it to them. How many parents would feel the need to do that? Kids notice a lot more than parents give them credit for. Disney does take the time to make sure that their lead women are independent, inspirational type women but they are sending out other messages unintentionally. It is a message they send out constantly. The females wait around for a man to save them. When Mulan is discovered to be a woman, Shang saves her by not choosing to kill her. I've talked about the others.

I'm not saying the Disney is sexist or racist. I would hope that kids would naturally learn about how the world really works by growing up but she needed help and those are messages being sent out to kids early in life. Sometimes they send good and bad messages, I don't think anyone can make a movie that doesn't send out both good and bad messages. Belle reads and doesn't let how the villagers think of a woman reading disturb her. That's one message. Then they say that Belle is an oddity because she reads books. That's another message. Both messages need each other to support the story but at the same time one is positive and the other isn't. I think that parents need to sit down and talk with their kids. Imagine if Snow White's parents had sat her down and told her not to eat things from strangers. That would have changed the whole course of the story.

#13 laydee-zee92

laydee-zee92

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:00 PM

Who's to blame isn't the point. The point is the message being sent to kids accidentally. Kids don't know that it isn't that way anymore unless a parent sits them down and explains it to them. How many parents would feel the need to do that? Kids notice a lot more than parents give them credit for. Disney does take the time to make sure that their lead women are independent, inspirational type women but they are sending out other messages unintentionally. It is a message they send out constantly. The females wait around for a man to save them. When Mulan is discovered to be a woman, Shang saves her by not choosing to kill her. I've talked about the others.

I'm not saying the Disney is sexist or racist. I would hope that kids would naturally learn about how the world really works by growing up but she needed help and those are messages being sent out to kids early in life. Sometimes they send good and bad messages, I don't think anyone can make a movie that doesn't send out both good and bad messages. Belle reads and doesn't let how the villagers think of a woman reading disturb her. That's one message. Then they say that Belle is an oddity because she reads books. That's another message. Both messages need each other to support the story but at the same time one is positive and the other isn't. I think that parents need to sit down and talk with their kids. Imagine if Snow White's parents had sat her down and told her not to eat things from strangers. That would have changed the whole course of the story.


Mmmm you have a point
I don't think the racism/sexism is intentional, but it shouldnt be in there still.

#14 kaminokami2086

kaminokami2086

    I can't get BoA off my mind!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 906 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:20 PM

I feel you guys are reading too much into these cartoons.

#15 laydee-zee92

laydee-zee92

    Wowow! BoA is awesome!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:24 PM

Yes, cause I want to get a decent grade in sociology without having to research whether nucleaur families still exist ^_^




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users