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Racism and Sexism in disney


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#16 Lilith11

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:02 PM

Wow... this is a pretty interesting topic!

Well...to give my two cents...

I agree that sexism does exist in Disney, yes, even in Mulan. I mean, look at Mulan II; she's unhappy and suddenly submisseive the minute she's away from Shang! That just completely breaks the "strong woman" Mulan is supposed to portray! And even though Mulan does cross-dress as a guy, remember her facial features; sterotypical Asian features (slanty eyes, obsession w/pale skin, etc, etc), pouty lips, a small waist, the works. Are all women supposed to be like that? And the fact that Mulan had to dress as a MAN to get recognition.... does that mean that for a girl to be recognized, they must behave like a boy? Can they not be recognized as an equal and woman? Now, of course, I understand the storyline and how it was illegal back then for a woman to be in the army... but what kind of message does it send to young ones?

I can also certainly seem the racism/sexism in the females; save for Jasmine, Mulan, the heroine in the newest Disney movie that's African-America (?), the rest are all Caucasain, all possessing overaly idealized features... long eyeslashes, seductive eyes, a tiny waist, hourglass figure, etc, etc. It seems as if only they get recognized... for example, look at the witch in Snow White; she's old and hobbled over and what is she? Evil... and she doesn't show/flaunt her figure with tight-fitting/skanty clothes (Ariel anyone?). Perhaps this is reading too deep... but is that implying that if you don't reveal lots of skin as a female, you're not "good?" Feminine. I laugh at that. I too have noticed the way the females walk; either daintily, or with a sexy sway. Once more, what message does that send? That to be attractive, to be female, you must walk to entice males, either with small elegant steps, or sway your hips?

And... easily the most sexist movies in Disney...

Cinderella- Easy; girl is useless and pines desperately for Prince Charming; life doesn't start until he comes into her life; also, her step-sisters are "ugly girls" and they are "evil;" note how neither of them have blue eyes or blonde hair or exhibit housewife skills; blatant sexism right there and then. Thus, to be sucessful in life for a girl, you must be beautiful and be a great housewife and wait around for a strong man to sweet you off your feet?

Sleeping Beauty- Okay... so, apparently, girls are idiots (Aurora pricking finger= Eve picking Fruit of Knowledge), wait for Prince Charming (yes, because I just sit at my window everyday and wait for the guy who's never going to come :D ), and are well... useless. Great depiction of a female right there :D Thank God I don't fit with that depiction.

#17 Yuuki_Haruka

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 05:33 PM

How about doing some historical research? Disney didn't cook up these fairy tales intentionally to be offensive. Disney may not always be really accurate (Pocahontas), but a lot of their renditions of classical fairy tales actually make a good attempt to show the social atmosphere of the time they're supposed to exist in. Have women already forgotten their long struggle for equality? It wasn't always like that you know, in the grand scheme of things, only recently have women have taken their rightful place equal to men.

Mulan for example, Honor To Us All perfectly describes how women where considered in the day. Ancient society as a whole generally idolizes men, and disregards women as inferior. Their job was to have children, and raise the children. Mulan does an excellent job rebelling against this idea and proving the point that women are strong and able to stand on their own two feet. And whoever took her dressing as a man in order to be recognized as a bad message for children is obviously an idiot. Women weren't allowed to fight in the military, so if she didn't dress like a man, she'd just become a baby machine, like every other woman. It's a time period thing, it's not a deliberate jab at modern woman kind.

Now, the typical appearance of a Disney heroine or villian. This is all archetypes. The archetype for a witch is a haggard old woman. The archetype for a princess is a beautiful dainty woman, and what do all the Disney heroines, save Mulan, have in common? They're all princesses or become princesses. That's our collective unconscious talking, Carl Jung has a lot to say on this concept.

The messages in these movies may not be as literal as everyone is taking them for. Take Pocahontas. The message there is NOT that the English and Natives got along, clearly contradicting history. It's a UNIVERSAL message that applies to modern day, if two cultures try to understand each other, they can get along. Lion King? The message is about responsibility. Beauty and the Beast? The message is about inner beauty. Mulan: honor and respect. I could go on. It's not always about the literal what you're seeing in your face, generally, nothing is. It's about the driving, universal theme. Those themes, I think, are good for our children to learn.

The only real movie from Disney I could see being racist is definately Song of the South. That one has issues. The rest I can't say are consciously in any way making an effort to drive bad messages into our children's heads.

#18 starsarang

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 06:39 PM

Last time I checked, Dumbo does not display racism.
Unless I missed a part in where they make fun of somebody with different skin tones and such.
It is about a baby elephant discriminated, due to his large ears.
He is the same "race" as the other elephants, just with larger than average ears. :D

#19 kaminokami2086

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:25 PM

Last time I checked, Dumbo does not display racism.
Unless I missed a part in where they make fun of somebody with different skin tones and such.
It is about a baby elephant discriminated, due to his large ears.
He is the same "race" as the other elephants, just with larger than average ears. ^_^


The crows in Dumbo are racial displays of blacks, you know the old pre-civil rights view. Thats one of the few cartoons I do think is racist.

#20 melyxcious

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:23 PM

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.


The Scar thing is correct and one I've heard a few times, but as for the whole killing his brother cuz he was jealous - it's totally Shakespeare's Hamlet there. Two brothers, one's king [Mufasa] who has a son that's next in line for the "throne" even though there's his brother - Scar. But aside from that... Yes, to the sexism :T

The racist parts about The Lion King are - other than the whole black (Scar) vs. white (Mufasa/Pride Rock [[I dunno another word for them]]... are the Hyenas. Pay attention to the way they talk. The female is black, and the other one talking is Hispanic. It's purely racist how Disney put them considering how there's the stereotype that blacks/hispanics are bad and whatnot.

Edited by melyxcious, 05 November 2008 - 11:23 PM.


#21 laydee-zee92

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:08 AM

How about doing some historical research? Disney didn't cook up these fairy tales intentionally to be offensive. Disney may not always be really accurate (Pocahontas), but a lot of their renditions of classical fairy tales actually make a good attempt to show the social atmosphere of the time they're supposed to exist in. Have women already forgotten their long struggle for equality? It wasn't always like that you know, in the grand scheme of things, only recently have women have taken their rightful place equal to men.

Mulan for example, Honor To Us All perfectly describes how women where considered in the day. Ancient society as a whole generally idolizes men, and disregards women as inferior. Their job was to have children, and raise the children. Mulan does an excellent job rebelling against this idea and proving the point that women are strong and able to stand on their own two feet. And whoever took her dressing as a man in order to be recognized as a bad message for children is obviously an idiot. Women weren't allowed to fight in the military, so if she didn't dress like a man, she'd just become a baby machine, like every other woman. It's a time period thing, it's not a deliberate jab at modern woman kind.


I agreem it wasnt intentional. THEN. Back then, it was the mind set.
But then, even in recent shows
Hannah Montanna, Corey in The House, That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zach and Codey, High School Musical...
Plenty of racism ans sexism there

#22 Tyler

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 11:35 AM

I agreem it wasnt intentional. THEN. Back then, it was the mind set.
But then, even in recent shows
Hannah Montanna, Corey in The House, That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zach and Codey, High School Musical...
Plenty of racism ans sexism there


wheres the racism and sexism in those?

#23 mininamie

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:12 PM

lay-dee zee92 I think you should check out this video. It's a great example of racism in all disney movies of all races. Hope it helps!



#24 Yuuki_Haruka

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:16 PM

I agreem it wasnt intentional. THEN. Back then, it was the mind set.


Exactly. Changing the mindset and portrayal would be like having a pre-civil war or civil war themed movie without slavery. The world worked one way, and now that it works another we can't ignore how we got there.


But then, even in recent shows
Hannah Montanna, Corey in The House, That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zach and Codey, High School Musical...
Plenty of racism ans sexism there


Where ._.?

#25 starsarang

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 01:51 PM

sterotypical Asian features (slanty eyes, obsession w/pale skin, etc, etc), pouty lips, a small waist, the works. Are all women supposed to be like that?

Its because she is Chinese, and they are trying to get that message across that she is. :)
It isn't that ALL women are to be like that, its how they depict Chinese people in their own way, as it is a "cartoon".
Just as everyone has their own "style" in drawing and such. They have different styles of drawing in the Disney movies.
Just because all women in one show are all skinny, does not nessesarily mean that in the world every woman is a pile of sticks.
Anyways, I can tell wether somebody is Philipino, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc., because they have the "main" features their race has.
I can't tell you off the bat of what they are, but I can tell most of the time, as they look it, and have those features, just as an average human has a nose, two arms, a pair of legs and ears, and dogs have four legs and a pair of ears, and a race of people, like Chinese or Korea mainly have those style of eyes, etc.
Different features, different races.

Edited by starsarang, 07 November 2008 - 01:53 PM.


#26 laydee-zee92

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:03 PM

Ok, to those asking about recent disney

Suite Life of Zach and Codey. Compare Maddie with London. Maddies smart, Londons dumb, Maddies Kind, Londons selfish, Maddies white, London's asian. Plus she is also rich and spoilt while Maddie is the "poor white girl". Pollitically, it's a typical "they come here, take our money and we're damn poor!".

Esteban - However you spell the name, he's portrayed as a dumb s**t too. Plus, he has a ridiculously long name, I don't know any spaniards with names that long.

Moseby - Oh come on! That is Ooozing with steryotypes!!!!! Ever watched the Black and white minsterel show? Plus, he's the MEAAAAN hotel manager who can be "softend"... mhmmm

Mosbey's grandmother in the show - Her ass is huge! it's so obviously a fake! She gets stuck in the chair cause her ass is so big. Notice a steryotype there?

Sexism -
Notice how Zach and Codey only ever seem to go for alarmingly attractive girls? Well, Zach does, but that's ok, he's "cool", the normal looking girls get codey the "weedy geek".

Hannah Montanna

ROXY!!!!! - Just watch roxy on hannah montanna for more than a minute, and you'll see my point...no explanation needed.

The black and the asian bullies - Amber and Ashley? The black one is domineering and the asian one is dumb, and the two girls being bullied are white. What does this show?

Sexism
The whole of Hannah Montanna is bloody sexist!!!!! I can't even describe it! I just look at it and go "OMG?!"

Corey in the house

Racism

Meena - Anybody ever heard of Bohavia? It's supposed to be iran/saudi/iraqi kinda countries. Guess who America is at war with? :)
She's a persian girl obsessed with Yaks (?). Also, she is ashamed of her culture slightly in the episode where corey meets her. Plus, she does a lot of hiding from her dad. This instigates the steryotype that Middle Eastern girls all have to hide from thier parents.

Corey - my god does he look like something out of those 1940's racist cartoons. He has this rather obsessive lust for money, but is rather lazy...I smell another steryotype....

His dad - Hello, he's a chef for a white guy, and has hardly any involvement in things at the white house, despite being head chef.

Sexism - None that I can think of...amazingly....

That's so raven

Raven - She hardly ever does school work, and has an attitude outta nowhere. I don't know any black people like that, but black girls in disney all seem to take the same form

Corey - Same corey as Corey in the house. More into bling and baggy pants though.

Stanley - Baisically, a mini corey. And how many black people have you heard calling each other "Maaah Brodah!"?

Chelsey - The dumb white girl, well they needed one to balance out the score and to stop TSR looking like a 1940's cartoon.

Eddie - Steryotypical gangster speech, lazy, maybe works a tad harder than everyone else in the show though...

Sexism - When you watch it, how about playing spot the innuendo?

and High School Musical ohhh godd....
It's the most sexsist crap out there! All the girls are uberly pretty and the guys look like something outta bay watch! However, troy is a singer/bbal player, so maybe disney have got it slightly right....

#27 Yuuki_Haruka

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:00 PM

Honestly, it seems like you're looking WAY too hard and trying to make something out of nothing. Plus, you just go "HELLO!?" instead of actually providing examples for half of them. If someone doesn't get it, "Hello, look at it!" isn't going to make them understand it any better

#28 Lexi

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:30 PM

You know, one could probably write a whole thesis on how High School Musical could be disillusioning and destroying America. :lol:

#29 Yuuki_Haruka

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 10:16 AM

You know, one could probably write a whole thesis on how High School Musical could be disillusioning and destroying America. ^_^


And let's not forget, the integrity and dignity of Broadway as we knew it in the pre-Disney era. "High School Musical Stage" or whatever the crap is.

#30 itslikedat

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:51 PM

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


yeah
I never noticed any of these things before when I was watching them.

Edited by itslikedat, 08 November 2008 - 12:51 PM.





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