The Early Disney Princesses Set Dangerous Examples For Young Girls.

Early Disney Princesses Really Tried To Ruin It For Women

The early Disney princesses are the very models for female oppression and the consequences are no surprise.

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It is common knowledge that Walt Disney was not a feminist, and that, my friends, is an understatement. But if you didn't know that, a marathon of the old Disney princess movies would clear it right up for you. Starting in 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he made it abundantly clear exactly what a woman's place was in this world. She was made to wait on men or a prince to make her happy.

And her female relationships were just not healthy. The evil queen only hates Snow White because she's more beautiful than her and tries to poison her to kill her because of it. (All of the powerful feminine characters in the early films up through 1989 with the introduction of Little Mermaid, were "evil" because you should never try to be a powerful woman who knows what she wants.)

Ursula

Let's talk though about Snow White's role to these seven little miserable, disorganized, unkempt men. Her chief responsibility is to care for them despite how grumpy, irritating, or messy they might be, and to do it while cheerfully singing a song. It doesn't matter how grumpy or lazy these men are, Snow White, you must put up with them and tend to their needs while whistling a happy tune and being followed by songbirds.

One of the real problems with most of these early Disney movies is the compelling need for a prince. Snow White sings by a well, in a wishing song (a common theme of these earlier movies—remember Ariel's famous wish to be human?) Snow White sings, "I'm wishing for the one I love to find me today, I'm hoping and I'm dreaming of the nice things he'll say." It's all about the prince. That's all she needs, and life will be complete, right?

And then, when that evil woman does poison her, Snow White is so pretty that the dwarfs put her in a glass coffin and she becomes helpless to do anything but wait for a prince's kiss. Again, our daughters' role model is a helpless woman whose future is entirely out of her hands. Cinderella has to wait for the prince to find her, but once he does, oh her life is happy again! Ariel is the worst example in this motif, as she sacrifices her very voice to win over the prince and when falling in love, he has nothing to go on but her beauty—forget about brains, little Arielle—you won't need them apparently.

The Little Mermaid

These princess stories are enough to banish them from my household—little girls should not be raised on these examples. These messages are subtle and dangerous. You need a man to be happy. You should put up with men who act awful (tame that Beast), and be sure you are sweet no matter what. Only beauty really matters. C'mon, people! We can do better.

We watch our little girls get obsessed with these stories and then we wonder about the high incidence of date rape or women suffering in abusive relationships. We look at the rise in eating disorders and teen suicide and we don't question the saccharine-sweet, helpless role models we've given our youngest, most impressionable female citizens.

Snow White kiss

Even Disney seems to be waking up to the stereotypes they have imprinted on our female culture. The latest princesses are getting stronger and more authentic. Merida in 2012 fought for her own hand, refusing to be married; she became her own hero and mended bonds with her mother in the process. Moana, in 2016, didn't need a prince. She was in control of her own fate and happiness—a prince didn't even make it into the storyline.

Moana

Disney, we need more stories like this.

We need stories about Malala, and Princess Diana, and Amelie Ehrheart, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Ada Lovelace, and Harriet Tubman, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Joan of Ark. We need a freaking parade of strong women. We need to watch movies about these powerful women who changed history. We need our young girls to see that they can lead a revolution—they can be the change they want to see in the world.

Bring it on, Disney. Generation Z is ready.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Problem With Men

The damage of toxic masculinity.

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Toxic masculinity is deeply rooted in stereotypes held for the male population. It's characteristics are a constant outward appearance of being strong mentally and physically, a suppression of emotion, and a violent behavior to assume a presence of power. The problem with men isn't men themselves, but societies reinforcement of these qualities defined as toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, men are still responsible for their actions and should hold themselves accountable.

Toxic masculinity causes problems for everyone, but it is particularly harmful to women. It is a contributing cause to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. The United States has begun to recognize these issues and people have come together to fight them. What becomes overlooked, is the damage toxic masculinity has on men. The constant need to be strong and conceal emotion is extremely harmful to mental health. We cannot all be strong all the time, but that is the societal standard for men. This can be a contributing factor of increased suicide rates and decreased mental health in the male population. The need to prove power through violence could also be a reason for the overwhelming amount of men to women in the prison population. Some examples of the lesser effects of toxic masculinity are the assumptions that boys cannot play with dolls or like princesses, that men cannot wear dresses or skirts, and that men cannot be interested in makeup or clothing. This greatly limits individuality and outer expression for men. Girls have gained the acceptance to play with trucks or like superheroes, women can wear pants, and can be interested in cars or tools. There is still a long way to go for women, but for men, the battle for these simple things has not even been won.

Toxic masculinity stems from the fact that men are still held as superior to women. To show emotion, or to be 'weak', or to do anything that makes them akin to women will undermine their societal superiority. Inequality of the sexes has led to the issue of toxic masculinity and it all comes from prejudice and discrimination against women. To fix toxic masculinity we have to address the issue of perceived inferiority of women. Men cannot get completely better until the problem that births all the rest, is solved.

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