Disney Princesses And Feminism

Disney Princesses And Feminism

Believe it or not, Disney actually isn't antifeminist

You know what really grinds my gears? People who blast Disney for being "anti-feminist," because if any of them had actually watched a Disney movie they would know that Disney is nowhere near anti-feminist. I don't mean newer Disney films, such as Frozen or Brave aren't anti-feminist. I mean every single Disney princess film isn't anti-feminist. Take a gander below to find out why.

1. Snow White

Snow White is quite possibly the most optimistic person you'll ever meet. Her positivity and kindness shouldn't be mistaken for weakness though. Let us not forget, she was almost killed. And instead of waiting for someone to help her out, she makes her own way. She finds the cottage, and she immediately takes control of it. Many argue that she ends up falling into a subservient role with the dwarves, but I beg to differ. She runs the household: the dwarves do what she asks them to, not vice versa.

2. Cinderella

Her father dies, and she's left with a wicked stepmother and stepsisters. What does she do? Make the most of her situation. She never once gives into the negativity she would be completely justified to have. Her trip to the ball was not a trip in search of a man to save her- it was simply a trip in search of fun and freedom for one night. Remember the sequels to this movie? They were all about being true to yourself and doing things your own way rather than how society tells you to.

3. The Little Mermaid

One thing that has constantly baffled me is how people claim that Disney princesses are always saved by a man. When Ariel first sees Eric, she saves him. If not for her being there when the storm hit, Eric would have died. Remember later in the movie when they find out Ursula is who's really marrying Eric? Ariel and her friends are the ones to stop the wedding, yet again saving Eric. Another weak argument presented about this movie is how it promotes "changing yourself for a man"... uh, hello, when Ariel sings "Part of Your World" she sings only about wanting to explore the human world and learn everything about it. She never once mentions Eric, because guess what, she hadn't even met him yet! She wanted to be a part of the human world long before him. Why else do you think the movie opens with her exploring a sunken ship for remnants of human culture? Why else does she have a grotto filled with human treasures and trinkets?

4. Beauty and the Beast

Ah yes, Belle. The princess people claim was only good for her looks. Yes, it was her beauty that saved the beast. It wasn't her patience and understanding. It wasn't her pushing the beast to be a better, kinder person. No, the thing that saved the beast was Belle's sexuality and looks. *Scoffs* This heroine is a bookworm who doesn't fit in because she's a woman who reads and thinks and has no concern for marriage. If her sexuality and appearance were the sole weight of her character, she would've been married to Gaston and that would've been the end of it. However, she sees Gaston for the monster he is and society as ignorant. Her falling in love with the beast isn't what saves the beast either. Remember, the curse put on him was in order to make him learn to love someone other than himself. Her reciprocation of this love is only half of the spell breaker.

5. Pocahontas

Pocahontas saves John and stops a major battle from happening. Early in the movie, she despises the idea of being married off because she feels life has bigger plans for her than simply being someone's wife. She teaches John to respect her people, and she works hard to try and prevent any fighting from occurring... and she succeeds. At the very end, she doesn't get happily ever after. John has to go back to England to be healed, and she has to make a choice- follow him or stay and lead her people. She stays, because her duty is more important than her love for this man. In the sequel, we find that she's achieved such a high status that foreigners believe her to be a chief. She is the person to go to when there is an issue to resolve. Not her father, but her.

6. Aladdin

Jasmine is yet another princess against the idea of an arranged marriage. She doesn't want to be and do what society expects, she wants to be her own person free to make her own choices. So, she runs away to escape her constricting life. Yes, Aladdin has to save her in the marketplace. But you know what? Woman cannot do all herself. Neither can man. What's wrong with getting help? Receiving help from someone doesn't make you weak or "antifeminist", it makes you human. One person cannot do it all on their own. At the end of the movie, Jasmine is set on marrying Aladdin despite his not being royal. She would rather follow her heart and not be a princess, than conform.

7. Sleeping Beauty

Okay, so Aurora doesn't get a lot of screen time. And yeah, she has to be saved by a prince. BUT, let us not forget her curse was placed upon her by a woman. And the only reason the prince is able to save her is because the three fairies, also female, gift the prince with weapons and help him the whole way to the castle where Aurora sleeps.

8. The Princess and the Frog

Remember how everyone thought Merida was the first real feminist Disney princess? Maybe the other princesses weren't overtly strong women, but let's get real- Tiana was the real first overtly strong female years before Merida was given this title. Tiana is hardworking. She doesn't expect to be given anything, she expects to have to earn everything. When Naveen falls in love with her, his plan isn't to whisk her away to his royal castle to live as his princess. His plan is to work hard to help her get her restaurant. He fully intends to work with Tiana and help her with her own business. Never once is he dismissive of her plans and dreams. Rather than place his desires over hers, he decides to work hard to help her achieve her goals. In the end, they get her restaurant with her hard earned money. All Naveen does is support her. They are a team.

9. Tangled

Rapunzel is pretty heavily mentally and emotionally abused by Mother Gothel. And yet, Rapunzel is such a strong character. She endures her situation and makes the most of it. When she sees an opportunity to see the lights, she takes it. She runs the show, not Flynn. When they're chased by the royal guard, Rapunzel whisks Flynn to safety. When they're about to drown, she saves them with her hair. When Flynn comes to her rescue at the end, he chops off her hair to save her. He would rather die than live knowing that she's still a prisoner. And he does die for a few minutes, until Rapunzel saves him with her magical tears. What's that? She saves him?

Yes, that's right. Pretty much every princess saves her prince at some point, and if she doesn't, the prince is helped by other women in the movie. Even in cases where the princess has to be the one saved, that princess is still strong and feminist. People seem to have this skewed idea that a woman shouldn't ever need to be saved. Somehow, we've come to believe that a feminist woman only comes in one mold: The Merida mold. The princess who never marries and never shows interest in a man at any point. But what's wrong with marriage and love? Why does having a love interest automatically make a princess "antifeminist"? When did we develop this idea that feminism means free of man in any way? Feminism at its core is about equality. And shouldn't equality mean being able to have a love interest and still be a strong character? Plenty of male characters fall in love and marry, and are still able to kick ass. Their marriage doesn't make them weak. Why then do we treat princesses' happily ever afters as weak?

Disney has its problems, sure. However, being antifeminist isn't one of them. If Disney were truly antifeminist, none of these princesses would've done half the things they did. They all would've just been maidens sitting around waiting to be married off; kind of like the women in Jane Austen novels, which no one takes issue with despite the fact that every one of her novels has to do with marriage. The sole plot of every Austen novel is a woman who struggles to find love but then ends up happily married. Whereas in Disney movies, marriage is something that happens but isn't the main focus. Yet, every woman holds Austen heroines to be feminist and strong. What a paradox- a woman obsessed with marriage can still be seen as a strong character, but a princess who happens to get married can't.

Bottomline, marriage and love don't make a woman any less of a feminist. Receiving help or being saved also does not make a woman any less of a feminist. Even manly men like Superman receive help and are saved. If we aren't labeling Superman as weak, we shouldn't be labeling Disney princesses as weak. Because that's true feminism: treating the sexes equally.

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.


it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now

how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you

a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you

i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight

it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about

the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life

i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then

but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing

that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.

It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.

It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.

You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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