The True Legend Behind Mulan

The True Legend Behind Mulan

The real-life warrior behind the story of Mulan sets an example for a truly strong woman.
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Fun fact: Frozen wasn’t the first Disney movie to say you don’t need a man to save you. Mulan far preceded the Arendelle sisters, and I don’t think this story gets enough attention. Sure, I may be a little biased; the movie came into the world in the same year I did, and the animator for Mushu is an artist in residence at my college. Nevertheless, the story is still greatly underappreciated.

While now appreciated in certain groups for its feminist message, Mulan actually did quite poorly in theaters. The movie was based off a poem entitled “Ballad of Mulan,” which is thought to be based off of a real female warrior. There is some debate over which exact Chinese female warrior it was, but there was one I found most intriguing. Her name was Fu Hao, and she was what we might call a total boss.

Fu Hao had a host of titles, including Lady Hao, Lady Fu Hao, Mu Xin (after she died), and Fù Hǎo. In the Shang Dynasty, which lasted from 1250 to 1192 B.C., King Wu Ding would take wives from neighboring tribes to build allegiances. Fu Hao was one of 60, but she stood out and rose through the ranks. She led many military campaigns, winning a decent amount to boot! She commanded up to 13,000 soldiers, as well as had two important generals, Zhi and Hou Gao, serving under her. She was one of the most important military leaders in her time, if not the most important. And she did all this while still being a wife and mother. Her high martial status can be seen in the sheer number of weapons that were found in her tomb. Fu Hao was also a high priestess and an oracle caster; there are many sacrificial bronze vessels and tortoise shells that have “prepared by Fu Hao” carved into them. She even had her own estate on the borders of the empire and earned the king’s confidence in her. No wonder someone made a poem about her.

In the “Ballad of Mulan,” the heroine is named Mulan. She was modified a bit for the era it was written in, so her story is not quite identical to Fu Hao’s. Basically, Hua Mulan fights in the war because her brother is too young and her father is too old. After 10 years, she denies any military honors and goes home. Her family is overjoyed to see her and her comrades finally figure out, after 12 years, that she is a girl (it took her two years to walk home). They kind of kick themselves for not noticing but don’t mind beyond that.

Between real life and the ballad, quite a few differences exist. As I said previously, this woman was a woman of the times she was written into. First off, Mulan is not a queen. Also, while there is ambiguity to whether or not Mulan hid her gender, Fu Hao’s was never a secret. I am not sure how long Fu Hao fought, but I assume that it must have been more than 10 years to gain the influence she did. Fu Hao was in a different dynasty, but since the author was writing the poem for their own time, that’s to be expected. Interestingly enough, the rulers at the time it was written were not Chinese but rather Turkish. Likely due to this ethnicity shift, the Northern Wei Dynasty is marked with political instability and intense cultural and social modifications.

Between the movie and the ballad, there are not as many differences. Instead of Hua Mulan, we have Fa Mulan. The ballad does not specifically state who Mulan is fighting, but we know from the time period and location that it was not barbaric Huns from the north. At least Disney gives a shoutout to Mulan’s little brother with her dog, Little Brother. In this movie, one could argue that Disney has actually enhanced the story with their modifications. Both Fu Hao and the original Mulan did not have to face the punishment that could come from being a woman in the army. All they had to do, which admittedly was daunting, was fight a war. Mulan of 1998 had to face a disapproving society — to the extent of death penalty in the barren snow-covered mountains. She faced that challenge and was given another noble motive of saving her father from certain death. In the emperor’s great words, “You stole your father’s armor, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonored the Chinese army, destroyed my palace, and you have saved us all.” Despite the costs, Mulan fought for what she believed in. Both Fa Mulan and Fu Hao are women to be admired.

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Cover Image Credit: Her Campus

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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