What’s Sexist About The Faces In Disney’s Frozen

Frozen-Anna-Elza-cropped

Animation student Gianna has blogged an excellent essay critiquing the identical faces of the protagonist sisters in Disney’s Frozen.

Disney has already proven that that they can easily design female characters who don’t have the Exact Same Face. Then they started doing that on Frozen, but someone — probably one of the higher-ups or executives, I seriously doubt it was the character designers — said, “No, make them look like this.” And they knew full well that they looked identical and also extremely similar to Rapunzel, because anybody with eyes can see that.

Don’t even tell me it’s because they’re sisters, because I have two sisters, and I don’t look identical to either of them. I have never met a pair of non-twin siblings who had the Exact Same Face. It doesn’t even make sense for the story, because Elsa’s face in particular hardly fit her character or voice actress. [...]

So now that we’ve ruled out laziness, lack of ability, or some story-based cause as reason for their Sameface Syndrome, and taking into account the trend of “good people = pretty; bad people = ugly” that’s always been so prevalent in Disney, the truth becomes clear.

Rapunzel, Anna, and Elsa all look the same because they’re supposed to be beautiful.

And Disney has decided, either consciously or subconsciously, that there’s only one way to look beautiful. For women, that is.

I agree with this analysis, but I wonder if it doesn’t additionally have to do with making the characters look more like what Disney’s marketing people believe will be the most sell-able toy versions of the characters.

Elsewhere in her essay, Gianna refers to Disney’s big (and, imo, positive) move away from realistic faces for female leads with The Little Mermaid. I’ve always thought the reason Disney did that is that the title character is mute for huge portions of The Little Mermaid, forcing them to make Ariel’s face extra expressive, rather than porcelain-doll pretty.

But with Frozen, Disney has taken a giant step backwards to pre-Mermaid days. The princess characters are made to look like porcelain dolls, and really have the least expressive faces of any Disney princess since Eilowny in 1985′s Black Cauldron. Gianna writes:

Anna and Elsa’s facial expressions, particularly Elsa’s, were significantly dialed back at the animation stage to prevent their faces from stretching out of shape and making them look ‘too ugly,’ producing the side effect of making them look oddly stiff. Stretching and exaggerating faces to get good overall movement is one of the basic principles of animation, and I’m concerned that Disney decided to throw it out in favor of making their women look slightly more attractive, especially since I haven’t noticed this in any other Disney Princess films.

So no, I don’t think Frozen is the most feminist Disney film ever – that title remains with either Mulan or Brave. And part of the reason why is Frozen‘s distinctly un-feminist character design.

More anti-Frozen ranting: The problem with false feminism. Although really, I liked Frozen a lot. But it had flaws.

Update: Early conceptual art of the sisters from Frozen.

early-frozen-sketch

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46 Responses to What’s Sexist About The Faces In Disney’s Frozen

  1. 1
    closetpuritan says:

    I agree that Frozen is not the most feminist film. Some of the stuff in “The problem with false feminism” was weird, though. The part about “Anna wasn’t really isolated, because that wouldn’t make sense, and her parents wouldn’t have done that” was silly, IMO. It doesn’t matter what would have made more sense, it matters what the movie portrays; Anna was portrayed as extremely isolated.

    With the “strong female characters” bit, I wonder how many of the author’s acquaintances are using a different definition than she is. There’s quite a bit of discussion and disagreement over whether a strong female character is a woman who doesn’t rely on others and has lots of impressive skills and stuff, or is strongly written–in which case real flaws are a good thing, whereas in the former case real flaws are a bad thing. The author seems a little unsure which one she means: “clumsy w/no effect on plot” is a Mary Sue flaw rather than a real flaw, but then the author lists a bunch of ways that Anna has real flaws and says the real flaws are also a problem. Meanwhile I’m thinking, “She’s selfish, impulsive, and overconfident–great! She’s not a pedestalized perfect princess, she’s a real person with real flaws, and she’s still allowed to be the heroine!” (It’s not completely true that her clumsiness has no effect on the plot; it’s the reason she first talks to Hans. Would he have tried to court her in any case? Probably. Would they have gotten all the way to marriage proposals with a delayed start? Maybe not. Would Elsa have lost control of her powers without the marriage proposal’s effect on her? Maybe not.)

    While the relatively quick falling-in-love with Kristoff does somewhat undermine the “you can’t marry a man you’ve just met”, it also doesn’t seem fair to say that an engagement and a first kiss are basically the same.

    I’m not defending Elsa’s ice costume, though.

  2. 2
    Harlequin says:

    There’s a really good series of analyses of this problem on tumblr culminating at this post, focusing on the song “Let It Go.” A quote from a good bit by lyndez:

    if you watch Idina Menzel sing, well, pretty much anything, but especially her songs from Wicked, she is EMOTING. she is earnestly performing ev-ry sing-le syll-a-ble. she’s not “attractive” when she does it, but that doesn’t matter, because you’re not looking at her for her face, you’re looking for the feeling.

    And there’s also a nice bit of analysis on the animation of the emotional parts of the song, with two screencaps.

  3. 3
    ashley says:

    i agreed with much of the problem with false feminism, particularly the criticism’s of the sisters’ lack of character development and agency and how the movie negatively portrays anna’s first love-at-first-sight but then positively portrays the second one. one of her central arguments was entirely wrong though – she makes the claim that disney princesses always have a stated goal which gets fulfilled by the end, which is correct, but she incorrectly says that anna is the first character since 1959 whose stated goal for the movie is to find true love, which is briefly mentioned in the “first time in forever” song. however anna’s goal for the movie was not that line from “first time in forever” but was actually expressed at the beginning of the movie as the “do you want to build a snowman” song, which pretty clearly portrayed her goal in the movie as restoring her relationship with her sister, and the entire movie is about her seeking to fulfill this goal. so the central premise of her argument is a bit weak.

  4. 4
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Venting about the movie in general– I can live with the faces. What gets to me is that the two male romantic leads have bodies that are within the normal human range, and the sisters don’t.

    Also, what’s with the “love experts” attempting a forced marriage?

  5. 5
    JutGory says:

    For what it is worth, it looks like Frozen and Brave pass the Bechdel test; Mulan did not.
    -Jut

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Actually, Mulan passes the Bechdel test, although not as overwhelmingly as Brave and Frozen.

    Mulan (1998) – Does it Pass the Bechdel Test?

    For a more detailed discussion, see the comments here, especially Luminum’s comments.

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    Ashley – I very much agree. I included that link because I thought the article did a good job being a catalyst to further thought – but I definitely disagreed with a lot of it.

  8. 8
    closetpuritan says:

    I had to think about the troll scene. (I also read the follow-up post.) I was on the fence for a bit, but I think in the end I’m sticking by my original conclusion that we’re *supposed* to think the trolls are being ridiculous (basically a parody of the parent who can’t understand why every eligible man/woman isn’t eager to court their child) and Kristoff is supposed to be the audience stand-in/the reasonable one–not that “we agree with the trolls. That moment reads as comedic because the audience isn’t expected to respect Anna’s agency either. We’ve already assumed she’ll end up with Kristoff. We’ve made the choice for her too.” (For one thing, I was still not sure who would end up with who–I thought maybe Kristoff and Elsa, maybe Kristoff and Anna (and Elsa and Hans).)

    I also think this is wrong:
    “If Anna hadn’t collapsed in distress; if the wedding had been allowed to continue, what would have happened? I don’t know. You don’t know. The writers probably don’t know, and that’s alright, because they never needed to. The point remains that Anna is still very nearly offered up to a man whom she has given no indication of loving, without ever saying that she wants it.”
    I think it’s reasonable to say it’s implied that since they just asked her, “Anna, do you take Kristoff to be your trollfully wedded…” in a parallel of a common human marriage ceremony, that it would be like the human marriage ceremony where if you don’t say yes, then you’re not married. (Affirmative consent!)

    I thought about whether it was analogous to a woman being pressured to have sex rather than analogous to rape, but even there I think the case is weak, because Kristoff was on Anna’s side here, not the trolls’ side. Even if she gave in under pressure (which doesn’t seem likely in Anna’s case, even without the fact that she has Kristoff on her side), I don’t think Kristoff would go along with it.

  9. 9
    closetpuritan says:

    Ashley:
    I think there’s room for disagreement on which is the true “I want” song–I did think of it as “For the First Time In Forever”, and you could also argue that it’s a two-part “I want” song, made up of both “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “First Time In Forever”. My interpretation is, although both songs are about a specific person/role to some degree (the whole song in “Snowman”, just the last part in “Forever”), both songs are about Anna’s loneliness in general, and her goal for the movie is to not be lonely. (I noticed that in addition to being eager to marry Hans, Anna seemed delighted at the possibility of a bunch of Hans’ family moving in as well.)

    “Forever” also functions as an “I want” song for Elsa when you look at her lyrics–basically her goal is to perform her duties without people finding out about her ice powers.

    The movie is arguably less feminist in a way because both Anna and Elsa’s goals are fairly limited, more about “freedom from” than “freedom to”–at least in Elsa’s case. (But Elsa is the antagonist, sort of, not the traditional “I want” singer.) Is Anna’s goal more accurately phrased positively (“have some good relationships with sister/husband/people in general”) or negatively (“freedom from loneliness”)?

  10. 10
    Ben Lehman says:

    I’m trying to figure out how recovery from child abuse is anti-feminist now?

    I get the point about the character designs: they look like dolls and are about as stiff. But the rest of this? Is just sort of bizarre for me to read.

    Anna and Elsa go through fairly horrific child abuse (at the hands of well-meaning parents / trolls, yes, but still abuse, and still horrific.) The story is about how this affects them as adults, and their recovery from it.

    (There’s also a disability metaphor with Elsa — she’s abused in a very common way that disabled kids are abused, she’s told to cover it up and conceal it, she’s ostracized for people knowing. I am also confused about why this is anti-feminist.)

    How is this an evil fake feminism evil evil? I’m just sort of puzzled along the lines of “did we watch the same movie?” puzzled.

    yrs–
    –Ben

  11. 11
    Phil says:

    Not to pick a nit, but I think the idea of naming a “most feminist Disney film” implies a movie produced by Disney Feature Animation, or at least a movie produced by Walt Disney Studios. “Brave” does not qualify. Disney owns the company that produced Brave, yes, but by that metric, ABC Television Movies and Miramax films are fair play, too.

  12. 12
    Robert says:

    Whatever the movie’s flaws, and even as a personal late-in-life convert to the cult of ‘true love’, I am forever grateful to it for subverting the idea that true love must be heterosexual, romantic, youth-oriented, and instead putting something as ordinary (yet extraordinary) as sibling-to-sibling love as the narrative center of the story. It made an impact on my little girl. It’s not going to convince her not to marry the wo/man of her dreams or whatever, nor should it. But it is the mass culture taking a moment to say “hey, we talk a LOT about romantic love as being oh-so-important, and surely it is for many people. But it’s not the only, or the ‘highest’, or the ‘best’ kind of love; it’s one among many, and the other kinds are really really awesome too.”

    And I really appreciate that as a dad.

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:

    …I am forever grateful to it for subverting the idea that true love must be heterosexual, romantic, youth-oriented, and instead putting something as ordinary (yet extraordinary) as sibling-to-sibling love as the narrative center of the story.

    I quite agree! I loved that about Frozen. (Did you like Brave?)

    I suspect that in the character design area, the upper management’s desire to make the best-selling toys possible overwhelmed what the animators would have designed on their own.

  14. 14
    Robert says:

    Didn’t see “Brave”. I know, I know, I hang my head in shame and turn in my Fantasy Geek card.

    I’m sure they did have toys in mind but I can also see another possibility, since I am kind and openhearted and believe the best about people, unlike your own dismal view of a humanity mired in selfish wickedness. Perhaps they wanted to emphasize visually the sisters’ consanguinity. How is that usually signaled? Siblings look alike. They went a little overboard…or maybe they hit the exact level of similarity that little kids need in order to perceive the cue.

  15. 15
    closetpuritan says:

    Robert, that was one of my favorite things about Frozen, too.

  16. 16
    Ampersand says:

    Robert, I don’t buy it. The Disney animators are among the most skilled on the planet: They are completely capable of making characters look like sisters without using the exact same face for each one. Nor are children as incapable of understanding as you assume – any child old enough to follow “Frozen” knows that sisters don’t have to have the same face in order to be related. (It’s not like siblings are something children never encounter in the real world).

    Here’s an early concept sketch for “Frozen” from one of Disney’s designers:

    early-frozen-sketch

    Admittedly, that’s possibly too far in the other direction, but they certainly weren’t thinking the characters had to look like twins when they started this movie. (Nor is this the first Disney to feature sibling characters.)

  17. 17
    JutGory says:

    Amp:
    Honest question (I don’t know and I presume nothing): are they the same faces?

    My understanding (okay, I guess that is a presumption) is that all of this animation is computer-generated. If that is the case, it is based upon a computer model. Is the criticism that they used the same computer model for both faces? if the answer is “no,” then they are NOT the same face. They may look a lot alike; I won’t dispute that. But, if the models are different, then, it is an unfair criticism to say they are the same. You can criticize them for not making them different enough (while still suggesting the filial (or sororial) relationship), but that is a different criticism.

    Again, I don’t know (I have not seen the movie and may not, unless Baby-Gory forces it upon me more than 900 times). You said “the exact same face,” and, with computer animation, whether they are “the exact same face” should be relatively easy to determine (based upon computer models).

    -Jut

    (By the way, my computers take great offense that I keep having to check that I am not a robot. They are feeling a bit miffed.)

  18. 18
    Ampersand says:

    JutGory, I don’t know if they are literally the same computer model or not. To my eyes, it looks like the same underlying model was used, but the hair and the skin color and textures were done differently.

    Even if they don’t technically have the same face (and I don’t know if they do or not), it’s what the finished product looks like that counts. And it looks like they have the same face.

  19. 19
    brian says:

    I suspect people are over-thinking this. The dolls for all 3 characters can now have interchangeable heads, reducing manufacturing costs. If it were verifiable, I’d bet on it being just that practical.

    Some executive – “Tell those artists to give them Rapunzel’s face. Yeah, we have 100,000 unsold units gathering dust. Just give them different clothes, yeah. Height? Who cares, all dolls are either short or tall. See ya at the premier!”

  20. 20
    HelloJack says:

    I swear every time a cartoon has a female character who doesn’t conform to some arbitrary list of feminist agenda, we never hear the end of it. Give it a rest already, we’re all sick of hearing that dead horse get beaten.

    In fact, I’m willing to bet the decision to use similar models was indeed to save time and money. Ever notice the same occurrence in video games? Same concept. If you think there is some sexist or misogynist reason behind it, you’re seriously over analyzing.

  21. 21
    Tess says:

    HelloJack: If it was a time/money issue, why would they use the same model for the two main characters, but have the two supporting male characters (Kristoff and Hans) looking very different from one another? It just make no sense and yes, it is misogynistic. It’s long been the case that good characters, particularly in animation, are typically portrayed as attractive and villains as ugly. The problem is that there is apparently a far narrower spectrum for women to embody this, which isn’t the case in real life at all.

  22. 22
    chloe says:

    You’re a crazy bat. Frozen is not at all sexist against women. If anyone is to make an argument for sexist it would be a man, as there are no strong male characters in the movie. Out of the only two, one is evil and the other is portrayed as dopey and in need of a woman to change him. What kind of example is this for young boys? And for your argument about the females always being attractive, SO ARE THE MALES. In fact them being attractive was brought up frequently from the princess. So should young boys only be valued for their looks? There is not a hint of sexism towards women in this movie. If any, it’s directed towards men. Women like you are the reason why people ignore feminism.

  23. 23
    Chris says:

    Yes, “women” like Ampersand are the problem with feminism. Women who identify as men and have been (AFAIK) biologically male since birth. Dammit, Amp! This is why we can’t have nice things!

  24. 24
    chloe says:

    Feminism itself has just become disgusting. No one even mentions the real problem of this film which is that there is NO racial diversity. Everyone in this film has pale skin and Caucasian features, except for the curvaceous figures they have of course. It’s such a poor example for children who aren’t white. So this “feminism” bs needs to take a back seat. Actually, it needs to stop altogether. Because women have long gained equality, and Disney has PLENTY of strong female characters. What it is lacking is everyone who isn’t white. All feminists are today are a bunch of bitching women that pick at the most petty things. It’s exactly why people don’t appreciate the movement anymore. Pull your heads out of your asses and fix some real problems with our society

  25. 25
    Ampersand says:

    Chloe, please keep all comments civil (you can read our moderation policy here) and just basically dial back the over-the-top contempt a few dozen notches. If you’re unable or unwilling to disagree in a respectful manner, you’ll be banned, and that’s no fun at all.

  26. 26
    Jake Squid says:

    All feminists are today are a bunch of bitching women that pick at the most petty things.

    Yes. This is exactly why feminism is unnecessary.

    /deadpan

  27. 27
    chloe says:

    The only contempt here is the contempt that these so called “feminists” have towards men. It’s the reason why women who actually want to make steps towards real equality are being ignored. But yes, I’ll tone it down

  28. 28
    Myca says:

    The only contempt here is the contempt that these so called “feminists” have towards men.

    Ampersand, Jake, and I are all men, and there are quite a few other male commenters and authors here.

    I think if feminism was seething with contempt for men, we’d have noticed by now.

    —Myca

  29. 29
    chloe says:

    You obviously haven’t read all of the comments on here or haven’t been paying attention to society around you. Feminist are fighting a war that has long been won. Most of the prominent feminist voices are here in America. Mostly white women in their late 20s to early 50s complaining that they don’t have enough when in reality they have the easiest lifestyles of any group when you look at the demographics. The real problem occurs in the middle east and africa where women are given few rights and treated as property, not analyzing the similarities of the faces on two princesses in a Disney cartoon. It’s nitpicking and rather petty. It hinders the progress that real feminists are making. A fight for equality is what feminism is supposed to be, and that’s for women AND men. Some of the authors here may be male, but being a man doesn’t mean you don’t have contempt for the male gender. Usually people who dislike their own gender have been through some sort of trauma in their lives. -Chloe

  30. 30
    Jake Squid says:

    Yes. Gender Equality has been achieved in the US. It happened on August 14, 1992 at 4:57 PM. Read your history.

    Real Feminists(tm) care not for the petty things that a bunch of bitching women in America pick at. Real Feminists(tm) are concerned with the only actual Gender Inequality(patent pending) in the world. Inequalities that every Real Feminist(tm) knows occur only in the middle east and africa (not, btw, proper nouns to Real Feminists(tm)).

    /deadpan

  31. 31
    closetpuritan says:

    one is evil and the other is portrayed as dopey and in need of a woman to change him.

    Did we watch the same movie? I would say that Kristoff at least as worldly-wise and emotionally mature as Hans, Elsa, or Anna. (Full disclosure: I identify quite a bit with Kristoff. Who hasn’t had moments of “You’re doing what?” or “I think this has ruined me for helping anyone ever again”.)

    You obviously haven’t read all of the comments on here
    If by “on here” you mean, “every single comment on Alas”, I’m not sure even Amp has done that. This blog has been around >10 years. But the people you’ve been talking to are regulars who’ve surely read more comments than someone who didn’t even get Amp’s gender right. If you mean “on this post”, after a quick re-read of the comments, the only contempt towards men I’m noticing started when you called Amp a “crazy bat”.

    Usually people who dislike their own gender have been through some sort of trauma in their lives.
    You seem to be a woman based on your name, and you don’t seem to like women very much… Would you say that that’s due to some sort of trauma in your life?

  32. 32
    chloe says:

    I’m simply telling it like it is. And I’m glad that you cared so much to analyze every word in my arguement, shows I’m getting through to at least a few of you. And I love being a woman actually. Society has given me tons of benefits just for having a vagina, who could hate that? But what I pride myself on is that although I am a woman I also (read this part carefully), care about… men. I simply want to live in a society that is truly equal. I don’t want to raise my son to think that he is inferior to a woman. He is going to be a smart, strong, and confidant man, something that almost all male characters on tv, especially cartoons, are missing. I will raise my daughter to be the same, not superior. She definitely won’t be looking to Disney for advice.

  33. 33
    Grace Annam says:

    chloe:

    Society has given me tons of benefits just for having a vagina, who could hate that?

    Setting aside the rest, for now: I recognize that you are a woman, but having a vagina isn’t what made you one. Statistically, that’s the way to bet, sure, but I know some men who have or had vaginas, and I know some women who have or had penises.

    I also want to live in a society where people are equal. From that premise, you and I seem to end up in some very different places, though.

    Grace

  34. 34
    chloe says:

    Right… well you can bet that I’m definitely a woman. Ya know, sugar, spice, everything nice. And I think we are on the same page. If you truly want to live in a society where we are equal… than yes, we’re on the same page

  35. 35
    Ampersand says:

    Frozen is not at all sexist against women. If anyone is to make an argument for sexist it would be a man, as there are no strong male characters in the movie.

    It’s not an either-or; it’s possible that Frozen is sexist in how it depicts both male and female characters. That said, I have to agree with ClosetPuritan; Kristoff in Frozen is consistently depicted as brave, strong, intelligent, and decent. I don’t think Kristoff is depicted as any more in need of change than Anna (and certainly less than Elsa). If the movie presented all women as perfect as they are and only men in need of change, then maybe you’d have a point; but that’s not what the movie does.

    And for your argument about the females always being attractive, SO ARE THE MALES.

    I don’t think you understood my argument. My objection is not to Elsa and Anna both being attractive; it’s that Disney’s conception of “attractive” for female faces has gotten so crushingly narrow that they both have the exact same face. (As does Rapunzel in Tangled).

    In comparison, Kristoff, Hans, and Flynn Rider (from Tangled) are all drawn as very attractive young men, but they don’t all have the same face. Disney is able to conceive of multiple ways for men to be attractive. Why can’t they do the same for women?

    No one even mentions the real problem of this film which is that there is NO racial diversity.

    I totally agree with you about this; I’ve written a bunch about lack of POC in media, although I didn’t write about it in this post. I don’t agree with your implication that I have a responsibility to cover every possible subject in every single post.

    But I’ve seen a lot of feminist bloggers write about this in regards to Frozen, especially the blogger “Feminist Disney” on Tumblr. Here are some sample links:

    Feminist Disney, Is Disney Frozen in Time, or Moving Forward?
    Feminist Disney, Is a brief background glimpse progress?
    Feminist Disney, PoC in Frozen: Need They be Slaves to be Included?
    Feminist Disney, back to Frozen…
    Feminist Disney, I was thinking- letter to people who hate my posts
    Feminist Disney, metal-matron: thetreewithin: …
    Feminist Disney, thepersonthatpeopleignore: …
    Feminist Disney, Tumblr's Social Justice Hypocrisy: SJW Media Whitewashing Hypocrisy
    take me or leave me (supermattural: sogoesthedorktrain: Frozen is…)

    Finally, as for “pettiness,” you’re the one who’s taking time to complain about what I do or don’t post on my tiny obscure blog. And you’re concerned with the representation of people of color in Disney films; I agree with you, but by your standards isn’t this a petty issue, compared to (say) the mass slaughters going on in some countries?

    I’m a cartoonist; I care a lot about animation. I don’t pretend it’s the most essential issue in the world – obviously it’s not – but neither do I apologize for being passionate about good cartooning. If you don’t think it’s worth talking about, well then, don’t talk about it. But I don’t think it’s realistic or fair to expect people to talk about nothing but the most crucial issues. Could you really live up to a standard like that yourself?

    I wrote more about the “pettiness” charge here.

  36. 36
    chloe says:

    I don’t expect everyone to only speak about big important issues, but then again I also wouldn’t blog about an issue so unimportant either. And I wouldn’t say that the similarities between a few of the Disney princesses is nearly as important as the lack of racial diversity. A reasonable person would recognize the patterns of discrimination throughout Disney’s history as more of a statement than the fact that three Disney princesses have the same facial features. How about the fact that all but three of the leading ladies in Disney have the same skin tone? Now that’s a noteworthy issue, not this nitpicking faux feminism.

  37. 37
    closetpuritan says:

    Well! It’s a good thing we have chloe to tell us what is and isn’t important. I’m sure that coming on here to tell us what we should and shouldn’t be talking about is much more important than fixing racism at Disney.

    I’m glad that you cared so much to analyze every word in my arguement
    I didn’t, actually. For example, I didn’t even get to the point that Amp makes above, though I did notice it, about you misunderstanding his argument as one about women being attractive vs. all looking the same.

    And I love being a woman actually. Society has given me tons of benefits just for having a vagina, who could hate that? But what I pride myself on is that although I am a woman I also (read this part carefully), care about… men.

    That doesn’t sound like you love being a woman or don’t hold contempt for other women, it sounds like you believe that being a woman gets you “tons of benefits”, but there’s nothing inherent to being a woman that you like, and you implicitly believe that most women do not care about men. And actually, it does sound like you “hate that”, since you’re coming on here and telling us how unfairly Disney supposedly treats their male characters compared to women. Plus it seems unlikely that you both “care about men” and have no objection to supposedly being given a ton of benefits just for being a woman.

    I’m assuming that the “read this part carefully” was necessary because you assume that, absent this instruction, other people will read your comments about as carefully as you’ve read everything here.

  38. 38
    chloe says:

    I’m glad you said that, because you’re a perfect example of what’s wrong with feminism today. You’re saying that I must hate being a woman because I am defending men. In reality, I’m the true feminist here because Im pointing out the inequalities on both sides. Most feminist today only focus on the issues that women have, and yes specifically white women. All I’m saying is that in actuality we have it the easiest of any group. In fact we have it so easy that the only thing we can think of to complain about now is the shape of a Disney Princesses face. We completely ignore all of the injustices that men suffer in the media, courtsystem, and society in general. And God forbid we even mention the suffering of minorities without be accused of “race carding”. Its disgusting that a group that has been given so much complains the most. And yes, I hate that many women lack femininity and are pushing for more Butch-like characters that are far beyond examples of real women. So I’m not sure that I am the one tthat hates being a woman. And for your last bit, it’s clear that at least you have read my comments very carefully, and everyone else that keeps responding to them. My intentions aren’t to get under anyone’s skin, but apparently when you have an opposing view that is actually fact, it tends to happen

  39. 39
    Ampersand says:

    I’m going to somewhat take Chloe’s side here – whether or not Chloe hates being a woman is not a reasonable topic of debate. Let’s all stop discussing it.

    Let’s discuss issues, not attack each other personally.

    That said, Chloe, there are plenty of posts on this blog about how sexism harms men. And this one blog post is hardly the only example of sexism against women that’s ever discussed, either by feminists in general or just on this blog.

  40. 40
    Grace Annam says:

    chloe:

    And yes, I hate that many women lack femininity and are pushing for more Butch-like characters that are far beyond examples of real women.

    Wow.

    “Real women”, huh? Are we still talking about Disney productions and how Frozen did such a good job portraying women?

    Also, “real women”… where have I heard that before? That sounds like a phrase that has been weaponized at some point…

    Grace

  41. 41
    chloe says:

    By real women I mean like those that act, sound, and look like women. In a real world it is not realistic for a woman to be physically stronger than a man. So examples like Brave or Mulan, which have been mentioned in this post, are poor examples for young girls. They teach them to strive towards something that is biologically impossible. It’s just not what we are made to do. Leave the fighting to the men, that’s what their bodys are made for. Instead we should be focusing on making our little girls just as smart and headstrong as their male counterparts.

  42. 42
    closetpuritan says:

    You’re saying that I must hate being a woman because I am defending men.

    Nope. That’s not what I said.

    In fact we have it so easy that the only thing we can think of to complain about now is the shape of a Disney Princesses face. We completely ignore all of the injustices that men suffer in the media, courtsystem, and society in general. [citation needed]

    Actually my main point, Amp, was that she has contempt for women in general, e.g. stuff like this. She seemed to equivocate between the two when talking about male feminists, so I was doing it a bit as well. But either way, I will drop it now.

    And for your last bit, it’s clear that at least you have read my comments very carefully, and everyone else that keeps responding to them.

    I was saying that you weren’t reading carefully, not that people other than you weren’t reading carefully. Which you continue to demonstrate.

    My intentions aren’t to get under anyone’s skin, but apparently when you have an opposing view that is actually fact, it tends to happen

    Merely responding to you is proof that you’re getting under people’s skin? I don’t think a [mere] assertion that we’re being emotional is going to get you much respect around here. It makes you look bad.

    Also, and this IS a nitpick: there are 4 POC Disney princesses, not 3. Pocahontas, Jasmine, Mulan, and Tiana.

  43. 43
    closetpuritan says:

    On a more substantive note: there’s a limit to how much American feminists (and Western feminists in general) can do on behalf of women in the Middle East and Africa that will actually help rather than make things worse. If some Americans are trying to coerce people in another country to do something, it is not going to look as good as if it’s coming primarily from the women they know and love. The best thing we can do is lend support to the local activists, who know best what their priorities should be. If you’re interested in that sort of thing and not already contributing to them, MADRE is a good organization.

  44. 44
    Jake Squid says:

    By real women I mean like those that act, sound, and look like women. In a real world it is not realistic for a woman to be physically stronger than a man

    Of course not. It would be absurd to think that my friend, Valerie, who once won Strongest Woman in Illinois and who has biceps bigger than my thighs (even though we’re the same height) is stronger than me. That would be pure fantasy. Also pure fantasy? The very thought that Grace, from this very comment thread and a professional police officer, could possibly be stronger than me.

    Those must be delusions or lies. Pure poppycock. You just keep telling us what the real world is like, which things are most important and what we think of men and what we think of women. Without your omniscience we are lost, chloe.

  45. 45
    closetpuritan says:

    In a real world it is not realistic for a woman to be physically stronger than a man. So examples like Brave or Mulan, which have been mentioned in this post, are poor examples for young girls. They teach them to strive towards something that is biologically impossible.

    In addition to Jake’s points–that indeed, some women are stronger than some men–Mulan is not portrayed as stronger than her male compatriots. In the “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” video:
    Osmond the Great and Powerful (Singer)
    She is portrayed as less physically strong than the male recruits (when they are carrying the stick with two weights on the end) before the “turning point” in their training, and is the only one who is told to go home. At the end of the training she is doing the same things as her compatriots, but that doesn’t even mean that she’s exactly equally strong, let alone stronger; presumably some male soldiers are stronger than others, too, but they’re all doing the same things so you can’t tell. Most of the things they’re doing in the training are more about dexterity than strength. The times when she’s shown outdoing her compatriots, it’s through cleverness, not brute strength.

    I don’t remember Brave as well, but IIRC that Merida is simply better than her suitors at hitting a target. It shows her being strong enough to draw a bow, but that doesn’t mean she’s stronger than her suitors. She has better dexterity and/or more practice shooting.

    You didn’t say whether you think that women have worse dexterity, but if this is your reaction to these movies, maybe you do? Maybe you think that women can’t be good gymnasts or dancers, either?

  46. 46
    nm says:

    In fact we have it so easy that the only thing we can think of to complain about now is the shape of a Disney Princesses face.

    I’m a woman, and I can think of some other things to complain about: the fact that women are paid, on average, less than men; the fact that (mostly) male legislators don’t trust women to control their own bodies; the fact that there are men who feel so entitled to have access to women’s bodies that they go on shooting sprees to protest not getting laid. And that’s even without getting intersectional about gender identity, class, race, religion, or what have you. I’m a little surprised that you think we have it so easy.

    I don’t see how also commenting on Disney’s visual depiction of women, and on what that means about messages girls get about their faces and bodies, prevents work on the issues that concern me, or on the issues that you say concern you. Most people are able to think about more than one thing, or work at more than one thing, over the course of a day.