After reading Peggy Orenstein's "Cinderella Ate my Daughter" and hearing about the issues she raised regarding gender roles and sexism in children's toys I could not help but to take a trip down memory lane. As a kid I loved all Disney movies and felt that it was a real positive part of my upbringing. The fact that the hero always beat the villan and came away the princess allowed all of us young boys to dream that one day we could do the same. I can't help, but to think now that maybe who I am today was determinded by gender roles that I got accustumed to seeing in some of my favorite movies. I beleive that my sports wallpaper, power ranger toys, violent video games, and love of Hercules may have been nothing short of assigned gender roles as well as a seperation from "girly" kind of things. Would I be a different person now if my favorite movie was "Snow White" as oppose to "Hercules?" How bout if i played with Barbie dolls instead of Ninja Turtles? Would I be a sissy of my toys had said beautiful, smile, and happy instead of power and hero. I don't know the answer to these questions, but what I do know is that I was never given the option. I was always reinforced to watch and play with certain toys by my friends, parents, and sometimes soceity (advertising commercials). I beleive that Orenstein's article focuses to a "T" on this very broad idea of "Feminism."
Like I mentioned before we all know that Disney and Toy companies try to program this idea of gender roles to our kids, but what I found extremely interesting was how blatent and obvious it is. Here is a video of scenes from a ton of different Disney Movies that showcase masculinity and sexism. One part shows a scene from the movie Mulan where they talk about what their ideal women will look like. One character says "I don't care what she looks like as long as she can cook." These frightening statements and subliminal messages in Disney movies back up Orenstein's problem with gender roles. What is a little girl to think that one day all she will be expected of from a man is to cook? She has to be as pretty as a Princess?
My comment for the class is that I have found a new and sincere appreciation toward all women who are part of a feminist movement. Watching that video I posted is truly disgusting. The things that the Disney directors get away with is nothing short of a crime against humanity (mostly young girls who do not know any better). I think it is absolutely amazing that women are as sane as they are today after growing up in this society where it is an absolute norm to be sexist.