How Do Gender Roles Get Portrayed In Disney Films?

889 words - 4 pages

Introduction
A. Definition of Gender Roles
A gender role consists of characteristics that refer to a set of social and behavioral norms that are widely considered appropriate for either males or females. Gender roles are different throughout society and cultures. One gains gender roles unconsciously, consciously, or genetically due to cultural rules (Princeton).
B. How film characters are seen by the audience
Many people view women as weak in hopeless and males as strong and heroic in films. Male characters are seen to be more physical, functional, sexual, smart, and independent. Female characters are seen as dependent, weak, quiet, graceful, and innocent (Planned Parenthood). For example, in the movie Tangled (2009) Rapunzel is seen as a women trapped within her home where she paints, cleans, and reads; when her prince shows up she hits him with a frying pan. In the movie The Little Mermaid, Prince Eric is seen as a tough man and hero due to rescuing Ariel and taking over a ship during a violent sea storm.
Disney and Gender Rolls
A. Article One: “Disney Princesses Are Not the Role Models They Appear To Be” By Cassie Schmidt
The author of this article argues that the classic Disney Princesses are not great role models for young children. “Children learn by example, and Cinderella teaches that finding love is easy – which is far from the truth.” So what the author means is that growing up, kids basically play “follow the leader” everyday. What children see is what children will do and apply to their everyday life. Cinderella finding true love at a ball is completely fictional, but it can teach girls to be hopelessly romantic. Another statement the author of this article makes is about Snow White, “After being thrown out of her kingdom, she stumbles upon a dirty cottage with seven little men living in it. Without being asked, the young woman cleans the whole house from top to bottom and begins to take on the motherly role the dwarfs expect of her by cooking meals and continuing to clean up after the men.” Being a movie created in the 1930s this was expected by women in society then. A woman cleaning and cooking for a man is now a common-day stereotype/objectification of women. A phrase used a lot by men now-a-days is, “Women belong in a kitchen.” The author believes women lessening themselves for men are both the universal and overall message the movie is sending out.
B. “Gender Roll Portrayal and the Disney Princesses” By Dawn England, Lara Descartes, Melissa Collier-Meek
This article talks about a study done on all Disney movies and the coding of the male and feminine characteristics of Princesses and Princes. To name a few for male characteristics they looked for are; exploration tactics, if they're physically strong, assertive,...

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