A person’s views upon television and film can be affected by medias various components. In the films Mulan, Pleasantville and Think Like a Man, media presents gender in distinct forms. Pleasantville illustrates the changes of how sexuality has paved its way into film during the fifties and how women resist being seen as purely housekeepers. While Mulan crushes down the typical patriarchal role in film and presents a woman saving China even though she had to disguise her sexuality to begin with. Then Think Like a Man takes a look into how sexuality and love are stereotyped by a book of guidelines to a successful relationship. Each of these films explore components of gender that relate to labels of everyday social life.
Mulan, created in 1998, is a film that goes against the norms of gender roles. As seen in the film from the beginning, she does not fit the typical feminine character everyone wants her to be. When she puts make-up and nice clothes on she is told she will never bring honor to her family by her matchmaker. She continues with a song in which she sings, “I will never be seen as a perfect bride or daughter. Can it be, I’m not meant to play this part?" (Mulan,1998). Even in Disney films that are targeted towards kids there are these condescending perceptions displayed of women not being able to be seen as honorable unless they get a husband.
Author Friedan write his piece “The Feminine Mystique” to explore how women are forced to be seen predominantly as housewives or caregivers. He stated at one point “the only goal of a woman is the pursuit of a man” (Friedan, 1963:30). Everyone saw Mulan getting a man from the matchmaker as a requirement to make society and her family proud. Unlike many women who had no sense of self during certain eras of film, Mulan is strong, independent and has control of her life. This is seen as she tries to honor her family in a different way since she can’t as a housewife. In order to save her weak father that has become drafted into the war, Mulan decides to join in his place as his son “Ping”. She disguises her sexuality to take on a patriarchal role.
Once Mulan is in training for combat she is treated as a man because no one knows otherwise. However, eventually she gets hurt in war and wakes up and is uncovered. When the captain soldier sees her with breasts and her hair out of a bun they yell at her and tell her that it’s the ultimate dishonor. She just saved them and she still gets threatened. Patriarchy pride is greatly expressed with this. All of a sudden her femininity is the only thing the other soldiers see and they are disgraced. Gender roles in the work force are highly stereotyped. It was seen as a joke to consider a woman a soldier. As discussed in the article, Military Women in Film, Television and Media, author Luckett explains that even though women can be seen to have more screen...