Portrayal Of Women: Mulan And Brave

1496 words - 6 pages

In every society there are certain gender roles that men and women meet either because they are forced or because it is tradition. Mulan and Brave both show two very different teenage girls who are being forced into gender roles. Mulan seems to want to comply with her gender role within the Chinese society; however, Merida makes her point clear about not wanting to accept her gender role within the medieval Scottish society. Mulan is story about a young Chinese girl, Mulan, who runs off to join the army in place of her father and then brings honor to her family without following the traditional gender role she was almost forced into. Similarly, Brave is the story of a Scottish girl, Merida, who is forced into her traditional gender role. Even though both of these girls had gender roles that they would have to take on, both took different attempts to avoid them. Mulan did not know she would change the role of women in her society when she went to war, but Merida knew she would change the roles of women in her society. These girls both knew about the challenges that were ahead but they did not anticpate the impact the the challenges would have on them. Although both these movies show two very strong girls who surpass many obstacles to change destiny, they also send a negative message about women to the audience.
Mulan is set in ancient China a time when women did not have a voice in the government or in their home. Women during this time were expected to clean, cook, and only do things their husbands approved of. The most important day in a woman’s life would be the day she had to see the matchmaker and impress her. In China it was tradition that a woman go to matchmaker for marriage. In the movie it shows that this has become tradition because Mulan’s mother and grandmother mention their experiences with the matchmaker. Mulan sets up these stereotypes so that later they can show how they are wrong, it also explains some of the reasons why women are not equal to men.
In comparison, Brave is set in medieval Scotland in a time when there were little technological advancements and women had to be protected. Also during this time, teenaged girls were supposed to get married to men of their parents’ choosing. The experience Merida has was drastically different from Mulan. Queen Eleanor picks three princes from surrounding kingdoms. The princes have to would then come and play a game of Merida’s choice. During this time women did not live alone or without a man. The women needed to be protected from the dangers that could arise. Brave also sets up these scenes so that later in the movie the movie a connection can be drawn from Merida’s actions to the present.
Mulan and Brave both foster negative attitudes toward being a woman in their societies. In Mulan, the men have a negative attitude towards women. They do not believe that women are equal to men. In the movie, only men go to war and women must do everything that the men say. When the...

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