Gender Roles in Disney

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Tokio Nakamoto
Mrs. Kish
AP Language and Composition
28 March 2011
Role of Gender in Disney
In the diverse society of today, the topic of equal rights and equal treatment of every person is a heavily focused and pronounced topic. With time and tremendous amount of effort by many advocates of civil rights, the enormous rift between races and genders have minimized to fractions of what it used to be. This change of belief from the white male supremacy to the diverse equality is a significant turning point of the world history. Not even 100 years ago, women were not able to vote and were supposed to stay at home while the husband, the man of the household, went out and worked for the family. Within the past few decades, women and men both have contributed their efforts to reduce the stereotypes of both men and women. And the effort did in fact make big changes in the society over time. However, some types of current media influence and teach its viewers the stereotypes of gender that people have been trying to diminish. Disney, in particular uses its films to highlight the gender roles of the society.

Many of the Disney princess movies like Cinderella all share the classic fairy tale story structure of finding the dreamy prince charming. From the beginning of the story, the goal of the main character is to find the prince and marry him in order become a princess. To do so, they must behave like a proper young woman and be beautiful. The basic storyline that Disney repeatedly uses already emphasizes on a stereotype that a woman’s role during their lifetime is to be taught etiquette and manners and to find a young successful man at a young age and rely on him to live a happy life. In none of the Disney films is there a girl whose dream is to pursue a career completely independent from masculine support and to be a successful woman on her own. In addition, many of the princesses and female characters of Disney films appear too weak and helpless at crucial and...
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