How Women Are Represented In Disney Films

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Sleeping Beauty Pages: 2 (1007 words) Published: April 13, 2015
How Women are represented in Disney Films

This literature review is on how women are represented in Disney Princess films. Disney Princess films are watched all over the world by different age ranges and genders. Henry Giroux (1999) has showed that Disney has become a new “teaching mechanism” that is slowly replacing old teaching ways. Disney is a huge part of Children’s lives. But what are Disney Princesses teaching our children? How are they stereotyping women? And more importantly, are they putting all women in the same category? Gender roles are a set of ‘behavioural norms’ that have been given to males and females. They allow people to stereotype a persons identity based on their gender attributes. Blackstone says “Gender roles are based on the different expectations that individuals, groups, and societies have of individuals based on their sex and based on each society's values and beliefs about gender. Gender roles are the product of the interactions between individuals and their environments, and they give individuals cues about what sort of behaviour is to be appropriate for what sex.” (Blackstone, 2003) Strength, aggression and dominance are usually associated with masculinity. Femininity is usually associated with passivity, nurturing and kindness. Before we begin, based on content analysis the study found that 57 percent of all Disney Characters are Male where as Females only have 21 percent of the representations. Some say this is because Walt Disney was once reported on saying "Girls bore me-they still do. I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I've ever known." Disney (1930) cited by Steele (1999)

In many aspects of Disney Films, women are shown to be the weaker sex. If we look at men and women’s roles in Disney Films, men are portrayed as assertive, athletic, confident and stronger than female characters. Wasko agrees with this and says; “more recently, feminists have argued that, while images of women may be more prevalent, they still...
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