Here are some THOUGHTS about the video.....
THOUGHTS: The video never tries to imply that masculinity equals sexism. It says that when movies show the male characters as being sexist, this sends the message that men are supposed to be sexist.
Now as adults, we can see that Gaston isn't doing too well, since 'he doesn't get the girl' (another problem with movie themes that I have, but that wasn't even raised in this video) but the scene they show, is a valid one, in that he's obviously a powerful person, since he has so many flunkies running after him and the women in the bar at least think he's pretty good.
So the message the video is objecting to, is that powerful men are dominant and violent and sexist. Where in Disney movies do they show effective or powerful men as quiet, meek and physically diminutive? Even the beast, who does manage to get the prize, is a big hulking, sometimes scary figure.
THOUGHTS: Man gets girl is not the only theme in real life, right? How about man conquers mountain, or man loves his neighbor, or man is humbled by his failings, or man learns about himself through adversity? Disney movies may explore some of these themes, but they are usually the means to the first end-that man through all of this, gets the prize of the babe. So, the video is saying that the message of most Disney movies is that to be an effective man, he needs to impress/ win the heart of the main lady. Aside from this meaning that homosexual relationships continue to be seen as not the norm (I know you don't care about this idea) it also means that all other pursuits are less important. I also have a problem with this idea, because I feel that for children, learning what it means to be a fully fledged human being through the path of self-discovery and relationships with both men and women is the most important thing to be exposed to.
THOUGHTS: You and I understand that Gaston isn't the hero and maybe that becomes evident to children by the end of the movie, depending on their age, but certainly throughout the movie, Gaston is shown to be a powerful man. He has girls keen on him, he has people running around doing his bidding and he has a powerful position in the village.
THOUGHTS: You're right, Hercules is meant to be the strongest man in the world, according to Greek mythology and isn't it interesting that he would be chosen as a hero, as opposed to say, a character like Charlie Chaplin or more diminutive figures that previous generations saw as heroes?
THOUGHTS: I also feel that especially small children may not grasp the overall theme, instead accepting behaviors modeled in certain scenes. I also think that the most important point that the movie makes, which you, nor anyone else in this thread acknowledges, is that boys in particular, are being given warped models of what it means to be a man and that this can only be harmful for future generations of men. Disney movies rarely show heroes as vulnerable or weak. They don't show men overcoming their weaknesses, or learning to compensate for them, or learning to accept them somehow. I see so many people, both men and women, struggling with vulnerability, feeling that they must be strong, must always show the tough exterior/attitude, etc, or they will be beaten, used or abused and this leads to so many relationship problems.
Kids movies could be so good. But in general, they are not. I do not think they are getting any better. So long as they reinforce stereotypes and show people as one-dimensional beings, they can only get worse.
How can men and women learn to accept each other, warts and all, when from when we are babies in diapers, we are told that to succeed, we must be the fittest, the strongest and the most stunning?
Mr. Boggs - Sensei
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