"The Ballad of Mulan" has experienced a resurgenceof popularity as Disney is making it the story of his latest animated feature. In the last five years the traditional Chinese poem has been publishedin various versions of children books.
As a little girl, I was just about as girly as anyone could possibly be, and that isn’t an exaggeration. My room was completely pink, I had a matching bow for every outfit, and I wore only dresses and Mary- Janes because pants and sneakers were “boy stuff”. My youngest sister, while not considered a tom- boy, has a significantly different approach to life. She is much more outdoorsy than I ever was, and does not share my childhood hatred of jeans and corduroys. Additionally, as a toddler she enjoyed playing with trains and animal toys, where I preferred dolls and my play kitchen. While I know that there are probably many reasons that influenced our differences, I think that some of the messages that I received while watching Disney princess movies may have had an effect on my behavior and overall outlook on life. Madeline has grown up with a slightly different animated cannon, in that while she has seen the “classics” that I watched repeatedly, more of the films that she has been exposed to have less gender stereotypical content. For my final project, I am going to examine the way that the message sent by Disney through their movies has changed for the better in the way gender and stereotypes are portrayed.
Ultimately, the need to develop a sense of solidarity between male and female peasants as both subjects of oppression resulted in criticizing concerns relating to women alone. Such was the fate of author Ding Ling, the most prominent female writer of her generation, whose attack on the sexist attitudes of her comrades resulted in suppression. The state also failed to deal with opposition to the progressive changes embodied in the Marriage Law of 1950, which granted young people the right to choose their own marriage partners, and women to initiate divorce and to inherit property.
I think you have a really cool topic for your final project. I always find it fascinating how cartoon films that I watched as a child feature so many values and cultural ideas that are reflective of our society at the time. As a child I was completely oblivious to anything besides the songs on plot. It’s crazy how as adults you can watch the same film and enjoy it for completely different reasons. I think the movies you chose to analyze are great because they feature contrasting roles/images of women. It might also be interesting to explore what factors/world events that may have contributed to this change in the imaging of female characters in Disney movies.
I also think it might be interesting to look beyond the protagonists of the stories and take a look at the supporting characters. In my experience that is usually where the real gender stereotypes emerge. I cannot think off one from these three that quickly, but think about Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Ursula in The Little Mermaid.
The changes happened during Mao Tse-Tung dictatorship in the 1950's through the 70's China's Heroine Treasured legend of China,
Supports gender equality,
& Reveals cultural beliefs "The Ballad of Mulan." Asia for Educators.
Women's Roles Kinship roles
They were to take on the virtues of humility, resignation, subservience, self-abasement, obedience, cleanliness, & industry Women Today Still educators and caretakers
They have education opportunities
They have new freedoms
They are now leaders in politics and businesses
They have more opportunities than ever before Gender Inequality Largely influenced by the
Confucian beliefs When did it all change?
The challenge to unequal gender difference was mounted anew in the 1910s when women in Japans second wave feminism set about to oppose the NeoConfucian ideology of good wife, wise mother. One, Hiratsuka Haruko (pen name Raicho), in 1911 founded the feminist magazine Seito (Bluestocking), where its contributors considered broad social issues such as freedom of love and marriage. Not surprisingly, the magazine was often censored and banned.
Mao opened up many opportunities for women in education, the work force, and leadership positions "For there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ."
Galatians 3:28 NIV
"The Ballad of Mulan." Asia for Educators.
By the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries, serious challenges to accepted beliefs about gender were mounted in both Japan and China. Although concerns about womens position had been expressed earlier, the concept of womens liberation became a major motivating force within the eras nationalist, reform, and revolution movements. Male nationalists initiated the discussion by arguing that an improvement in the status of women was essential to their countrys acceptance by other technologically advanced nations. A core of educated women in both Japan and China joined the call by speaking and writing in public for the first time. Conservative nationalists and traditionalists in Japan and China at different times reacted by mounting long campaigns against any change in gender roles. Ultimately female activists were labeled unseemly, unfeminine, and too western.
Strong Legendary and Real Heroes: Counterbalancing beliefs about womens place is the historic veneration of some powerful, albeit exceptional, women. Stories of warrior women such as Hua Mulan and various militant Ninja types appear regularly in classical Chinese fiction. In Japan, samurai women appear, like Tomoe Gozen who supposedly rode into battle alongside her husband during Gempei Wars, or Hojo Masako (1157-1225), wife of Japans first shogun, who directed armies and in effect ruled the Shogunate from the convent where she had retired after her husbands death. Later, bands of women armed with the exclusively female sword called naginata, were called upon to defend their towns or castles. Japanese girls today still learn to use this long sword.
In the modern era, women have been honored for their militant participation during civil wars and the struggles against invaders. In the Taiping Rebellion mainly Hakka women with unbound feet fought both as soldiers and generals against the Manchu government. Women took up arms again in the Boxer Rebellion when young women organized themselves into militant Red Lantern groups. During the Cultural Revolution, the militancy of young female Red Guards attest to their willingness to become revolutionary heroes when struggling for what they perceived to be a just cause. Individual revolutionary female icons who have been held up as powerful figures for women to emulate include Chinas Chiu Chin (Qiu Jin), who in 1907 was executed by the Manchu government, and Soong-li Ching (Soong Ching-ling), wife of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and champion of social justice and womens liberation, and Deng Yingchao, an advocate of womens rights and wife of Zhou Enlai. The societal admiration of female heroines such as these has helped justify the actions of the women who managed successfully to define new roles for themselves alongside men.