Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Don't Hate Me cuz I'm Controversial

Also, it's not my fault.
I was avoiding speaking out on it because I didn't want to be controversial just for controversy's sake. And also it's a complicated topic for me to put in adequate words. But then it got shared on my facebook wall. So now I'm gonna talk about it.

Ready for it?
I hate this parody.
It's really all fine and dandy under the first minute mark, I understand that a parody is used, in essence, to mock and trivialize its subject. It's intended to be merely humorous. But then "Elsa" takes to pointing fingers and, really, shaming the other Princesses for the surface faults of their relationships and then I have a problem.
"You got slipped a roofie." By the evil queen. Snow White was a brainwashed, trusting child that should've known not to take food from strangers. I'm sorry, how exactly do you suggest she get out of her drug induced coma without the aid of somebody. Not to mention the only cure for said "roofie" is True Love's Kiss. So take issue with the dogma then, not the character. Jessica Rabbit comes to mind, having said, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."
"You fell for a cheat." What? What form of the word "cheat" are you using here? Aladdin lied and stole and created a false persona to impress the Princess but when did he ever cheat? I guess we could call him impersonating a prince "cheating" but it all gets undone in the end. At the end of the movie Jasmine chooses humble, streetrat Aladdin. She hated Prince Ali until the inner Aladdin started surfacing. Remember that?
"You got really lucky, you've got tiny feet." OH, so "cheat" is to rhyme with "feet". Fine. But this is a terrible criticism. The Fairy Godmother created Cinderella's entire wardrobe so yeah the shoes would fit only her feet. Glass slippers aren't sneakers, or Toms, they aren't nice, pliable fabric that conforms to a general foot size. A glass slipper that would be even remotely comfortable would have to be a basic casting of Cinderella's exact foot. Luck had nothing to do with it. And what does this even have to do with Cinderella needing a man or not?? Sure, the small feet dilemma is convenient to the movie plot but that's not to say that the shoe couldn't have fit Drizella or Anastasia, resulting in either being swept off to the Prince and him taking one look at them and saying, "Nope. Not the girl I danced with FOR HOURS." The logic of the whole movie is off, we all know that. Move on.
"You've got Stockholm Syndrome." Yes, it can be construed that way. In fact, by looking at definitions it would seem that's exactly what it is. But it's a very shallow case of Stockholm Syndrome, based merely in the fact that Belle was forced to stay in the castle and the Beast yelled at her a couple times. (Yelling is not okay. Use your calm words.) Without that little fact it all falls to bits. These are all the complaints we've already heard for years and years. The Beast is, at most, brutish and rude to Belle on a couple of occasions. The most villainous part is when he forces her to choose between remaining in the castle to save her father and being allowed to leave. Which is bad. Yes. Not cool. But it would not a drama make if he was like, "Muahaha I have your dad you must choose except I'm sorry, you're allowed to go and of course your dad can leave too, would you like some hot cocoa?" The movie is about redemption and what truly defines us as humans. What separates us as man from beast. I, for one, agree with this forum posting about Gaston being one of the most scarily realistic villains. Maybe we should worry more about the evil lurking behind ignorance and close-mindedness more than Belle using her talents to help heal a broken spirit.
[I am not encouraging the act of sacrificing life and limb to help those who are holding you back from living your life. I also do not think that the Beast ever had the intentions of doing Belle harm. That was the last thing from his mind. He was an idiot for trying to control her, but as Belle proved, she was not the type to be controlled. If anything, she teaches to not take anybody's crap and fight for the treatment you deserve. So please don't twist this into me advocating man's control over woman. That is not what I mean at all.]
"You're a spoiled brat..." who doesn't deserve love? What does that mean? What are you saying? Spoiled brats need to stick out their lives alone to be bratty and prove that even brats don't need men in their lives? What? Okay, fine you just needed another rhyme. Whatever.
"You had special talents, but gave them up like that!" A regrettable decision, but one that would contractually require the return of her talents once she succeeded in what she was trying to achieve. Who of us hasn't given up some dream in the efforts of making another come true? Feminism doesn't mean getting everything you want when you want it always, it's being able to make the choice to go after the things that you do want. Ariel gave up her voice to "become human". Not "get Eric handed over on a silver platter". (ew weird images.) She already wanted to be human before she saw Eric. He's just a bonus prize to her already formed dreams.
"Why be confined to hiding behind true love?" If any of these princesses became less of themselves because of the addition of their princes, then I would agree with this sentiment. This argument isn't that these individual princesses and their storylines shouldn't have ended up linked to a male partner at the conclusion, this parody is whining that Disney has stuck to a formula for their princess movies. I do agree that it is unfortunate that we don't have more female role models that write their own story unmarred by love interest and romance. But I also notice that Mulan and Merida and Pocahontas and Rapunzel and Tiana are missing from this opening sequence. Are we expecting every female character to uphold the laws of perceived "Feminism" by not having anything to do with men ever?
"You just haven't found him yet." This is a terrible statement and we really do need to stop saying this to people. It is neither comforting or encouraging.
"Nothing else matters, nothing but him." Scary blanket statements that don't truly reflect the values that these Princesses did fight for in their movies. I hardly think any of them turned into mindless love zombies the moment the prince figure walked into their lives.
"I dreamed of daring quests." What? WHAT? Who the beep says that Belle and Prince Adam didn't go on incredibly daring quests after they restored the castle to it's former glory? As if her time in the castle before the curse was broken wasn't a daring quest in and of itself. She sacrificed herself for family, I'm not sure how much more daring it gets.
"Seeing the world from east to west..." Exactly what I said before, Ariel got herself out of her confined ocean world and found somebody to share her travels with. Show me where it says her and Eric don't go traveling. Maybe she becomes the Ambassador for their kingdom and travels as much as her little heart desires!
"Instead of just sitting inside, stuck in this princess stereotype..." projecting commitment insecurities onto fictional stories that give no indication of the fruition of such "stereotypes" is a waste of everyone's time. The only stereotype that is followed in all these mentioned movies is 'Princess finds Prince', 'Prince helps Princess in some way', 'Princess loves Prince' I don't know where it is determined that they proceed to be "sitting inside" and doing nothing for the rest of their royal lives. Love, marriage, and commitment do not necessitate dropping every dream you've ever had. Often, and when done correctly, it provides a cheerleader, a motivator, and a strength in following those very dreams.

"I'm who I am, I don't need a man." True story. Totally true. I agree, wholeheartedly. However, this parody and this "revolutionary" idea that is sweeping through Disney critics is missing one important caveat that I would like to add.
"I'm who I am, I don't need a man, but it's okay if you do."
It is beautiful and wonderful to realize and know that as a woman I can solve my own problems and choose to do what I wish with my life without needing the attachment of a male partner to do the hard lifting or legitimize the things that I do. But the rampaging movement to cram this idea down the throats of women (and girls) today in the name of "empowerment" is also tagging along an unfortunate case of shaming.
How dare I get married young?
Have you ever been a "damsel in distress", even occasionally, and let yourself accept the help of a charming, attractive male? Go sit in a corner with your shriveled uterus and think about what you've done.
How could I throw away my female prowess and commit myself to a lifetime with another person, a venemous male even, and content myself with a life of being just a lowly "wife"?
What could I possibly do with my life as a wife that will be even remotely important?
That's the greatest part about Feminism. It's my choice what to do with that little thing called MY life.

I will reiterate, the video is cute and I appreciate the idea of it, I just take issue with some lyric choices and the absolute, ultimatum nature of them. I am who I am, and you can't define what that means. Maybe stop pointing fingers and just, ask questions.
"You got slipped a roofie....that must have been terrible. Wanna go get Jamba Juice and chat?"
"You fell for a cheat...but why? I don't understand your relationship, help me understand."
"You got really lucky you've got tiny feet but I totes understand that that's just genetics, do you need to talk about your traumatic childhood? I'll bring the Ben & Jerry's."
"You've got Stockholm Syndrome...but I'm not a psychiatrist, I've only taken a semester of PSY101 in community college. How many books in your craze-amaze library have you read? Can I come visit sometime?"
"You're a spoiled brat...I'm sorry, that was harsh. What was it like living secluded in the forest your whole life and then finding out you're a princess and you live in a castle and you wear a crown and huge ball gowns and woah, an arranged marriage??"
"You had special talents and gave them up like that....oh, wait no you do have a voice? Oh, you got it back! oh okay. I play the mandolin, wanna jam sesh this weekend?"
Instead of demanding that every human with boobs and a vajay live up to your standards of cheap, bullying Feminism, maybe try treating your fellow woman with the same respect and interest and caring you wish to receive.
When will feminism be more about the women involved and less about being the best kind of feminist?


  1. THANK YOU!!! I knew I wasn't the only one... I clicked on the link thinking it was going to be funny, and it just... wasn't! I was like "Okay, I'm the token angsty feminist in the room and I think this is really trashy...soooo..." Thank you for going through and explaining it all!!

    1. Leah!! Yaaaay, thank you! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. /whew!

  2. Wow. I really opened that can of Whoop-A$$, didn't I? And for the record, I knew how you would feel about the video before I posted it on your wall.

    You're awesome Hope!

    1. Youuuu sneaky-sneak. I wondered whether you had shared it as a "oh cute look at this!" or "heh heh heh, what kind of rant will this spark?"
      I'm glad it was the latter cuz I might have felt bad if it was the other case. haha!

  3. Thank you! Especially the one about Aurora. What on earth makes her a spoiled brat?? I've never heard anyone call her that! And if she is called that, HOW?! If we go by the whole "She has 3 fairy aunts, plus she's a princess and marrying a prince, blah blah blah". Well then any only child would be considered a spoiled brat by that standard. Just sayin!