1. Lorraine says:

    Here is an accurate place to put an applause gif. This article is well said.

  2. David W. Landrum says:

    Good article. What I have noticed is that fundamentalists–whether they are socialist, feminist, or Christian fundamentalists–lack imagination. They cannot see past binary oppositions of “This is good, this is bad.” Enjoying art requires imagination. This, sadly, is just what so many people are lacking.

  3. Hannah Killian says:


  4. Well said! Gosh, can you even imagine if the whole point of life were more duty & obligation? “Try really hard, put in 110%, and you’ll get to do the same thing forever and never quite get there….” Thank goodness we have glimpses of that joyous feast, that run further up and further in, to wet our appetites.

  5. That is sort of why it bugs me when people act like only religious people are capable of being unreasonable, limiting freedom, etc.

    People seem to fall into the trap sometimes of thinking that if any character in a story acts in a way they disagree with, at any point in the film, the film is automatically bad. This is actually a very toxic way of thinking because it encourages people to think that they have to emulate the behavior they see in stories, rather than deciding for themselves.

    Back when I was in fourth grade, my teacher actually talked bad about The Little Mermaid, though it was from the standpoint that she thought it advocated children disobeying their parents. Thinking about it now, I can see how that lesson can be gathered from the film, but it doesn’t have to be the lesson gleaned. We could say that Little Mermaid shows that, yes, one’s parents can be a bit jerkish or wrong about something, but that doesn’t mean that a child’s rebellion/disobedience in response to that is a safe or good thing. The film also shows that Ariel’s father is good and loves her unconditionally in spite of the mistakes they both made.

    It’s kind of weird to me that people want to see Disney’s Cinderella as only submissive. Yeah, she doesn’t come off as strong, but she goes to the ball regardless of any resistance she meets, and pursues her dream without a second thought. If she were completely submissive, she would have stayed at home. Furthermore, most of the influential people in her story are women (she is antagonized by her sisters and mother, but aided by a fairy godmother.)

    As far as fairy tale girls being a bad example to women…they’re acting like these fairy tales are going to be nearly the only characters their children will watch, or that their children must emulate girls and movies to the letter instead of being themselves and exercising discretion when it comes to how the behave. I watched things like Cinderella a lot when I was a kid, but I’m far from passive or anything. Partly because I watched a wide variety of movies aside from princess ones, and either way, seeing Cinderella isn’t going to override my personality, beliefs, etc. Likely enough that’s the case for most kids.

    Obviously if a show has super bad messages/content little kids shouldn’t watch them. But the examples here don’t qualify for that.

    • Rachel Nichols says:

      Funny how none of the critics complain about the wicked stepmother or ugly stepsisters and how they are poor role models. Lol.

      Plus they refuse to appreciate how things were different back then. Women married VERY young. Between 12 and 15. You were often betrothed or married in form much younger.

      And–while it may be cool to hear Princess Jasmine rant about “choosing” her own suitor and making a bid for independence–girls brought up in that culture didn’t act that way. You might not be happy about marrying Prince Alarming, but you knew better than to protest once the banns were posted. Most girls shrugged it off and made the best of it.

      Fiddler on the Roof did a better job of depicting this and how the oldest girl finally got to marry the poor but age appropriate man she loved.

  6. Rachel Nichols says:

    Wow! Some of these critics must never have heard of story arcs or character development. Characters are supposed to make bad choices and mistakes to learn and grow. This makes it a character driven plot–not a melodrama like “The Perils of Pauline.”

    Personally I dislike Ariel. The only Disney princess I really can’t stand. (Helpless AND bratty. And shallow as a puddle. As a teen I watched that movie wistfully, knowing the truth. Character and wisdom didn’t amount to a hill of beans if you weren’t pretty on the outside where it counts.) In defense of Princess Bubble-head, I wouldn’t have been so disgusted by her if I hadn’t enjoyed the original fairy tale as a kid. She can’t hold a candle to that young woman.

    The original Little Mermaid didn’t need a man to save her. Which is good since she didn’t get the boy. But through her courage, self sacrifice, and whole hearted pursuit of the Heavenly Kingdom she gained a soul.

    What profiteth it a woman if she gain a man, but lose her own soul?

What do you think?