you know tumblrs not an a+ community when you hesitate to post your own opinions on your own personal blog
There has been a lot of debate circulating Tumblr lately about Disney’s upcoming film Frozen. A lot of this debate was sparked by the fact that the character design of the film’s heroine, Anna, is strikingly similar (read: identical) to that of Rapunzel in Tangled. Implications of lazy animation aside, the whole thing once again makes it startlingly clear that Disney, and most all media for that matter, makes stories about the same thin, wide eyed white women over and over again while missing out on any opportunities for diversity.
These are of course, valid accusations and a really important conversation. If these revelations are motivation for choosing to not see or support Frozen, they are perfectly legitimate. They are certainly a contributing factor for me. But I made the decision to not support Frozen before any character design was revealed. In short, the direction that Disney is taking this film is distasteful not just to their own record of creativity — (Say what you will, but I have great respect for the filmaking legacy of the studio. With all the critiques and caveats that media awareness brings, I’m still a fan. )— but to the source material that they are drawing from.
Frozen is, by Disney’s account, an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s story, The Snow Queen. When I first heard rumors and saw concept art for a Disney adaptation of the story, I was overjoyed. The film was originally in development as a traditional animated feature, which was appealing to this old school Disney and animation fan. But aside from that, The Snow Queen is one of my all time favorite fairy tales. It’s epic, melancholy, emotionally complex, and fantastically feminist.
Hans Christian Anderson’s oeuvre is not exactly female friendly. If you think the silencing and lack of agency implied in Disney’s The Little Mermaid is problematic, you haven’t read the original. Anderson so often writes of sadistic punishments for heroines’ slight, heavily gendered sins like vanity and sanctifies heroines for gendered virtues like silence and passivity, that many of his works demonstrate deep seated misogyny.
The Snow Queen is not one of those works, and it makes me wonder what sort of feminist tonic Anderson ingested before writing it. It tells the story of a young girl named Gerda who must embark on a journey to rescue her best friend, a boy named Kai, from both the clutches of the Snow Queen and the soul killing influence of a cursed shard of mirror that has become lodged in his heart.
That Gerda is the active and resourceful rescuer of her passive, male best friend is already a refreshing twist on mainstream western fairy tales, but the female power on display in the story is apparent in other ways. The Snow Queen is what I would call a Bechdel Test win. Female characters outnumber male characters to a startling degree. In fact, Kai is the only significant male character to speak of. Every other role in Gerda’s hero’s journey is fulfilled by a woman, girl or even an expressly female animal guide.
There is the Snow Queen herself, a formidable villain who’s power is treated with respect. There is Kai’s grandmother, who provides an essential catalyst to Gerda’s journey. There is the old witch woman with the enchanted garden who functions as a threshold guardian for Gerda while being characterized in a respectful manner that serves as a good subversion of the old witch trope. There is a female crow who knows how to sneak into palaces, a helpful princess who heads a side plot in which she will only marry a prince as intelligent as her (!!!), a robber and her daughter, head of a band of robbers who kidnap Gerda. The daughter is a spunky, knife wielding girl who befriends Gerda and aids her on her way. And finally, there are two women, the latter of whom helps Gerda understand the inherent power she has always had within her, a power that will ultimately save her friend, and the world.
Please excuse my while I go squee into a pillow over that roster of amazingly diverse female characters and the female agency on display in this story.
Well, now that I’m done with that, can we just take a minute to reflect on how many incredible female characters Disney had at their disposal. Expanded on with the studio’s signature storytelling skill, these ladies could have made up one of the most diverse, predominately female casts to ever grace children’s media. Not to mention the story’s Scandinavian setting offers a great opportunity for some racial diversity and indigenous representation, from Inuit to Sami and beyond.
So you can imagine that I was profoundly disappointed when I heard that Disney’s adaptation, now called Frozen (a Tangled-reminiscent decision that stinks of avoiding the need to market a film with a female centered title), had cut out every single one of these female characters save for Gerda, now called Anna, and the Snow Queen, who is now Anna’s sister. The women have been replaced with a cast of men, and Anna is now accompanied on her journey by a “Mountain Man” named Kristoff (edit: a helpful anon informed me that his name is not Hans, as I originally stated. Hans is in fact another male character and may be a factor in a possible love triangle for Anna). Kristoff is obviously intended to serve as romantic interest for the now aged up Anna, who as Gerda in the original, felt a love for her friend Kai that was strictly platonic. (Kai, by the way, has been dropped altogether.)
Now I know that Disney often drastically changes the plot of fairy tales that it adapts and I’ve never been one to complain about it. But most of these fairy tales have been simple stories with archetypal characters and a bare bones plot. Most of the changes made by Disney improve the original in terms of depth of narrative and character.
The Snow Queen is not that story. Disney’s changes not only appear to play down the emotional and narrative depth of the story, they violate many of its central themes.
That Disney feels it’s necessary to take a female driven, female dominated story and cut it down to one princess protagonist with a dashing male helper/love interest, is honestly disgusting and one of the most blatant examples of Hollywood’s lack of faith in women in recent memory.
It’s one of those clear examples in which everything that is wrong with our media’s approach to women and female agency is even more apparent, if only because we have a clear source to compare it to, and we can see what the studio chose to change.
A female protagonist who primarily goes it alone? Can’t have that. She needs a hot dude to be by her side so the audience doesn’t get bored by all the lady time, and also she needs someone to get with at the end. And on that note, let’s make her older and also a princess.
A bunch of women who, if expanded, could be diverse and original characters, friends, villains and comic relief? No way that would work. Let’s just replace them with some dudes and a talking snowman. We can’t have more than two women in a story. After all, every other fairy tale we’ve produced has only let women be a princess or a villain. Why break the pattern now? Why let girls know that they have inherent power no matter where they come from? Why let them know they have other options. And while we’re at it, we’ve got to make sure everyone is white.
So yeah, that’s why I’m boycotting Frozen.
i think people need to realize that hetalia focuses more on random bits of history here and there that are generally looked over by books. not to mention hetalia portrays nations in a humorous manner, like in a way that makes you realize, “hey, people in other countries are people too.” yanno what i mean? it’s not about the war itself, it’s about the things that happened during it, the relationships, the people that went through it.
how many of your history classes went over the dandelion coffee thing, for example? it’s something silly, but it was still a great achievement for the people who discovered it! hetalia focuses more on the human parts of nations rather that the governmental moves of it, i guess, is what im trying to say here.
not that it doesn’t touch upon battles, though, because it clearly does. i just don’t see how hetalia, a humorous, almost slice-of-life (or earth rather) anime/manga can handle something like the holocaust, and i don’t see why it needs to. you can respect something by choosing not to adapt it as well, and i honestly think it’s a good thing we don’t bring it up in canon.
and that whole “the axis powers did nothing” argument is such bullshit like both sides of the war did terrible things IN ANY WAR WE’VE HAD??? yet the allies are treated just like the axis and no one gripes about them.
same goes for older wars. nations are comprised of people, and that’s the part hima chooses to represent. anyone would be pissed to see their country portrayed in an evil and demeaning fashion????
Your first time is NOT supposed to hurt
You are NOT supposed to bleed
If you bleed, that is NOT your hymen being ‘popped’, it is a tear due to lack of sexual arousal and natural lubrication.
This is all a MYTH perpetrated by men so they don’t have to make sure you are comfortable and sufficiently aroused enough before you have sex with them. It is an excuse to disregard and hurt you.
I just really want women to know this.
fixed it (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
NO NO NO THIS IS NOT RIGHT THIS IS A FUCKING GRAVESTONE OF SOMEONE WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE/DIED AT A YOUNG AGE THE ANGEL WEEPING OVER IT REPRESENTS THE PERSON’S GAURDIAN ANGEL CRYING BECAUSE IT WASNT TIME FOR THEM TO DIE YET THIS IS WHY I HATE THE DOCTOR WHO FANDOM YOU SHITBAGS HAVE NO RESPECT AND JUST THINK YOU CAN MAKE A FUCKING JOKE OUT OF A VERY SERIOUS THING YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING ASHAMED
i don’t have a problem with nonbinary/trans* headcanons, my problem is when people go out of their way to ensure that EVERY CHARACTER is viewed as a noncis nonbinary gender
Like i get the whole “Projection in place of Representation” thing but when you eliminate any possibility of binary/cis characters in canon then you’re demonizing cis people and/or romanticizing nonbinary/trans* and that’s not good
There’s more than 60 characters in Hetalia and we still watching the same
3errr 8 characters
some people might say “stop spoiling the fun for the rest of us” but you know what, what about our fun? Hetalia is a story about the world, but we get the same characters, which I love as well, but they got repetitive and boring.
There’s so many diverse strips, 60 different, whole characters!!! They’re as funny and cute too! But why target the same specific group of audience? So the rest of the group of fans die off as they have gotten tired, as I am?
I’m not expecting anything out of this, just saying I lost all hope already. I can’t enjoy Hetalia anymore knowing I’m not a targeted audience. I’m not even asking for fanservice, I just want to see something different
as a white person i apologize
As a black person, I say that you don’t need to apologize.
You should not be held accountable for what your ancestors did. They did bad things to people, but you didn’t. You also shouldn’t feel as though you aren’t allowed to have problems. Just because society leans toward favouring white people, doesn’t mean your life is perfect and stress free.
You don’t need to feel bad for being born the race you are. No one should.
Mikasa is a badass. Stop the hate, and appreciate.
Genderbends: Fandom vs. Reality
I have a huge problem with most homestuck “genderbends” (they’re most often sexbends, but sure, let’s keep implying that gender and sex are the same thing, ok). Almost every “genderbend” includes making the character highly fashionable and — in the case of female “genderbends” — extremely sexual. Lowcut shirts, v-necks, tutus, miniskirts, cutesy sweaters, fishnet, stockings, heels; characters who canonically sag and wear socks with sandals are suddenly hyperdivas with huge honkers. It’s like people toss away the actual character in favor of throwing out their transexual dreamboat.
Let’s take Gamzee, for example. Gamzee is generally portrayed in raver’s wear, fishnets, low-cut shirts that hang off the shoulder, halter tops, miniskirts, lingerie, tutus, armwarmers, and long, “messy” hair (post-sex bedhead, more like).
In reality, Gamzee is a clown. He wears clownpants, a t-shirt, and either sags, or wears a waistband. His shoes of choice are purple converse-looking shoes. His hair is sloppy and unkempt, sticking out in crazy impossible ways. All of this is entirelly androgynous. The guy basically runs around in his pajamas. He cares for his friends and hit on one guy. One.
Somehow, the fandom takes that, and goes “wow, if he was a girl, I bet he’d throw his tits out at everyone in skimpy outfits and wear super bright rainbow tutus and thigh-highs”. Because one time Gamzee hit on a person who he is shown to have some kind of legitimate want for a relationship with, he is turned into a sleezy hipster girl that throws herself at Tavros every chance she gets.
If slutting in skimpy lingerie is your thing, fantastic. That’s awesome. Hit on as many guys and gals as you like. But that is not Gamzee. In reality, he’d probably still wear saggy pajama bottoms and silly converse and a baggy t-shirt, and his hair would make sweet angry love to gravity and kick it to the curb.
Having tits does not automatically make someone wear cutesy tank tops and slut around, which is exactly the kind of vibe I get from the fandom’s idea of a female Gamzee, or female Tavros, or female anyone. The males are oftentimes sexualized just as much, but at least they aren’t popping their dicks out in everyone’s faces.