Portrayal of Women in Children's Movies

December 15, 2011
By Anonymous

Media is an enemy to all women since it has shaped and influenced their roles. Constantly, the media portrays their image as weak, narrow-minded, and seductive beings. Because media is watched everywhere, these stereotypes of women will forever stay. Unfortunately, women cannot avoid the way they are portrayed in media; however, women can show that they do not live to the expectations of the media and that they are able stand up for themselves through their actions. Women have their own identity that does not have to be formed by the stereotypes present in media.

One of the stereotypes shown in the media about women is that they are weak. For example, in movies like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty in the Beast, the princesses are rescued by the princes when in danger. Another example is when Jessie, from Toy Story 2, was about to be sent off on an airplane to Japan. She did not want to leave and wanted to stay with Woody and Buzz; however, the plane started to move and was ready to take off. By the time she noticed, the plane was getting higher and was no longer on the ground. Upon realizing this, Jessie panicked, terrified, and began shouting for Woody to help her. Woody then comes and saves her. This indicates that women need to be protected by men to survive in the world. Not all women are this dependent of men to help them with their problems. Many women in modern society have been able to survive independently without a man having to support her.

Another degrading image of women shown in movies is that they are narrow-minded. Once again, in Toy Story 2, Jessie was portrayed as narrow-minded because she assumed all owners are the same. When she got tossed aside by her original owner, she did not want to be owned again. She believed that owners would eventually throw away their toys, so there was no point in getting too attached to them since she’ll only get hurt. This results in Jessie closing off her trust in people. This example shows an indication to how girls react when their relationship with their boys get broken. As soon as girl gets dumped, she gets emotional; and considers giving up on guys or relationships in general. Not all people are the same; you just have to give them a chance to show you that. In Tangled, Rapunzel made a deal with Flynn, who was a complete stranger to her. She trusted his word as they made the deal. People are not always truthful to what they say, and she trusted him too easily and that marked the beginning of their journey. Not all women are that narrow-minded or naïve. Women have brains and instincts on whether to trust someone or not. They do not just trust absent-mindedly, but

Lastly, media portrays women as seductresses, getting what they want by their charm and beauty. For example in Mulan, Mulan had to look beautiful and seductive for the matchmaker, so she can get a good husband. In addition to that, towards the end of the movie, Mulan dressed the male soldiers as women to seduce the enemies, so she can get to Shanu and save the emperor. In Tangled, the ruffians almost hurt Rapunzel and Flynn, but because of Rapunzel’s beauty and charm, they were able to get away safely. Not only are women only for beauty, but it shows people that women are just a ‘pleasure’ object for men.

These stereotypes are presented in children’s movies. Therefore, it also teaches children the role of women. People should be aware of the unfair image given to women. Women can show by their actions that they are not weak, narrow-minded, nor are just pleasure toys. Women have brains like men and can use them to solve problems on their own and make their own decisions.

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