October 22, 2003

Cartoons are Evil!!! 

At least that's the claim made in the movie my writing professor showed today. It was called "Mickey Mouse Monopoly" or something, and it was about how Disney apparently corrupts the minds of the world's children. We watched it because we're studying claims, evidence, and arguments, and he wanted us to analyze the various statements made in the movie. This thing was hilarious.

They started off by talking about how Disney controls its own reputation with copyright laws that won't even let people use the word "Disney" in book titles. That was the truest part of the movie. The rest of it was a lesson in what happens when you read too much into something very uncomplicated.

The next part started off by saying that Disney movies enforce negative gender stereotypes. Before I go into that, I'll go off on a small tangent about this topic. I've been hearing a lot in my classes lately about this whole "gender" thing, and it really cracks me up.

Feminists apparently have made it so women aren't allowed to act like women and men aren't allowed to act like men. They claim that there is no difference between the two genders, that women are being oppressed, blah blah blah blah...I'm not overreacting, either. I've studied feminist theories in three different classes already, and none of them are about feminism.

Anyway, their main claim is that "gender" is completely social, and the only reason men and women behave differently is because they are socialized that way. Never mind the fact that science has proven the biological difference between male and female brains, that's just hogwash. I realize this tangent is becoming a bit excessive, but these "gender" people really bother me.

I've always wondered something about them. If men and women are no different, and women are being oppressed, how did it get that way? It seems to me that if we were created in such a way that we could all do the exact same things, then society would be like that.

I'm not saying women should be totally submissive, but it seems like there was something going on in the early days of humanity to establish the system we have.

If some women want to work and do things men used to do, then more power to them, but don't go saying that they're being victimized if they stay home. My mother worked, then she quit her job and stayed at home for a few years while my brother and I were growing up, then she went back to work. That seems like a good system.

Anyway, back to the Disney thing. This movie claimed that Disney enforced negative gender stereotypes. It showed examples of how women are always being rescued by the male hero, and they're usually sexually objectified.

Really? These are frickin' kids' movies. They're not going to notice those things. Anyway, Disney movies are pretty much fairy tales. There are certain roles to be filled in stories like this even if they aren't politically correct.

I don't remember which movie they were talking about (Mulan?), but they mentioned a Disney film where the female character is powerful and accomplishes things, but she goes back to the stereotypical role because she gets married at the end.

I'm not even going to say something about that. Just think about it. Their view is that women are being oppressed if they have a fulfilling relationship.

Disturbing. I've gone on way too long about this, and the second part of the movie was even funnier. They had various speakers talk about how Disney movies are racist. They started out by saying that the early ones only had white people in them, and this wasn't an accurate representation of reality.

Then, they talked about "The Jungle Book." Apparently, the gorillas in that movie represent black people, and when they sing a song about wanting to be human, it actually means they want to be white.

That seems like way too much symbolism to me. They also talked about chihuahuas in a couple movies and how they were stereotypical of Hispanics. One person came on and said something like, "What are kids going to think when they see this? Disney is saying that Mexicans are dogs!"

Of course, they completely ignore the fact that the movie is about dogs. It also strikes me as a bit strange that they complain about there being nothing but white people, and then when they add minorities, they complain about them being stereotypical.

So, what's the message here? "You can add people of different colors, but they still have to act white." That doesn't seem to go with "multiculturalism" and "diversity." This wasn't the end, by the way.

Apparently, the hyenas in "The Lion King" represent inner city blacks, and they gave an example. A woman was at the park with her son, and he heard a group of black children playing behind him and said, "Mommy, the hyenas!" They claim that this proves their point.

That's crap. I believe at least one black person did a hyena voice, so of course they're going to make that connection if they can't see the people talking. Once again, how were they supposed to act in the movie?

If they seemed white, the producers would be racist for not representing other races. If they seem black, the producers are racist because they're stereotyping another race.

Here's yet another fun little argument they gave. "Pocahontas" isn't realistic! The story didn't happen the way it was shown in the movie! She didn't even marry John Smith! Now, here's the crazy part: The people they interviewed were upset because of the historical inaccuracy. They thought it would be better if the movie showed how settlers committed genocide against the natives.

Right, because that's a great movie for children, you morons. It's Disney. They simplify everything. Why didn't they complain about the talking animals in other movies? That seemed pretty unrealistic. I think I'm going to wrap this up now. I have laundry to do (later is better).

I was actually happy with the class reaction to this movie. We were all laughing at the pure lunacy of the speakers, and none of us thought they had a good case. We had a discussion at the end of the movie, and we basically came up with the same points I've outlined above.

We thought Disney shouldn't be criticized for being so shallow, because they have to simplify in order to reach children, and if parents are concerned, they can talk to their kids about it instead of trying to change one of the most powerful corporations in the world.

It's good to know that the thought police haven't claimed the minds of my generation yet. We need to keep up the fight if we're going to save our children and their children from living in an Orwellian nightmare. Remember, these things happen slowly.

This isn't a conspiracy theory, by the way. The thought police are already here. I consider myself lucky to be attending a university that usually doesn't enforce these policies very strictly. Diversity of thought is still allowed at SU. You just have to be careful what words you use.

I really should go. I realize this post was a bit longer than it had to be, and it wasn't as structured as most of them, but keep in mind that I got whacked in the head by a bass drum 2 hours ago. I think that's about all for today. Later.

Posted by CD on October 22, 2003 10:06 PM
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