The actress Emma Watson has made a point of portraying her latest movie, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as feminist film. But let’s be clear: Beauty and the Beast is not just a feminist movie. These nods to feminism mean diddlysquat for gender equality. I don’t treatment that the protagonist is a woman, nor that she’s performed by one of Hollywood’s leading feminists. The feminist veneer aligns with Watson’s ideology, but it addittionally has the handy benefit of harnessing the growing marketing selling point of gender equality.
The original fairytale is ultimately the story of a kidnapping, and one that emphasizes the importance of physical looks. That by itself disqualifies the film from being truly feminist. You will find more sexist movies out there, to be sure. But why is Beauty and the Beast particularly egregious is the insincere and flimsy “feminist” dressing it comes in.
Belle wears riding boots and invents a washer. Such additions aren’t real feminism, but a clever disguise rather, and one that will allow moviemakers to keep churning out under-developed feminine character types and sexist storylines for so long as we let them. This isn’t the very first time Beauty and the Beast has been shown as feminist. In 1991, Linda Woolverton, who composed the animated film, made a spot of fabricating a character more well-rounded than the typical damsel in problems. That’s how Belle came to enjoy reading in the first place. But that change didn’t make the story feminist then, and it certainly doesn’t now.
- Healing kit dependency – healing by taking any rest uses 1 healing kit
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- If football is so dangerous to players, should we be watching it
- Over washing epidermis makes it red and sore
- It smells good
- Chrome metallic paints because of this popular droid….May the power be with you
I don’t doubt the good motives of these who’ve tried to thrust Belle toward feminism, but I know that the result is the re-packaged tale of yet another beautiful female’s docility just. It remains a troubling story about the need for girls to submit with their assigned husbands, twisted into a romance to make it seem palatable.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a symptom of Hollywood’s very real problem with women. In 2016, just 29% of protagonists and 7% of directors were women. While men are allowed to be flawed heroes, or even antiheroes, women are generally afforded no such depth or nuance. Portrayals of women on screen remain so limited that female characters who do behave “badly,” like those in HBO’s Girls, are criticized for their immoral behavior rather than appreciated for their depiction of humanity. Hollywood knows a sexism is had because of it problem, and a wave of marketing has sought to highlight examples of strong woman characters among its offerings.
But presenting any film with a female protagonist as feminist-regardless of the storyline or nature of the character-reeks of using feminism as a mere selling point. As well as the implications are dangerous. Just as Ivanka Trump’s half-hearted feminism acts as a shield for her father’s misogynistic insurance policies, dressing sexist films in feminist clothing only allows Hollywood to help expand enjoy its harmful portrayals of women.
If we want real gender equality, let’s demand complicated feminine tales and heroes, not simply updated variations of sexist tropes. After all, misogyny has always had the remarkable ability to adapt across political ideologies, countries, and centuries, by changing its face while retaining its key sexist principles. It’s an account as old as time.