Just gonna stand there and watch Delenn pupate, eh Lennier? That’s not creepy at all. Nope.
The bacon of oblivion…
bitter taste of bacon
Brave messes around with the witch-mother element in other Disney films by actually making the witch somewhat innocuous rather than evil, and the mother something other than an absent character, or a malicious step-parent. This is consistent with the more general philosophy in the film of making the women the point of the film: the female characters are not one-dimensional. It is good for your daughters…
It is less good for your sons. The male characters in the film are one-dimensional. They are either spritely, voiceless, little boys, menacing figures, buffoons, or obstacles…
I’m not sure what boys are supposed to take away from this movie, except that women aren’t cardboard cutouts. While that’s not an immaterial message, it’s more subtle than boys will probably recognize. It might lay a foundation for relationships with complicated, genuine, women in the future, and if it does then that is a good thing. But there are no role models for boys in this movie.
I want to take a moment to disclaim this and say: no. I don’t think it’s awesome that boys and men are portrayed with negative stereotypes in this movie, and it’s certainly something I would like to see handled better. But. Welcome to watching movies from a lady’s perspective. 95% of the time, we’re barely in the movies at all, and when we are, it’s usually as a stereotype that makes you cringe. Very rarely is it the sort of person you turn to your daughter and say, “Just think! Someday you could grow up to be like her!” At least, not without a heavy dose of sarcasm.
But let’s revisit this idea that it’s not a good thing for boys to see a movie where females aren’t cardboard cutouts, where women aren’t evil witches or step-mothers, ditzes, mean girls, flawless princesses, shrill matrons, sexy prizes to be rewarded to the hero at the end of the film, etc. When you consider the teeny, tiny number of films or TV shows where women and girls are presented as actual human beings, if they are presented at all, maybe it’s not such a bad idea if boys do get exposed to the idea that women are people, too.
Boys have a plethora of media that is geared toward them—and girls, because no one assumes that a movie that contains almost exclusively male characters isn’t for women, too—that portrays men and boys as all sorts of things: good stereotypes, bad stereotypes, and well-rounded characters with a full back story and range of emotions. You know, characters worthy of having multi-million dollar movies made about them.
Girls have very little of that, and boys are often exposed to even less than exists because movies that feature women and girls are “for girls.” While girls constantly watch movies and shows that feature male leads and never think twice about whether the media was meant “for them” (note: it’s not), boys frequently skip on the “girl stuff” because the female perspective is so undervalued. So seeing a movie where girls/women take center stage, where girls/women are treated as full human beings, where girls/women matter? In a world of media that tells little boys that girls don’t matter, that’s powerful stuff.
Maybe one movie isn’t going to change a boy’s perspective on women and girls, but perhaps if more men and boys supported media where women and girls are treated as fully human, more of that sort of media would get made, and there would eventually be enough (a 50-50 split would be nice) that it could make a difference.
You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t necessarily feel sympathy over the fact that you want to write off boys seeing a movie that features girls because it doesn’t do anything in particular for boys. If that were the criteria for girls watching movies or TV shows, girls would watch…well, almost nothing.
Finally, if we’re going to criticize a movie for using negative gender stereotypes, then it should be on the grounds that those stereotypes are bad for everyone, not just those of the gender negatively portrayed.
Literally nothing to add to this.