An Introduction: Gender Identity in Disney Films

March 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm (Introduction: Gender Identity in Disney Films)

What does it mean to be a woman and what does it mean to be a man?  Who chooses what characteristics are valued in these gender categories?  The answer to that question is…. WE DO!

At a young age, society informs children what is socially valued and admired.  Television, books, films, music and social influences police the ways in which children, and adults should behave.  As a result, society has decided what we should want from men and woman, and what we should do to get such a man/woman.

This You Tube clip emphasizes the gender roles and ideals Disney films promote.  Women are made to look and act one way while men another.

My blog will show the stereotypes society deems important and how these stereotypes create different gender identities and reinforce phallocentric ideals.  Using Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Beauty and the Beast I will explore how Disney uses these tales to provide “its young viewers with an educational tool to learn societal sex roles and acceptable behaviors. [..] Learn[ing] behavioral and associational patterns and value systems” (Lieberman, 384).  Looking at the female gaze, I will discuss how Belle and Snow White play an important role in dictating to society the characteristics of THE desirable man.  Also, I will look at the differences in the feminine heroines of these two films.  Thus, showing the shifting values of society.

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