Time for a raging rant on feminism! Ready? Everyone have their caps lock in place and popcorn standing by? Good, I’ll begin.
As most things on this blog do, this post has Disney roots. For anyone on the Disney circuit of tumblr, or elsewhere on the internet, many arguments against feminine princesses are prevalent. In our evolving, politically correct society, Disney has changed its characters to suit the times. Snow White is shunted aside in favor of proactive princesses–those that don’t wait for Prince Charming to arrive but instead take hold of their own destiny.
Many insist that the passive princesses like Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora are bad examples for children, teaching girls that they must wait for a prince rather than achieve their own goals. Instead, the more modern princesses should be the only ones suitable for children.
There is no problem with Brave‘s Merida taking a stand and leaving the screen without a prince in tow. Mulan’s bravery in saving China shows admirable values to children. Princess Tiana’s take-charge attitude about fulfilling her dream is certainly a good example for the eager younger crowd.
But there is no reason Snow White doesn’t show the same values. In fact, she’s proactive in her own way–fleeing an abusive stepmother who wants to cut out her heart? That sounds particularly brave to me.
And, despite the wretched past she faces, she retains her kind heart. That is powerful.
Which brings me to my point: there is no reason that being feminine should be synonymous with being antifeminist.
Take me as an example. My dream is to work for a company that markets fairy tales. I love to spend my time in the kitchen, despite jokes involving “Make me a sandwich!” I prefer dresses and skirts over pants and shorts any day. Does that make me any less of a feminist than a woman in a business suit who rallies against gender inequality?
Absolutely not! I can be a ballerina/50’s housewife/Disney Princess if I so choose without it having any effect on whether or not I believe in women’s rights. The theory that women can’t be feminine and also independent in their rights is really saying that in order for women to have a voice we must act…masculine. And that’s not true at all! The point of feminism is for women to be empowered no matter what their life choices are.
Even further, no one should have to explain their preference or position on these matters. If a woman wants to reject social norms and fight for rights such as equal pay and maternity leave, women’s suffrage and sexual harassment while wearing a full-length ball gown and heels, surrounded by homemade chocolate cupcakes with edible sparkles while blaring Taylor Swift, why shouldn’t she?
It is entirely possible for someone to be feminine as well as a feminist.
Snow White included.