Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Discussion Time!

Someone sent me a very interesting article to read, with a question to ponder:
Does this article (or the points made within) present a feminist viewpoint, or is it accurate?

Yes, I am implying by the wording of my question that a feminist viewpoint would be inaccurate.

I would copy and paste the article here, but I don't want anyone searching for this particular subject to come upon my blog and high-jack our conversation. So I am just posting the link.

The article is about the Disney Daughter-of-a-queen line of goods and how it could just very well be the ruination of America's little girls.

So if you have the time, go read the article and then come back and leave a comment with your thoughts. Feminist? Accurate? Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

And from what I know about the people that comment here I don't expect any less, but I feel I need to say.... Let's all be nice! :) lol

Here's the article:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071224/ehrenreich

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Wow. My girls LOVE to play dress-up! (Did you see the last picture I posted on my blog?!?!?) We spend 98% of our time dressed to the nines, tiaras and all. No wands though, except for bashing sisters in the head--we know magic is imaginary! We occasionally have fancy dinners where everybody except daddy dresses up in tulle and tiaras for dinner! (I wear old bridesmaids dresses, which is an altogether different and slightly more frightening problem... :-)

I think this person who wrote the article has some issues. It is completely possible to be pretty and dressed up and a woman of God too. I think that might be the biggest issue though--this person does not seem to put God into the equation at all!! The "role" of women, for lack of a better term, according to God is that of a help-meet to 'her' man! There is nothing wrong with that, but I get the feeling that the article author would not agree. As a general rule, I am honored (usually :-) to clean, cook, and iron clothes for my husband and family. Does it make me less of a woman? No. Does it make me less 'powerful?' No. Does it make me a "wuss" to quote the article? No way! Honoring God is never a wussy thing to do.

O.k. So I thought more about this than I realized...sorry for the long post. Maybe this will open up more discussion???

Shannon said...

Hey, why not leave a comment. Will 'yes' and 'no' do? :) I totally agree with some of what was in the article. I can't let my children watch most of the Disney movies, or any movies out there, for a few different reasons. One of those reasons is the blatant sexual innuendos that are given on screen. I don't really want my 9 year old (or 8, 6, or 4 year old) watching beauty & the beast dance with that very low cut, off the shoulder dress on. I don't want a bikini top on a mermaid to be something they can gawk at for 1 1/2 hours. I don't want my little girl to think it's okay or normal to dress that way. By watching these cartoons they are usually learning their worldview from a completely wrong angle. There are things like that all through most movies and I'm in charge of guarding my children's hearts. But we can definitely promote feminine traits in our daughters, and scripture encourages us to do just that. I guess it comes down to knowing just what true feminism is. Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 have the best descriptions I can think of. We too have a big dress up box and love seeing the girls come downstairs in veils and crinolines. And in fact I would love to be known for my wonderful housekeeping skills too just as Cinderella was. But keeping my childrens hearts might end up being an easier goal. :)

Miss Julianne said...

I agree with Shannon. There were both good points and bad points in that article. I do not mind that the princesses' life goal is to marry a good man; I'd rather see that than see them pursue a dog-eat-dog career while sleeping around. (We get enough of that on sitcoms.)

But I do have a problem with the sexuality in these movies. Why do the women have to dress so immodestly?

And there are definitely some way-out-there philosophies in those movies. A few years ago, I came across a Princess quotation collection book. When they actually put down the major "inspirational" quotations from each movie, it was quite obvious to see the pantheism and feminism that these movies are trying to promote. It's creepy!

But to be honest, when I was little, I loved those movies, and as an adult, I still enjoy them. ;-) However, I wouldn't want my daughters to get obsessed with them.

Kimberly said...

I think, as with everything in the world, you have to decid what is best in your household. This article seems to be skewed feminist in one section, then chases into another issue entirely. The writer just seems to be on a tirade against princesses.
We need role models for our girls that show them seeking a good home and like Michelle said, a help-meet for her spouse. However, I am not sure the Disney gals are that example. I wish they were better dressed and some need attitude adjustments...Cinderella is NOT in that club! :)She's my favorite and childhood hero.
I think we really just have to decide what a child would take away from seeing certain things and whether it is appropriate at 3 yrs or even 10.
It is a delicate thing that has to be evaluated carefully. I had never thought of the princesses and the sexuality of it until I was older.
I guess what I am trying to say is you just have to be careful.....did my response make any sense? :) I know what I was trying to say. ;)

Michelle said...

I agree with Kimberly! It is totally perspective. We have taught our girls since they were tiny that "showin' belly shirts" (those that expose the midriff) are not o.k. So even though my 5 year old LOVES Ariel, she knows that she will never dress like that, and that it is not o.k. for her. And since my 7 year old asks "Mommy, what does that movie REALLY mean? I think it is all a case of keeping the lines of communication open. (And yes Kimberly, you made perfect sense!)

Amy D said...

Wow! I'm loving reading your comments. Your thoughts were much better fleshed out than mine were. Here was my e-mail response to the Sender-of-the-Article (which, by the way, was my mom):

"I'm going to say it is a feminist view point.

What is wrong with feeling special, feminie & frilly? What is wrong with aspiring to do "nothing" more than be a wife (and presumably mother)?

It isn't the toy industry's job to teach kids the value of who they are, with or without a man in their life. Manufacturers provide the toys - the parents provide the values that make a child who they ought to be.

Your little princess can be a spoiled brat, demanding to be treated like royalty.
She can be dumb & useless.
OR she can be proud of who she is as a unique individual, precious child of the King, and beautiful girl who will be a woman, wife & mother! :)"

****

This whole topic is something I haven't really taken note of before since #1 - I don't have little girls, and #2 - I'm not a big fan of Disney anyway. At least the whole Mickey/Minnie gang. (I once knew 2 sistser who could almost recite the whole Aladdin movie....but I won't say who;) ). Since we aren't big movie watchers (of any type) it just hasn't seemed relevant to me right now, especially as a parent.

Miss Julianne - that is amazing about the quotes from the movie! I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I bet it really is something to hear those 'philosophies' away from the pretty, 'innocent' cartoon!

Kimberly, you hit right in on what Greg said when he read the article. He felt the author was on one big vent and that she was the one that didn't make much sense!

Oh, Shannon... if we could all be more like Cinderella and less like the wicked stepmother! lol. :) Agreeing with you and Kimberly together - our goal is to guard our children's hearts, and it is up to each household to decide how best for them to accomplish that.... following Biblical guidelines, of course.

And Michelle probably summed it all up right up front: God and his standards don't seem to be in the thought processes behind this article at all. And yes! I saw the pics of your girls in their dress-up! How fun! Now can we see a pic of you in an brides-maid's dress? :D

As far as Disney movie princess role models, let's not forget Nala, who wore no clothes at all. ;)

Thanks so much for your responses. This is fun! Any other thoughts? Anyone?

Kerimae said...

well......my own personal favorite quote in the article was, "One's sexual inclinations--straightforward or kinky, active or passive, heterosexual or homosexual--should be free to develop without adult intervention or manipulation. "

hmmmm.....yeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhh.......whatever......

Keri