When it comes to criticism of Frozen, particularly on Tumblr, I’ve seen a lot of people voicing the same few ideas. They’re valid criticisms. It’s a movie about white people, all the characters are white. The two female protagonists are white, thin, and conventionally attractive. There aren’t as many supporting female characters as there could be.
I’m not seeing many people move past this to other forms of criticism, though. Don’t get me wrong, every person has the right to elect whether or not to put up with stuff they don’t like to get to the stuff they do like - I just find it interesting, you know, the overall reaction. The anti-Frozen-bandwagon that arose. So when the Avengers came out it was five white dudes and a single lady, but people didn’t boycott the Avengers. A lot of people decided that even though there were things we didn’t like and stuff we wanted to change, it was a fun movie that we enjoyed. The overall reaction was positive. Some people didn’t want to see it and had good reasons for that, and people criticized it where it failed, but it was nowhere near the outpouring of hate that I’ve seen for Frozen - a lot of it, from people who never saw it.
I enjoyed Frozen. I don’t condone its failings, I had my issues with it, but in the end I saw a movie aimed at a mainstream audience where the central relationship is between two sisters, who love each other and try to save each other and have their own distinct personalities. A movie where the romantic interests are secondary and relatively incidental to the love between two women.
A lot of people were rooting for Frozen to fail. It didn’t fail - it’s doing incredibly well in the box office. So despite Frozen’s flaws, there are a ton of little kids watching this movie and seeing two women who’d do anything for each other, whose main motive isn’t romance, women who are going and doing and having powers and complex emotions and yeah, maybe they didn’t go as far as they should have and the creators deserve to be held accountable for that. We shouldn’t ever stop pushing for more.
Do I want to see more movies with varied, diverse female characters? HELLZ YEAH! But if I boycotted every movie that didn’t have all of that, I don’t think I’d see many movies. I would have missed out on Frozen, which, despite its flaws, had something in it that I loved.
So yeah. I’m glad Frozen is doing well.
And I hope Disney does better in the future.
Because you can like things even if they’re not perfect.
What’s astonishing even now is to look at the cast line-up of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not just Buffy herself, but also best friend Willow the witch, Willow’s girlfriend Tara, nemesis-come-wary-ally Cordelia, ex-demon Anya, mother-in-a-trying-situation Joyce and latterly, the mystically-created sister Dawn.
So often now, a “strong woman” in a TV show or a movie will be almost entirely isolated from other women - from Katniss Everdeen trying to survive the Hunger Games to Sandra Bullock’s character in Gravity, from Carrie Mathison in Homeland to Daenerys Targaryan in Game of Thrones - female friendship, let alone having conversations with several women, seems utterly impossible for many of today’s female characters.
What Buffy showed us is that having one strong female character per show - even if she’s well-written, interesting and complex - just isn’t enough. After all, you can’t pass the Bechdel Test with just one woman in the cast.
When I first saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I naively thought it would spell the beginning of a new wave of television and movies - ones where the women characters could be written as well as the men, where women would take the lead as often as men and where they would be surrounded by many other female characters.
It hasn’t happened yet. But I continue to hope that it will. And until we’ve made TV like that, Buffy will continue to seem new, fresh and revolutionary"
You know, Peeta’s unconventional masculinity is as relevant for traditional gender subversion in The Hunger Games as Katniss’s unconventional femininity.
It’s a bit annoying to see everyone and their mother praising Katniss for being such a unique action female hero, and…
Nowadays the princesses all know kung fu, and yet they’re still the same princesses. They’re still love interests, still the one girl in a team of five boys, and they’re all kind of the same. They march on screen, punch someone to show how they don’t take no shit, throw around a couple of one-liners or forcibly kiss someone because getting consent is for wimps, and then with ladylike discretion they back out of the narrative’s way.
On the posters they’re posed way in the back of the shot behind the men, in the trailers they may pout or smile or kick things, but they remain silent. Their strength lets them, briefly, dominate bystanders but never dominate the plot. It’s an anodyne, a sop, a Trojan Horse - it’s there to distract and confuse you, so you forget to ask for more."