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Feminist Media Tumblr

nia.pike's picture

So I was procrastinating doing my homework (not for this class though!) and wandered on to Tumblr, where my productivity screeched to a stand still.  Then as a part of my meanderings I came across one Tumblr blog entitled Feminist Media: Taking back the media. Here it is! Several of the posts are about whether or not certain Disney movies could be considered feminist or not. The one that caught my eye was the one about Mulan. As a child, I always wanted to watch the movie Mulan as she became my childhood idol. I know all of the words to "I'll Make a Man Out of You!"

Before I entered this course, Mulan would have been my go-to suggestion of a femminist movie. Now, after learning about the different types of feminism, I understand that Mulan is only one type of feminism. Perhaps Mulan could be viewed through the lens of more than one type of feminism. It is true she portrayed herself as a man to enter the army in her father's place, like the members of the first wave of feminism. But when she ultimately saves China at the end of the film, she does it as a woman, like the second wave of feminism. By the end of the film, she knows who she is, and she knows she does not have to pretend any more. Her assumption is true; Shang, the Emperor, and the rest of China respect her as a powerful and inspirational woman.

There is one part of Mulan which upsets me. The song "A Girl Worth Fighting For!" The song is about fighting for a woman based on her looks, clothes, and cooking abilities. When Mulan suggests a woman with brains and who speaks her mind, she is rejected right away. As a child I was told intelligent and independent women should be my inspiration. Yet at the same time, I was told to always look nice and be domestic, so I could find a man to take care of me. Oh the contradictions and irony!

Mulan is comfortable with who she is, whether she is dressed in military garb or a matchmaking dress. Even today Mulan still inspires me. I portray myself as who I am comfortable. If I want to wear a dress, then I will. If I want to wear jeans and a button-down shirt, then I will. If I want to wear a pair of short shorts and a spagetti strap top, then I will. I am who I am. And I'm not going to pretend for anyone!