Tyranny in the House of Mouse: Disney’s Role in Upholding the Gender Patriarchy

Tyranny in the House of Mouse: Disney’s Role in Upholding the Gender Patriarchy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Problematizing Disney with Activist Teresa Dorothy

—additional discourses embedded courtesy of Dr. James Lindsay—

As Jane Austen once wrote in Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Though hopelessly problematic today, Jane Austen was considered progressive for her time, just as we once so foolishly believed Barack Obama to be. Still, if Ms. Austen had written that “a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a man,” she would have accurately summed up one of Disney’s many troublesome views in a sentence.

In the House of Mouse, there is no such thing as a self-empowered Queen (much less a genderqueer Monarch of any sort)— in spite of their inheritances, all of them are desperately unhappy without a man. Without a man, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, and Ariel would have died. Even Elsa is forced to cede her crown so that heteronormative, whiter-than-snow Anna can be married happily ever after.  

Disney blatantly shoves Mulan back into the closet, and forces him to erase his clear signs of male identification so that he presents as female and marries a man. This narrative is harmful to all womxn and non-binary folx— Disney specifically targets young girls; an audience that is historically incapable of independent thought. 

That is why we have to fight to force Disney to include all members of the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. All genders, sexes, colors, species, and nil deserve representation. Without specific on-screen examples, how will they ever know that it’s okay to be a girl with a penis, or a boy with a vagina, or a neither with neither? 

Though I identify as a woman, I grew up with Disney movies— how can I know that I truly identify as an AFAB woman, or if it’s just more brainwashing by Disney, the Fourth Horseman of the Gender Apocalypse?

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