Molly Weasley is a feminist

Molly WeasleyMolly Weasley is in fact a feminist. Some people think that she isn’t a feminist because she’s so grounded in domesticity, but her motherhood does not negate her feminism.

Some people have argued that the final fight scene between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange is a symbolic fight between motherhood/domesticity and feminism. They say that motherhood is chocked full of characteristics that feminists despise. They say that J.K. Rowling wrote from a Christian perspective to show the value of true womanhood or some other bull like that.

It’s not true, because feminists don’t hate motherhood. Feminism is about equality between the sexes. Giving women every opportunity that a man has, and every advantage, and every right to do so. A woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her life, and should be able to accomplish that goal if she works hard and is good at that particular thing. She shouldn’t be held back just because she has ovaries. This encompasses everything from a Fortune 500 CEO to a stay at home mom. To each her own.

Not my daughter, you bitch!

Not my daughter, you bitch!

The very idea that feminists could somehow despise motherhood is beyond. That’s just blatant anti-feminist propaganda  Feminists clearly want us all to stop be loving, nurturing, and warm. Of course those evil feminists want all women to be barren so they don’t have to be afflicted with the sexist burden of children.
Molly Weasley Chuck NorrisIt’s true that Molly doesn’t fit the traditional feminist roll; nonetheless, Molly Weasley is a feminist. She’s strong, independent, nurturing, determined, intelligent, strong-willed, loyal, loving, egalitarian, the head of her household–a house filled with mostly boys, and she can fight. She is a fierce warrior who is deadly with a wand. Molly Weasley is not the embodiment of family fighting against the embodiment of something else. She’s a feminist fighting for family.

Bellatrix Lestrange a Feminist!

Yes, that psychopath we all love to hate, Bellatrix Lestrange, sister to Narcissa, murderer of a one notorious mass-murderer Sirius Black, slayer of Dobby, lover of Voldy, escapee of Azkaban, collector of figurine elephants and people’s souls, is a strong woman figure.

Bellatrix Lestrange Wanted Poster

You can’t deny it. Yes, she’s evil. Yes, she’s wicked. And bat-shit crazy. But damn, she’s fabulous.

Bellatrix LestrangeShe’s determined.

She’s capable of tremendous loyalty.

She’s clever. Resourceful.
Strong-willed.

She’s prepared to die for what she believes in.

She’s powerful and influential in a male-dominated society, the Death Eaters.

She pushes back against society. Sure, that society is Hogwarts and the good people, and the changes she wants is purebloods over equality, so there’s that. So not so feminist or egalitarian there. But still.

I found a couple people online disputing this. These people shall remain nameless, but here are my responses:

 s—o says: she also had to fight in a sparkly dress and heels and curled hair, because women can’t wear normal fighting clothes.

Bitch, please. She is fabulous. She is fighting people left and right and looking fantastic while doing it. That has nothing to do with feminism. She doesn’t have to walk around in sweats and a baseball cap.

t—k says: she depnded on a man to rescue her from Azkaban. if she was so strong she would have escaped herself.

It’s Azkaban! What do you expect?? She can’t just be like “Okay guys, it’s been fun, but I think I’m gonna leave now! Kthxbye.” Bellatrix did not depend on a man to rescue her. She had no intention of being rescued.

y—t says: why did a woman kill her? a man can’t kill her because that would be to rude. a woman should only be killed by another woman. thats anti feminist!

*headdesk* Yeah, it’s totally rude. Before a man kills a woman, he has to lay his coat down on the ground for her to collapse upon.
Molly was protecting her daughter. I’m sorry Molly doesn’t have testicles or something.

All of you.. just… all of you…

This is my exasperation towards all of you.

This is my exasperation towards you.

Ever After, Feminism, & my Three Hands

Ever After

Ever After: A Cinderella Story. This might in fact be my favorite Cinderella story, because she doesn’t use magic to win the Prince’s heart, but art; and she rescues herself. I’m telling you, this is a feminist movie.
Ever After Drew BarrymoreNow, what I really want to talk about is the end. Her stepmother trades her to this creepy dude to pay their taxes, and this is where I get conflicted. On the one hand, I love that Danielle fights her way free of the creepy old bastard. She’s a strong-willed woman and she refuses to be subservient, even for a second. She is a human being, not a teapot to be traded and bartered with. I love that she rescues herself and breaks herself free. Throughout the movie, Danielle is constantly pushing back against the barriers society creates against her.

On the other hand, maybe this is just me, but I was disappointed in the end when she didn’t beat the guy up. I wanted her to kick some

serious ass, and she seemed to just throw a few things and went on her merry way. She just sort of walked out of his castle…….. Alright,Ever After fight 1 I just rewatched the end of that movie and I was wrong! That gross sonnuvabitch was all smelling her hair and saying he was going to break her like a horse when she spun around and owned his ass! But I remember why I felt disappointed. Because it didn’t show her actually gaining her freedom. I can totally see another showdown going down as she unlocks her chains, and maybe Monsieur lunges in a final desperate act to reclaim his manhood and keep this wild woman, and Danielle whips around and punches him in the face! That’s what I wanted. But it just shows her walking out of the castle like It’s no big deal. He won’t call the cops on me, even though I just slashed his face.

And on my third hand, even being a feminist, even as I bounce in my seat as I watch Danielle take back her own life, I am still somehow disappointed in the Prince. I feel like he somehow lost something when he failed to rescue her from Monsieur. Yes, he had every intention to; Yes, he just got there a few minutes too late; but I feel like he needed to redeem himself in some way. He did betray her, after all. Maybe it’s just the childhood of Disney movies like Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid worming themselves into my idea of masculinity, or maybe it’s not, but I just feel like … why didn’t you do anything? Danielle is inside, being verbally, emotionally, and almost physically abused and molested, where were you? You were standing outside the castle.

Good for you.

Way to go.

One more Chandler Bing style: Could you BE any more useless?Ever After stepmother punishment

But maybe that’s just me. The Prince did in fact make her queen and threw her evil stepsister and mom into perpetual misery after that,
so maybe that’s enough.

Hermione is a Feminist

I remember watching an interview of an actress from the Hunger Games (I don’t know which one) and something she said really stood out to me. She said there aren’t a lot of strong female characters out there, which is why Katniss and the Hunger Games was really cool.


Hermione

I beg to differ.

Let me count the strong female characters in Harry Potter: all of them! Hermione, Luna, McGonagall, Ginny, Molly Weasley, Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Trelawney, Pomona Sprout, Madam Pomfrey, Lily Potter, Cho Chang, Alice Longbottom, Katie Bell, Fleur Delacour…. on and on and on!

Hermione stands out the most to me, however. She is the most feminist, the strongest, and the coolest. Here’s why:

1. Brightest witch of her age. She makes it cool to be a bookworm. “Honestly, don’t you two read?” Without her, Harry would have Hermione 1never been able to defeat Voldemort the first time, or the second time, or the third… or fourth… or known who Nicolas Flamel was, or known the Basilisk was using the pipes, or been able to save Buckbeak… Okay, basically Harry (and the world) was damn lucky to have Hermione there to know what’s what.

2. Hermione is courageous. (She is in Gryfindor, after all.) Even when she was in her first year of Hogwarts and labelled as a know-it-all, she refused to dumb herself down to be accepted by others. She fears little else but failure. Oh yeah, and she stood up to the greatest, evilist wizard ever. So there’s that.

Hermione Granger 23. Hermione withstood Bellatrix’s torture. It would have been so much easier to give up while trapped in the Malfoy’s mansion filled with deatheaters, being tortured by the infamous Bellatrix LaStrange then to resist, but Hermione resisted.

4. Hermione’s a badass! She snuck into the restricted section of the library. She trapped the annoying Rita Skeeter in a jar when she
finds her eavesdropping, and then blackmails her. She lead Dolores Umbridge into a trap in the Forbidden Forest! She gets this reputation for being prim and proper, but just look how wrong that is.
hermione 25. She doesn’t have the double-ended sword. Usually women who are highly logical/rebellious/aggressive are stripped of their femininity or emotions. Hermione doesn’t have this problem. She was written to eschew stereotypes. She gets to have her cake and eat it too!

6. When the trio are out hunting for horcruxes and Ron leaves, Hermione doesn’t have a break down. Sure, Hermione grangershe’s devastated; but she pulls herself together. She stays to help Harry, and she keeps searching for horcruxes (unlike some female characters… *Cough* Bella *cough*)

hermione granger 17. She’s a true feminist! Hermione is constantly pushing back against the rules, calling for equality. It’s her idea to start Dumbledore’s
Army, which was very against the rules. In GoF, she yells at her best friend after he defends house elves’ enslavement; then she goes one step further–creating a student organization dedicated to the freedom and fair pay of house elves.

Mail-order Brides and the Little Mermaid

I’ve been to a few sketchy websites in my time, (Please don’t report me to the Internet Police) and one these websites, where I was not pirating binary systems relating of the Big Bang theory, were advertisements for Asian and Russian girlfriends. Strangely enough, I am in no need of a Russian girlfriend, but it caught my attention nonetheless.

It reminded me of something my professor said in my Sociology of Gender class. Men who ordered Asian brides reported the highest happiness and satisfaction with their marriage/purchase. The highest out of anyone anywhere, in fact. That is, until their wives learned to speak English. The husbands and wives quickly separated as friends after that.

This got me thinking again. (Confound this brain of mine). Isn’t this sort of like Ariel and Eric in The Little Mermaid? I mean, they had no means to communicate to each other. No sign language, no hand gestures, no writing notes back and forth to each other (come on, she didn’t know how to write). They had no means of communication. All their interactions were based on body language and physical attraction–kind of like a mail-order bride. Except Eric didn’t realize he was going to be marrying the woman who showed up on his doorstep.

And now you too can combine the best of both worlds with these stunning Ariel-inspired wedding gowns. “Channel Ariel with charm and wonder…” is the tagline for these dresses.

You can take a personality quiz on this site, and then get matched up with the Disney character that “is your inner princess”. Do you want to be a sixteen year old fish? Are you trying to relive your childhood? Are you too a fish literally out of water?

“Your flaws are childish, but you also look at the world with wonder and excitement, as a child would.”—> Straight from the website.

I’m kind of creeped out. Are you kind of creeped out?

I do like the very classy sky/meadow green screen in the background though. It really makes me want to buy the dress.

No, it makes me want to buy the girl.  And… runaway with her to a vague grassy hilltop? That is, until she learns how to talk back. Then I’m on to Sleeping Beauty bride.

Poor, Unfortunate Little Mermaid… the Good and the Bad

I’ll admit it, watching Ariel sing and swim around the sea makes me happy inside. The Little Mermaid is cute and fun and magical, and it’s a part of my childhood. What would’ve the pool been without pretending to be a mermaid? Boring, that’s what. But no amount of childhood nostalgia can remedy the fact that it’s unfeminist (At least, partly.)

I’m not talking about that whole big shlazoo with the cover art and all that. I actually couldn’t care less about that. I mean the actual story. Ariel is out in the ocean where she’s not supposed to be, doing things she is not supposed to do, and then falls in love with another species (an unattainable, highly sought after, rich and powerful other species). Ariel obsesses over Eric. I’m pretty sure that had she been on land, she would’ve been a stalker, perhaps collecting locks of his hair out of the garbage can. She fills an entire sea cave with stuff she has collected from… above. (Not unlike how people collect Alien artifacts I might add) And it becomes creepier when you think that she must have gotten all of this stuff from shipwrecks. She’s collecting dead mens’ things (but in the pursuit of education).

Anyways, when her dad finds out and says No, you can’t marry this human, you can’t leave our family, you need to stop this crazy-shit obsession with what you can’t have… she goes to a witch. Naturally. (I don’t think Ariel really realized why King Triton said no, or why she shouldn’t be hanging around ships. It’s the fear of discovery, I think. Triton’s no dummy. He fears the humans, and with good reason to. Let’s say that a human had seen Ariel, a beautiful and mysterious woman creature. What do you think would happen? They could catch her, for one. There are probably nets on board. And two, the humans are going to want to collect/find/study these strange new beings. And if they’re found to be a threat, the humans would hunt them and exterminate them. Don’t deny it, you know it’s true.)

Back to the witch. Of course, when your daddy says no, you dabble in the Occult. Like I was saying, this is basically the universal Plan B. Now, everything that has happened up to this point, merely trifles compared to what happens here. She sells her voice to the witch for a pair of legs. What she has in fact done here, however, is turned herself into a sex object. Ariel can no longer communicate any ideas, feelings, thoughts, opinions, anything. Zip. She can’t sign, nor write, nor does she have any basic knowledge of how people run things up on land. She brushes her hair with a fork, for god’s sake. She has no idea what she’s doing. Ariel goes up there dumb, deaf, and blind. All she has is “body language”. How do you make someone fall in love with you with only body language as your native tongue? Yeah, I thought so.

Let’s just play the lyrics, shall we?

URSULA:
You’ll have your looks, your pretty face.
And don’t underestimate the importance of body language, ha!

The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore!
Yet on land it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word
And after all dear, what is idle pradle for?
Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation
True gentlemen avoid it when they can
But they dote and swoon and fawn
On a lady who’s withdrawn
It’s she who holds her tongue who get’s a man

I think the implications of this song are pretty plain, which is unfortunate because it’s one of my all-time favorite Disney songs ever. Telling young girls not to speak because guy’s don’t want to talk to them is not the greatest message in the world. In fact, it’s one of the worst. Telling a woman from an early age not to be smart, not to think, not to express herself is the devolution of society. And don’t think that because they’re children they won’t pick up on these sorts of things, because they do. I knew the words to this song when I was young. But I’ll come back to this.

Let’s not forget that not only did she give up her voice, she gave up her entire family. She has like, what, twenty sisters? Granted, we only see them in the very beginning, and it appears Ariel is the odd sheep out, but is that really enough to literally cut off all contact with them? Over a boy you’ve never even spoken to before? (Singing to his unconscious body doesn’t count.)

And let’s just consider the cultural and historical context in which we find ourselves here. The Little Mermaid must’ve been set in England sometime in the Victorian era, meaning that love was a very subtle and nuanced and serious thing. And while love probably happened relatively quickly, Ariel has no cultural clues to make her understand. Women in this time period were groomed and educated specifically for courting. And Eric finding her alone, mostly naked, in the middle of the beach would have been so very, very scandalous  Single women were not even  allowed out of the house unchaperoned. Girls weren’t allowed to talk to guys until they had been “introduced”. Guys weren’t allowed to touch women, even their hand, unless they were out walking and she was about to trip. Girls weren’t allowed to look back over their shoulder at anyone. How is Ariel supposed to catch the attention of a Prince when she checks if someone is dead by listening to their foot? But I digress.

Back to the song: Because Ursula is the one singing Poor Unfortunate Souls, and because Ursula is the head honcho of evil in this movie, the song was meant to be ironic. Even though this message was getting sung, it was coming from the “bad guy”, the voiceless plan didn’t really pan out for Ariel, therefore: don’t do it. At least, I hope that’s what was intended. (The problem with this theory is the voiceless plan kind of actually did work out for Ariel. Eric was in love with her, he was just under Ursula’s spell. It kind of seemed like she had Eric pretty early on. Flotsam and Jetsam were just getting in their way. [Interesting aside: Flotsam and Jetsam are terms to describe wreckage from a ship.]) Fairy tales, after all, were originally horror stories meant to scare children into behaving. Perhaps Ariel’s story should be read as a cautionary tale. Ariel made wrong decisions, and we should learn from them. However, she also made right ones.

This movie is not horribly deplorable. You needn’t whisk away your child’s copy of the movie or trash your precious memories of Ariel, nor do you have to feel guilty about loving Ariel. I still do! While some of the Little Mermaid can be seen as unfeminist, there is also another side to this sand dollar.

A few feminist things about Little Mermaid:

Ariel is strong. She sees what she wants, and she goes to get it, relentless in her pursuit. Even though what she wants is a boy and not graduating from Harvard, that doesn’t make the strength of her struggle across obstacles on land and sea any less valid. Wanting a boy (or a girl) is okay. Being in love and wanting a family doesn’t make you unfeminist by any means.

Although, Ariel is very much invested in her education. She searches dangerous places, shipwrecks swimming with blood-thirsty sharks, just to collect not only forks and old candlesticks, but in lucky cases books and paintings. She risks life and limb to educate herself for her own education of a culture that is not her own. When have any of us risked so much to learn about Africa or Korea? She fights against the singing career all her other sister’s have thrived in to create something new, something of her own. She pushes against her own societal norms for adventure, excitement, and individuality.
She’s brave, independent, determined, intelligent, talented, confident, honest, caring, and true. Even though she makes mistakes, she’s a good role model for women.
And I know she doesn’t actually think you can check if someone is dead by listening to their foot. That was scuttle, who also taught her a fork is a comb. Moral here: watch out for idiots, kids. And adults. Don’t stop avoiding idiots just because you’re an adult. 

Ursula could have (perhaps) just stayed a young hot brunette up on land, but she’s not the kind of woman to give into vanity. She has some make up on, yes, but she has the power and the magic to shapeshift into anything and anyone, and she chooses to be her eight-
legged self. There’s something to be respected in that. Ursula is, if nothing else, a very powerful woman, rivaling King Triton–the ruler of the entire Ocean, and at one point even overpowering him. Ursula can definitely hold her own. And while malicious and vindictive, she’s a pretty badass ruler. (A totalitarian ruler of evil.)

Eric falling in love with Ariel, considering the culture he lives in, shows men pushing against their own stereotypes, societal pressures, and expectations. He’s a strong character, a decent man. He fought for Ariel, risking his life, even when the girl of his dreams turned into a fish and the woman he was about to marry turned into an octopus. Without hesitation, even when Ariel was a little different, and there were plenty more fish in the sea, he dove into the ocean after her.

King Triton really loved his daughter. Even though he came off angry and oppressive (probably due to his raging temper), he was just trying to protect his family. And when push came to shove, he gave up the power of the entire ocean to save just one of his children. He was a fair and just ruler, uncorrupted and unseduced by the potential for totalitarian power. He is a family man with true family values, a wise leader to be respected and learned from. In the end, he understands Ariel’s love for Eric is more than just a teenage crush. He sees eye-to-eye with his daughter, and mutual understanding is what gives the movie a happy ending.  

Mulan is Badass. And also Real!

Mulan, one of my favorite all-time Disney movies and heroines, is a feminist. I don’t know how you can miss it. The entire time throughout the movie, men and women are telling her what she must do and who she must be, and a woman should ____. Get married. Bear sons. Be punctual. Poised. Graceful. Skinny, but not too skinny. Able to fricken pour tea without setting the Matchmaker on fire, for goodness sake! Mulan is not any of those things, and she struggles with her self-identity, fearful of failing and bringing shame to her family.

Then a war starts. Her father is wounded and can’t go to war, but he must. So, to protect her father, she cuts her hair, dresses as a dude, and enlists in his place, but (surprise!) struggles. All her life, she’s been a woman, delicate and fragile and lovely. Now it’s Be a Man, dammit! Finally, she’s allowed to grow, to become strong, to think, to sweat, and eventually she rises up the ranks to one of the best soldiers there. She becomes as swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon.

(Off topic, do we hear all the ways they are characterizing men? It’s all really violent natural disasters; the pinnacle being mysterious as the dark side of the moon. All the way into space now, huh? You’re not just the most terrifying and destructive things on Earth, but otherworldly. I see. Interesting.)

So then they go off to battle. And this is not a normal battle. This is like fifty billion-to-one massive start-praying-guys-cause-we-are-so-effed smackdown. But is Mulan terrified? Hell no. She’s all like “Chilax guys, I got this.” Mulan, single-handedly, with one cannon, takes down the swarming anthill of Huns. Then, when she tries to warn people that the head Hun dude Shan-Yu is still alive, no one listens to her! After saving all these people, no one will take her seriously just because she’s an innie instead of an outie. At this point, if it were me, I’d say screw them. Just go home, take a nap, and let Shan-Yu teach them a lesson, but Mulan is a much better person than I am.

Then, my absolute favorite part, the soldiers are trying to break into the palace after Shan-Yu kidnaps the Emperor (the same way Gaston tries to break into the Beast’s castle), and the boys leave General Li (which is technically abandonment) to follow Mulan and crossdress as: Concubines.Image

And damn, do they look fabulous!

Mulan goes on to save the Emperor herself, and General Li, then kills Shan-Yu, saving China a second time, and after all that manages to scrape together a great fireworks show to celebrate. Then she goes home. She rejects the money, the fame, the prestige she’s offered and goes home to her family with no regrets. That’s how you do it. Kick their asses to Kingdom Come, then walk away. Like Cincinnatus. 

And then all of China bows down to you. That part still gives me chills.

The coolest thing about Mulan however, is that she most likely may have probably actually existed!Image

This story if very old, like 12th century old, so some of the details may be a bit fuzzy, but basically it went down like this:

Her name was Hua Mulan. The bad guy was Tujie. Tujie decided that he wanted more land, and the best and easiest way to get more land was to take it from others. That didn’t got down so well, so the Emperor decided to wage war, and a man from every family was called. Mulan’s father had taught her how to fight, but he was old, and her little brother was too young. He wouldn’t let Mulan go in his place, and so she dressed up as a boy and confronted her father in a fight and won, proving she could handle herself. He was convinced. But he still didn’t want her to go, so she dressed as a man again and went anyways. Like all stubborn children do.

The war lasted 12 years, and Mulan was an exceptional soldier, eventually becoming a general. No one discovered her secret, not even her good friend General Li.

Finally, the enemy king was ambushed and captured. The war was over. Money was handed out to all the soldiers, but Mulan refused, wanting only a camel to get home. She wanted to get out of there as fast as possible because he commanding General thought Mulan would be a perfect husband for his daughter. So Mulan pretended to be injured and snuck away on her camel.

But this commander dude couldn’t take a hint, so he sent General Li after her with wedding gifts and instructions to go arrange the marriage. And then Li discovered General Mulan was a in fact woman! So what did he do? The only logical thing. He married her. And everyone lived happily ever after… as far as we can tell.

Feminist in cartoon and in life. Long story short: Mulan was a pretty badass woman lady person.