Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Cinderella Ate My Daugher"- Orenstein (Extended Comment)

For this blog I would like to credit Ethan for really helping me to think more about this topic. In his blog post Ethan talks about a few selected chapters from the book, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter,” by Peggy Orenstein. He talks about how Orenstein has this obsession with toys and the gender connotations that follow them. That boys play with toys that incorporate heroes and power and girls play with toys that incorporate beauty and happiness.  These titles were not always around. Orenstein states in her article that this was a gimmick brought up by marketing companies to get people to identify with something. Of course society always needs to slap a label on everything. We always have to define something; it is either this or that. As Ethan states in his blog, “I was always reinforced to watch and play with certain toys by my friends, parents, and sometimes society (advertising commercials).” Society is always telling us what to think and how to be. If society cannot define us into its secular groups then all chaos breaks loose. Ethan continues by saying, “Would I be a different person now if my favorite movie was "Snow White" as oppose to "Hercules?"  How about if I played with Barbie dolls instead of Ninja Turtles?” These are hard hitting question our generation will never know. We have grown up and have moved on from a time of toys and games. Orenstein would say if we did not have this idea of femininity and masculinity in our toys, then no, we wouldn’t be different then we are today. We may all actually benefit. We would be well rounded individuals and understand how to be strong but also nurturing without being made fun of for having both of those qualities. 

This whole idea of the Disney Princess is very interesting. The idea that splitting up characters from a Disney film was never done was a crazy thought since I myself grew up in a time of Disney princesses. Orenstein write, “Roy Disney considered it heresy to lump together those from different stories. That’s why, these days, when the ladies appear on the same item they never make eye contact. Each stares off in a slightly different direction.” This is the weird inner workings of Disney. They are always feeding us things we don’t really understand until someone tells it to us. When we sit and watch a movie we are not looking at these main stream ideologies right in front of our faces, but we are looking for story line and plot. Even stories we have seen thousands of times, until someone taps on the glass we never really see the inner workings of a system. Ethan posted a video on his wall that was made by a student named Sanjay Newton. Newton took clips from different Disney movies and showed how masculine characters are in different circumstances and situations. He showed how strong male characters are handsome and others are ugly, and fat. He goes into greater detail in the video but it is a weird life changing experience to see your childhood broken down into this ism. I really enjoyed the link and was one of my main reasons for doing this extended comment. I think Ethan said it best when he writes, “These frightening statements and subliminal messages in Disney movies back up Orenstein's problem with gender roles.  What is a little girl to think that one day all she will be expected of from a man is to cook?” Women are not treated well in these films. The idea of “Cinderella ate my daughter,” really does exist. She is stating that Disney has been laying down the law on what has been right; if you are like Cinderella you will live happily ever after. 

The link I posted above can really sum up this idea of what Orenstein was talking about. I also think that it compliments Ethan’s video quite well. It is a video of Disney movies and how they teach us to be in our society based on our gender. The women are seductive with small waists and all these other features we state with being a woman. 

Although I will not be in class tomorrow there are a few things I would like to talk about. I would talk about this whole idea of society creating this divide and why. Why do we have to be this way and will it ever change. Are we always going to be subjected to this idea of this or that or can we lie somewhere else on the spectrum either then just at the two ends. Also is Disney a big factor in why we see the world the way we do today. Does Disney control us without us even knowing? Is Disney the society we talk about? All of these questions can never really be answered but could create some great discussion I would believe.

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