Walt Disney Corporation has been a major force in the film industry offering a lot of entertainment, especially to children. Nevertheless, most of their films are laden with stereotypes related to sex, gender, race and other social differences. However, most of these themes just go unnoticed. I spent my childhood in love with “Beauty and the Beast” until I realized that the film reflected the disturbing belief that women should tolerate abuse. This tolerance can be seen in three key scenes in the movie. The film expresses its views on how the society feels about the men and gender roles. Issues of male chauvinism and gender violence have been clearly shown in the film. Beauty and the beast seem to suggest that women are just objects and should tolerate abuse and violence from their male counterparts.
From the film beauty and the beast, it is evident that females should take a second fiddle from their male counterparts. The author decides to use the male as the main characters of the film. It is also clear that the male characters have been allocated more time in the story as compared to the female characters. Beauty and the beast is seen as trying to express the masculine characters and how the society adores such behaviors. Disney’s film is seen to frustrate any efforts to protect women’s rights and strengths and advocates for female submission to their male counterparts. There is a scene where we see Gaston, who is a great criminal. Despite his known criminal records, he sees himself as a suitable suitor to woo Belle, who portrayed as a gorgeous girl. The society acknowledges that man should make the first move in initiating intimacy. The movie depicts woman as weak sex who cannot cope with rejection and thus deserves extra privilege when it comes to matters of relationship. Gaston is expressed as a male chauvinist with hard heart but is seen powerless in the attempt to woo Belly. On this note, we can also find a scene whereby Gaston decides to rough up the monstrous beast that tried to kidnap the woman he intends to have intimacy with. The movie portrays women as helpless figures who must be protected by males. Gaston risks his life in the defense of a woman who later declines to accept his love proposal.
Beast is another essential character in the film where the issue of gender disparities is freely expressed. From the movie, he is portrayed as a huge person ugly and not loveable by the girls in the society. The film also depicts him as strong and independent which is an acceptable masculine trait. He is described as a person who can efficiently deal with any form of rejection. Everything that Beast does is simply a male trait that is exaggerated. He however, becomes sad when he tries to get into love affairs.
Belle is a very critical character in the beauty of the beast. She is portrayed as a lady who has a great passion for reading. Her love for books baffled the community since they believed that women should only be housewives and take care of their husbands and folks. The society felt that she should have used her beauty and light skinned color to get married to Gaston who according to the society was lovable by every girl. However, belly decides to decline Gaston and seek knowledge through the books. Despite her efforts to portray Belle as a strong woman free of feminism, the film later depicts otherwise. The most exciting chapter of the movie is when Belly meets her prince charming. Though she spent most of her life in adventure and reading, the film suggests that a woman’s life cannot be complete without the intervention of a man. Belly decides to get married to a “Prince Charming” and describes it as an enjoyable experience. Just like other Disney princesses, Belle can be reduced to a happy housewife searching for a husband. It is evident from the Disney’s work that no woman is complete without a man, and Belle cannot be an exception.
Disney’s works have been very informative and entertaining to the society. Nevertheless, the different interpretation from the different readers makes the teachings from the films different. It is worth noting that the intention of the novel may at times fail to be understood due to the varied interpretations. For instance, the film Beauty and the Beast is a very informative film as is evident from the Belly and beast perspective. These two characters are against the social set up of feminism and masculinity. For instance, Belly decides to read widely, and this was not a feminist trait. She also failed to be carried out by his beauty to fall in love with Gaston, who was a darling of the other town girls. On the other hand, Beast also leaves his masculine traits and takes some feminist qualities of love and sadness. The two characters are opposed to the specific social standards set out by the community. The film Beauty and the Beast seems to cultivate stereotypes and gendered behaviors that seems to encourage abuse against women. It is, however, essential that we understand of other positive teachings available from the film and other Disney’s works.
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