Why Can’t Disney Be Culturally Correct?

   Disclaimer: This post has spoilers inside, I don’t own the images in this blog post, I have not been paid for this blog post by Disney or any affiliate, and I LOVE Disney still.

   As many kids in the 80s and 90s, I grew up watching Disney Princess movies. I loved them then and I love them now, but, as I have gotten older, I have seen how Disney isn’t very good about one thing their movies. They are not very culturally correct. It’s a real bummer really because they miss out on the chance to really share with the world the culture the movie is about. You probably have some that came to mind immediately but the ones in particular that bug me are Aladdin, Mulan 1 and 2, Moana, and Pocahontas.

   Were any of these on your list? Now I am not an expert or anything but I can see enough to know that these are all white people stories in different colors. Take Aladdin for example.

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   Can anyone else just see the cultural issues with this? I’ll give you a hint. It is Jasmine’s outfit. In the beginning of the film you are shown hookers who are more covered up than the princess. In no Muslim country would a princess be allowed to dress like Jasmine is. If she did, she would be flogged and probably killed for the immodesty she boldly showed against her family. Jasmine would have looked more like this.

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   It wouldn’t have been as fun to animate but at least it would ten times more modest.

   The other one is about this scene here where they fly off on Carpet together. Now I love “A Whole New World” just like any other Disney fan, but there is a huge cultural problem. In no way would a woman be seen off with another man without her father or brothers to escort her to the market let alone around the world. Once again, this was a behavior that would have ended with her life more than likely.

   The next movie that was so blatantly wrong culturally was Mulan and Mulan 2, but Mulan 2 was much more of an embarrassment. Mulan is this girl that goes off to war in the place of her father. Super sweet and super messed up. The whole matching thing isn’t totally off since the goal for any woman in the ancient China was to get a man to marry her. Women were seen as hinderances to the family and not an asset. So when it appeared that Mulan had this great and understanding relationship with her father that was not always the case. The fact that she would sacrifice herself to save her father would be very unusual. Most women couldn’t even read let alone know how to navigate a map.

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   But other than the talking dragon and the fact that she was so comfortable hugging the Emperor after receiving his gifts, the movie wasn’t a complete loss with the cultural knowledge I have. The movie that made me sick was Mulan 2.

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   Now granted, Mulan 2 is COMPLETE fiction, but it is still based on a culture and Disney should have been aware of it. For example, just because one woman might have saved China wold change centuries of thought on the importance of women in the way they acted, dressed and interacted. So in the song “Lesson Number One” where the girls find Mulan in the field and then beg her to teach them how to fight would have been greatly frowned upon. Really these children would have not been allowed to leave their parent’s side because there would be too much work to be done.

   Next is the fact that the Emperor calls on Mulan like she was a regular soldier. If I was Mulan and actually made it home alive, the last thing I would want to be considered is a regular soldier for the ridicule alone of leaving the first time. This would have left her with the men having little respect for her.

   Then there is the fact that Shang actually asks her to marry him like a modern couple. If Shang wanted to marry Mulan he would have gone to her father and the deal would be struck whether Mulan liked it or not. So there is another thing that was culturally incorrect.

   Thirdly there was Mulan’s opinion on the arrange marriage. A soldier would never second guess the Emperor. Which then leads into the princesses and their song “Other Girls”. As princesses, these girls had more rights and privileges than any girls in their time. If you wanted to be like other girls, that meant being thrown in the rice fields doing back breaking work, still having to marry whom your father chose, and not doing or behaving in any fashion as described in the song. Why? Because other girls weren’t climbing trees, speaking for herself,  marrying for love, slouching, and “just to be free like other girls get to be”. The princesses would never dare dishonor their father by leaving to go with the soldiers and definitely not unescorted. If their father found out the great dishonor his children had brought upon him, he would have treated them like they were dead.

   Speaking of dead. What was with the American accent of the Mong bandits? I mean really? But then the sadness comes and Shang dies. So sad. So then Mulan decides she is going to give herself as replacement for the princesses so that the they and the soldiers can be together forever in their complete dishonor. Sounds like a great honeymoon right? Oh it gets better for the fact that Mulan does this herself. Her father would have been the only one to do such a thing and something tells me he would have signed the dotted line. Who wouldn’t want his daughter to marry a prince? The family would be set forever. But she is saved because good ole Shang lived from his death fall and interrupts the ceremony even though the tie was tied and the unity of the prince and Mulan were complete.

   What does that mean? Shang stole a married woman! Talk about scandalous. But her guardian Mushu saved the day and some how got them all to believe that her previous marriage from five seconds ago was invalid. So the little ceremony that Mushu performed wasn’t valid either so good thing they went back to get married at home.

   Whew. I am tired of all this cultural horse pucky going around, aren’t you? Well, I am not done. There are two more movies that need to be addressed and the next one is the smash hit – Moana.

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   I actually had to do a little research on this one, but it broke my heart that once again Disney just couldn’t help themselves and ruined a perfect chance to educate people. So Moana is actually Samoan. I knew that she wasn’t Hawaiian, but I wasn’t sure so that is what my research pulled up and from there it just spilled more issues like a woman being a chief, the stereotypes of Samoan and Philippine men, the fact that the fight coconut people, and Maui I guess has a lady friend already. Sorry Moana.

   But I have to touch on the coconut thing since I thought that was something odd. Turns out, the reason the little pirate people being coconuts is offensive is because it would be like calling a white person a cracker (I am white so I can say that). It’s the slur against the people group. So don’t say coconuts I guess, but it was something that Disney should have known.

   The other thing was the fact that Moana was a woman. Even though I believe women were seen a little better in the islander cultures, she was still a woman, and would not been given the spot as chief. This new thing where women can rule over men is really backward from the time periods these movies are written. I wish that Disney would just stick to history and be right for once. History isn’t a bad thing.

   And Maui has a lady friend I found out that should have been in the movie, but was written out. Even though there is no official love connection between Moana and Maui, it was obvious that by the end of the movie there are some feelings there. I mean Maui came back for her for goodness sake! How isn’t that love in a Disney movie? He was pretty much saying, “lets stop fighting the lava monster and make demi babies” for crying out loud. But then again, Disney doesn’t like telling the whole story. Imagine the ear full that Maui got when he finally got home. I would not want to be anywhere near that argument.

   So we have covered the basics of the movies that came to my mind, but this next movie has to the be the first of everyone’s list in America since it is a story from our history books. Pocahontas is one of my favorite movies because of its music. I still get goosebumps at “Colors of the Wind” every  time I hear it. I just love it, but I don’t like what they did to the movie.

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   The movie goes on that there is this attractive Native American woman (who I am actually related to by the way) who loves her people but is too stubborn to go the way her people want. Then she meets strapping John Smith who steals her heart and then his people get in the way, one of them shoots the man that Pocahontas is supposed to marry, John Smith almost dies, Pocahontas saves him by speaking some pretty good truth about how we are all the same, and then John Smith gets shot and has to be shipped back to England for treatment.

   Not a bad story in itself if they had just changed the names of the characters. How do you think we all felt in third grade when the topic in history that day was Pocahontas and we find out the horrible truth? She was actually twelve years old when she meets John Smith who is in his forties, he proceeds to have sexual relationships with her regularly and forces her to talk with her people about the white people staying. I have no idea where Cocoum even comes in since he is not mentioned. But John Smith is captured, Pocahontas does save him, and he is shot and needed to go back to England.

   Would you have taken your kids to see that film? Probably not. Oh! And the best part! He gives her an STD which she dies from in England but not after giving it to John Rolfe who is the one she actually marries. At least she has a son who was now in the middle of all this drama. I think it would have made a good reality TV show actually.

   So now the question is, why is it impossible for Disney to be culturally right? Why do they have to turn every movie into a white movie? I have no idea, but it would be nice if they did. I would appreciate being able to share a Disney movie and say to my daughter, “yes this is how life for them really is” whether they are a better people than ourselves or ones where their history may not be the shiniest. At least it would be the truth.

   What are some others that I didn’t mention? I would love to know so that I can be there to properly educate my daughter when we are watching these movies together.

Have a great day! 🙂

Why I Like to Write

   People ask me all the time why I think writing is fun. What isn’t fun about it? You get to the be the boss! You kind of get to play God with these characters you create in your head and the lives you give them. Reading a writer’s work will actually give you an idea into their soul.

   I know some my stuff from my teen years will never see the light of day again, but it is an insight to see how I saw the world back then. I can see how I felt about love, authority, respect, good vs. evil and many other things. Now somethings haven’t changed and I still write those things in, but many things have changed as I have gotten older and have more of an understanding of how the world works.

   But right now I will admit that the main reason I write is to escape. I want to go to a place that I have in my head and put it on paper to be able to go back to again and again. Or I escape in a way that I want to get the thoughts out and never see them again. I write them down and throw them in the trash. This practice was really easy when I was a kid, but I have noticed the older I get the more tempting it is to pull those thoughts out and look at them again. Why? I have no idea because they are not good for anyone read. So I crumple them back up. Of course now I have a shredder and it has made that problem easier to avoid since I am too lazy to search through the pieces of paper and tape them back together. I would rather just forget them.

   But it’s not all bad like I said before. Writing helps with creativity, problem solving and writing very soppy “forgive me” notes. All in all, I just love writing and take real joy in it. It is really cool to watch a blank page become this world that was only in your head. You get to share a little bit of your self with every word you write. So give it a try. Write something today and see where it takes you.

   Where did it take me? Check out my author page! Have a great day!

They Mean the Same Thing!

   I don’t know about the rest of the USA but all over California there are these new signs showing up on bathrooms everywhere. They are a combo of the men and women’s signs but they are all white. Then there is another sign on the wall that says “all gender bathroom”. I’m like, what? What was wrong with the old signs? I’ll show you what I mean.

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This here is the new sign. I guess that only disabled people will for sure know because if you can’t read English, it could get rather confusing.

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   This was the old sign. What is the difference? To me the new signs are actually more racist since they are white. It just shows the stupidity of some big wigs in my state that are paid a lot to not think. Instead, now there are two signs that companies have to buy so it costing the companies to “replace” the signs they already had. (Face palm).

   Can we just agree enough is enough? This whole gender thing wouldn’t be heard of 100 years ago and I am tired of hearing people whine and complain. If you don’t like the signs that are already up because they offensive, I’m not sorry because did you ever consider how the new signs offend me? No one will win if we keep fighting. It will only get better if we work together and forcing people to change bathroom sign isn’t going to do it.

   The way it will happen is by respect from BOTH sides. Us conservatives are being FORCED to respect what the other side wants but the other side has no regard for us and so the cycle continues. So pull up your boot straps and maybe a clean diaper and get on with what really matters in life like God and where you will be for eternity. That is something that should be hitting the headlines, but I won’t go there right now. 😛 Have a great day.

What if We Wore Our Debt Visibly?

Hello! I know it has been a little bit since I lasted posted so I wanted to get one out today. And today I want to talk about something that many people don’t want to talk about since it deals with appearances. At least it deals with our financial appearances.

I remember seeing this commercial for some financial group where people wore the amount of debt they had around their necks. Then the point of the commercial was to get rid of the debt and not have to wear the number any more. But I was recently thinking about how we would view each other in society if that was the case. What if we worse the number of debt in plain sight?

My husband and I don’t live in the ghetto but we wouldn’t be considered to live in a “nice area” either. We bought a nice little three bed two bath house in the city’s outter suburbs. We are white and are the minority in our neighborhood and it can be a real turn to our family and friends who wouldn’t think this place as an option for them to live. Now to us, it’s fine. We love our house and our daughter is getting to see that God has made different skin tones and He loves each one very much. So we like where we live.

Now the other day I took my daughter to her day care center I take her too for some social time since she is a singleton and the thought about the commercial hit me. Her day care is in what’s considered the nice area where we live. Here my 2006 Matrix was the oldest car in the lot, and I was dressed in what would be considered very casual for the area. I didn’t have a name brand purse and my hair was in it’s air dried pony tail. I still looked nice but it wasn’t “at their level”. I mean, heck, I walked past a Lotus in the parking lot. So these people have money. Or do they?

What if the driver of that Lotus had to wear the dollar amount of his debt around his neck? What would we see? I think that the odds would be that he is in thousands of dollars just in his credit cards to up keep the thing. It would make mine that we have gotten from our crazy summer dealing with black mold look tiny. So here is my question, what is the true definition of wealth?

I would think it would be actually having money in your bank account. Now, that Lotus driver might actually own that car out right and not have any debt at all, but I am just using him as an example of a mindset that many have today when it comes to what wealth looks like. To many it looks like the Lotus in the parking lot and really not be able to afford it. How is that true wealth? If you can’t afford what you have then that makes you quite the opposite. It makes you poor.

What is your definition of wealth? Is it a fancy car, house or clothes, or is it financial security and living a frugal life until you acquire enough money to not have to live paycheck to paycheck? For me, it is the later. I would rather have a $0 on my sign and live with a nice but functional car, smaller house maybe in a less expensive neighborhood, not have name brand things and learn to make things myself. How about you?

I would love to hear your stories so make sure to comment below and I will see you next time. 🙂

God is Good

“God is good”. Do you believe that? I have a hard time with it sometimes I will admit. It’s a topic that many will never say is true simply because they have never felt it. I can say it’s true because in the past I have felt Him. I have felt His arms around when I was hurting and crying out for acceptance and love. Then why is it so hard for me to feel at times now?

Maybe it’s because I am more grown up and more calloused with the world? Maybe I am too scared to trust anyone but myself? I don’t know but I do know that my trust relationship with God is one that always takes work on my side.

I know people say that if you trust someone that you will always trust them. I guess that I sort of true since I trust my husband 100% and my closest friends 100%, but why can’t I always trust God 100% if the time? Because I can really trust what I see. I trust my husband to come home and love me every night because he does and I can see him. I can see his face and hear his voice to know if there is something off about him, but with God I can’t see Him. I know He is there, but I so often forget to look for Him.

And when things go bad it’s even harder to trust Him. You want to believe that He is doing everything for my good, but I can see that at the moment. It might be years until I see the purpose behind the suffering I go through today. So I sit there and ask God why, when He isn’t ready to show to me what He is planning to do with me. I just have to sit and wait to maybe understand it someday.

But I just have to remember that God is always good even if it doesn’t feel like life is. He loves me even when I am crying my soul out or angry because life has thrown me another curve ball. He is good always.