Emmy (maruutsu) wrote,

On racism, sexism, and Disney-ism

(First a little complaint: my writing SUCKS. Why is it damn so hard?  *goes to her emo corner*)

It's spring break here in Southern-South America, and while my little sister enjoys a well-deserved vacation from that demonic private school she goes to, I study for my test (a little) and do nothing. We organised a Disney marathon, starting with Mulan, which brings me to the actual topic of this entry.

Basically, watching the movie, Lil Sis and I contrasted it with other (read, ALL) Disney movies, and came to the following conclusion: Mulan is the only Disney-Princess movie in which the plot does not rely heavily on romance, and in which the damsel is the one who does the rescuing all by herself (the animal friends don't count, mkay?). I know some of you may argue that she's just a stereotypical Tomboyish Action Girl, but I think she's only an Action Girl because of her use of intelligent strategies to get through physical challenges. So, no.

Comparing the different Disney "princesses" also brought us to the inevitable subject of race. Especially since we had just seen the official trailer for The Princess and the Frog (which I cannot wait to see, by the way), which features Disney's first Black princess -- wait, their first Black CHARACTER. Whoa.

So basically we started analyzing the need of the franchise to be politically correct and have at least one character of every major race/ethnicity (who cares, it's the same thing to society, right?). So we have the Midwesterns (umbrellas for Indians, Arabs, etc.), the Asians ('cuz Mulan's supposed to act as an umbrella for all Asians, y/n), where are the Spaniards? And here's the amusing conversation that went on between my sister and I:

Me: Hey, how come there are no Hispanics?
Sister: Sure there are! Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame--
Me: She's a gipsy, you idiot.
Sister: *blank*
Me: it's a different thing!
Sister: ...Oh. Well, we can always have Belle. Comes close enough.
Me: To us. Not to all Hispanics. What about descendants from natives? Or just Hispanics who aren't white?

First of all, how come gipsies are associated with Hispanics so much, down to the point where a Hispanic herself doesn't know they aren't fellow Hispanics?

Secondly, there's this whole racial-variety in Southern-South America that's been going on ever since... well, forever. You have the White Hispanics (descendants from the European settlers and immigrants), the African Hispanics (they make up a large number in Brazil), and the 'Latinos', who are descended from natives, or are simply colored. And so, discrimination of Latinos is bound to happen in places with a big White Hispanic population (my country and Argentina being the best examples), because there's the added pressure of European and American racism against South Americans, who are portrayed as Latinos in their media. I don't know if that made any sense, but it's almost four in the morning and I can't sleep.
Tags: atla, disney, feminism, racism, rant

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