Five Feminist Movies Your Kids Should See

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Awful Truth

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Feb 11, 2013
It’s always refreshing to see family-friendly films that give positive portrayals of girls and women. Too often, it seems, girl characters are pigeonholed into predictable stereotypes or are virtually absent from a world of proactive, funny males. The majority of family classics, even some highly enjoyable ones, are pretty boy-heavy (think Home Alone, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, The Little Rascals, Richie Rich, Toy Story) and others tend to show women as some sort of “damsel in distress” needing a prince charming (think Cinderella, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid). The following five movies are my personal favorites for kids because they feature multi-dimensional, strong, and proactive female characters, and give a much more realistic message to kids about how awesome girls really are:

1) Tangled- Disney has taken a lot of heat for showing poor representations of women in most of their princess movies, and rightfully so. But Disney’s 2010 film Tangled offers a fresh alternative to the cartoon worlds of weak and vulnerable women-- Repunzel is assertive, goal-oriented, brave, and is the true hero of the movie. Often when female protagonists are represented as heroic in children’s movies their characters are masculinised in some way; she is either a token tomboy in a group of boys, uniquely physically strong, or generally ‘tough’—she can punch and kick her way out of trouble just like the boys can. However, Repunzel’s strength is that she is determined, kind, smart, thoughtful, resourceful, and compassionate, and with these qualities she is able to escape her tower and make her dreams come true (and yes, fall in love—but landing a man is never her goal, and happens only after they’ve developed a deep and sincere friendship).

2) Hairspray- The 2007 musical movie is terrific for starting a dialogue with school-aged kids about many important subjects: body image, race, and discrimination, to name a few. Tracy Turnblad is a perfect role model—she doesn’t fit into our typical standards of beauty, is bold yet good-natured, has talent and passions, and stands up for what is right even when it’s the unpopular thing to do. The film also gives some very loose historical context about racial discrimination in the 1960s, and features a number of strong black characters who fight for equality while staying positive and passionate about life, family and friends.

3) Little Women- Strong, independent, and complex female characters are surprisingly elusive in a lot of popular family films, but Little Women (1994) offers not one, but five, fully developed female leads. The four March sisters have totally different personalities and goals, and together with their mother are completely self-sufficient and supportive of each other while their father is away at war. It takes place in the 1800s, so is a period piece—but we all know that old-fashioned expectations of women to prioritize marriage over personal achievement still aren’t completely extinct, and Jo March is a wonderful example of a young woman who challenges society’s norms in pursuit of personal fulfillment.
Full Truth

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Feb 12, 2013
Thanks God feminism is taught in schools now.
Awfull Truth

Grantsburg, WI

#4 Feb 12, 2013
Full Truth wrote:
Thanks God feminism is taught in schools now.
Yes I am certain YOU do Thank God for this Blessing.

Now you do not need to feel so bad that your Mother Emasculated you for being born male, and reminding her of the Stray Dog that Bred her.
digger

Minneapolis, MN

#6 Feb 12, 2013
I am so SICK of modern feminism, the BULLCRAP that has been spewed over the past 40 YEARS, the lowering of STANDARDS, the lame EXCUSES, the constant WHINING and politicing, it's no wonder that this country has been so serious DE-balled. God help us if we ever get involved in another "world war".

I've seen it in the military, in the civilian workplace, through cheating on tests and lack of discipline for poor performance and attendance.

Since: Jul 10

Minneapolis, MN

#7 Feb 12, 2013
Awful Truth wrote:
It’s always refreshing to see family-friendly films that give positive portrayals of girls and women. Too often, it seems, girl characters are pigeonholed into predictable stereotypes or are virtually absent from a world of proactive, funny males.The following five movies are my personal favorites for kids because they feature multi-dimensional, strong, and proactive female characters, and give a much more realistic message to kids about how awesome girls really are:
1) Tangled- Disney has taken a lot of heat for showing poor representations of women in most of their princess movies, and rightfully so. But Disney’s 2010 film Tangled offers a fresh alternative to the cartoon worlds of weak and vulnerable women-- Repunzel is assertive, goal-oriented, brave, and is the true hero of the movie. Often when female protagonists are represented as heroic in children’s movies their characters are masculinised in some way; she is either a token tomboy in a group of boys, uniquely physically strong, or generally ‘tough’—she can punch and kick her way out of trouble just like the boys can. However, Repunzel’s strength is that she is determined, kind, smart, thoughtful, resourceful, and compassionate, and with these qualities she is able to escape her tower and make her dreams come true (and yes, fall in love—but landing a man is never her goal, and happens only after they’ve developed a deep and sincere friendship).
2) Hairspray- The 2007 musical movie is terrific for starting a dialogue with school-aged kids about many important subjects: body image, race, and discrimination, to name a few. Tracy Turnblad is a perfect role model—she doesn’t fit into our typical standards of beauty, is bold yet good-natured, has talent and passions, and stands up for what is right even when it’s the unpopular thing to do. The film also gives some very loose historical context about racial discrimination in the 1960s, and features a number of strong black characters who fight for equality while staying positive and passionate about life, family and friends.
3) Little Women- Strong, independent, and complex female characters are surprisingly elusive in a lot of popular family films, but Little Women (1994) offers not one, but five, fully developed female leads. The four March sisters have totally different personalities and goals, and together with their mother are completely self-sufficient and supportive of each other while their father is away at war. It takes place in the 1800s, so is a period piece—but we all know that old-fashioned expectations of women to prioritize marriage over personal achievement still aren’t completely extinct, and Jo March is a wonderful example of a young woman who challenges society’s norms in pursuit of personal fulfillment.
I see three out of the five.
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what are the other two.
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by the way, Little Women was written in 1868(first volume), 1860(second volume). it was done. if you look at the lives of the girls. they tended to come to realize that family values were more important than wealth. it was written at the time when we women were being taught to look towards a child filled marriage to a well off man was our only purpose in life.
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and as for the title. When using the term “little women” Alcott was drawing on Dickensian meaning. Little Women represented the time period in a young woman's life where childhood and elder childhood was "overlapping" young womanhood.
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Alcott “made women’s rights integral to her stories, and above all to Little Women.” Alcott’s fiction became her “most important feminist contribution”—even considering all the effort Alcott made to help facilitate women’s rights."
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she made the story about the message out about that one should be allowed to choose one's own path in the world. that one should not be confined to 'gender based roles'. unless you wished to be of your own free will.

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