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Friday, August 07, 2015

Things I Like: This Report on Misogynistic Disney Characters by Haley Callahan


We're living in a tumultuous time for gender dynamics.  There is an Internet Civil War going on, as happens when the winds of change start a-blowin'.  GamerGaters are fighting Social Justice Warriors are fighting Sad Puppies are fighting Feminazis are fighting misogynists are fighting ableists are fighting Tumblr.  Everyone seems to want something and no one seems to know what that is, but they're willing to fight for it.  Mostly through comments and pestering e-mails.

And I'm just sitting here eating popcorn.

I don't know.  I dabbled in the wars in the early years, not to hurt anyone, just from my own confusion.  Now that my confusion is cleared I have no reason to participate.  But it bothers me that so many key types are being wasted on a loud majority.  They're like the kid in the back who was bad, so now the whole class has to stay behind.

And there's no shortage of people voicing their opinion.  But that's all they're doing.  Voicing.  Shouting into the wind (where the wind is YouTube).  Shouting but no one listening.  No one attempting to educate.  Those that are, without some agenda or a presentation with more holes than a kindergartner's paper snowflake, are the ones I listen to.


Cue Haley Callahan a.k.a. T-Belle, The Philosofan.  I first heard about her when "Some Jerk With a Camera", one of my new favorite Internet reviewers who I recently discovered (and might warrant his own "Things I Like" in the future), tweeted this video -- misogynist Disney characters.

Now from my ongoing analysis of Disney villains, I know that most of the negative male portrayals tend towards the poncey-side (Captain Hook, Governor Radcliffe) or masculine gun nuts (Percival McLeach, Rourke).  Not to mention that anything controversial, even from a villain, is anathema for the family friendly Disney.  Even villains can't smoke, because the kids might be influenced.  Duh, that's why they're the BAD guys.

Anyway, I had some expectations based on my existing knowledge.  But what kicked this into my forebrain was the examples I didn't think of.  I don't want to spoil anything for you, in case you click the link (although the answer's right on the thumbnail).  I'd rather you go in for yourself, fresh, like I did, so you can have the same feeling of discovery and "huh, I never thought of that before" that I did.

"But, Eric," you say, "that can't be all that makes you think the whole world needs to know about The Philosofan."  You would be correct.  Because the presentation is what really sells this.  Her history in show choir contributes a lot to the entertainment value of the video.  I love how she personifies herself as a "mama lion".  The few female reviewers there are, you don't see many of them claiming a defensive role.  They're more deadpan snarkers or chirpy fangirls.


Basically, each entry starts with a monologue by the "villain" illustrating how insidious their misogyny is.  It made me understand what it's like to be on the receiving end of this kind of treatment, and opened a new lobe of sympathy.  And it all caps off with a bombardment of all three characters assaulting our protagonist in different ways.

You can see her getting forced into a corner by these arrogant bastards, sociopathic liars, and deceptive pomps, laying on the hate thick, shrinking her down to the size of a pea.  You can feel what women must go through when they find themselves on dates with these manipulative assholes, or worse, relationships, never seeing what hit them.  Geez, if I was in the same position, I might have fallen for it.  And the ending?  Well, I didn't see it coming. (It's been a long time since I saw Kill Bill.)

So go watch it, and tell me you don't fall in love with her.  Sadly, her other videos don't reach the same level of impact, but I look forward to what she produces in the future.

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