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"Gender: To Be Determined" is collaborative, interactive blog brought to you by University of Denver students in Lindsey Feitz's "Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies" class.

If you are interested in gender, sexuality, and popular culture, this is the blog for you.

There's some incredibly smart, sassy, and saavy analyses that cover a range of topics we're discussing in class. Please feel free peruse our archive and join the conversation.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unit 2: "A Girl Worth Fighting For"

This is my first "Vlog" so if it is a little choppy I apologize. Unfortunately the file was too large to upload directly to Blogger so you are going to have to go here to see it.

-Elise Syddall

9 comments:

  1. I really like this vlog! I think the fact that you began with the definitions was especially helpful. I noticed in particular during the Mulan clip some very specifically heteronormative ideals - i.e., that the man is strong and will "fight for" his woman. One character says that he doesn't care what a woman looks like; he only cares about what she "cooks like" which is a direct reinforcement of gender ideals. When Mulan mentions a woman having a brain and speaking her mind, she's completely rebuffed - so unfortunate, but again, gender ideals at work. Then in the Scrubs clip, "it's like I married my best friend - but in a totally manly way." Because they embody "masculinity" and are therefore the antithesis of gay, it is alright. But, as you said, two gay men cannot kiss in public. I think homosocial relationships reveal the hypocrisy that is present in our society, as men are having intimate relationships with other men but, at the same time, these men are displaying homophobia.

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  2. Enjoyed this, Elise! Kudos to you for thinking outside the box and doing a vlog. I would have liked to see a little more analysis on the clips, but they are very appropriate and good examples of what you are discussing. I would like to propose this question: even though the clip from "Mulan" brought up an important point-that society is wrong to objectify women- do you think children who watch "Mulan" have the capability to realize that this objectification is wrong or do they only see the surface level of these clips and unconsciously adopt these gender roles themselves? In other words, does "Mulan" do more harm to children than good? Again, good job!

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  3. Short with a great message. Love it. The song from Mulan about women worth fighting for seemed just a tad off topic, though, compared to the rest of the video being about homosexuality. I was expecting the video to be about female stereotypes, since I saw so little homosocial behavior between the characters. However, the second video and your explanation of it and conclusion based on analysis is fantastic. It really got me thinking about how this affects me and what life would be without the concept of discrimination towards those who are different.

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  4. I love your vlog! It is so very correct and funny that there are examples in Mulon!(sorry i dont think thats the right spelling). But i loved this movie at a young age and this goes to show that young children are shown different gender roles that society wants them to conform to in the future.

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  5. I would have liked to add more of my own analysis in the video but when I did that I really didn't like how long it was...like over 12 minutes...Anyway, I really think that Mulan has done more to help little girls then hinder them. I remember when I first watched this movie and I thought Mulan was such a bad-ass! What other Disney princess can you say that about? In that sense I think this showed little girls that you're still a girl if you join the army. I'm just sad that the movie had terrible stereotypes about boys. In all of the fight scenes, including the finale, Mulan is the brains of the operation and the men are the brawn.

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  6. Great idea to do a vlog, and really liked that you had the definitions at the beginning as well. And I think you brought up a great point, why is it okay for heterosexual males to act gay, but we all freak out when its a real gay relationship. Its interesting what is happening here, we are accepting homosexual stereotypes, such as two men singing and dancing, and expressing their love for one another, but we are not accepting homosexuals themselves.

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  7. This was a great idea! It shows you as a person defending your opinion, which I like the idea of. Great way to hook the viewer with the scene of Mulan in the army. I never really noticed how men in this movie influence how children could be influenced to view the respective genders. It's interesting how Mulan cross dresses (as do the men later in the movie) and the stereotypical characteristics they take on of the gender they're trying to fit in with. When Mulan is trying to fit in with the men as they're talking about what they look for in a woman, she says, "a girl who speaks her mind." Immediately the men look to each other and say, "Ick." Seeing this, a little boy or girl would then unconsciously note what the expected characteristics are for women. Like you said, this also applies regularly to other Disney and Pixar movies that feature men as the dominant gender even if the main character we follow is female. Great application of what we've learned in Unit II to what children are exposed to in real life.

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  8. Loved the vlog idea, Your blog has now made me want to go home and analyze all of my Disney movies! Mulan is an example of how the media can have a great influence on children pertaining to gender roles. Although there are still Disney movies coming out today that have strictly heteronormative relationships, I doubt that comments made by the warriors about women in Mulan would go over well in our society today. Its funny to think I watched this movie numerous times growing up and never questioned how they described their "dream woman." I would also claim that the warriors are examples of homosocial behavior. They are all sharing fantasies, dancing together, and have a "bro-mance" going on. Like you said in a comment, although this movie has degrading moments to women, Mulan is still a great role model for young girls!

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  9. Thank you for all the comments! I really like that everyone was able to see the homosocial behavior in the Mulan clip because it was a little less obvious but just as important. I beg to wonder though, does it really influence children? Do kids think differently after watching movies like this? I know that I wasn't particularly effected by this movie when I was young. Well, as far as I know that is. I just thought everything was exaggerated for entertainment, not really reflecting reality.

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