Friday, January 18, 2013

Feminism in Film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

For my other Feminism in Film posts, go here.

Initial Thoughts
This is one of my sister's favorite movies. I've never liked it. But I decided to give it a go!

The Critique

The Queen is highly obsessed with beauty. She goes so far as attempted murder so she can remain the most beautiful in the land. I really don't like the way this movie portrays older women: terrified of turning old. I understand that both men and women do not enjoy some of the effects of aging, but it isn't  the only thing on their minds. Why can't we see The Queen ruling her kingdom? Why can't we see her dealing with Kings and Queens from neighboring realms?

On a similar note, Snow White is only known for her beauty. I understand that this is to be taken as a compliment, but she does have other qualities. Her entire purpose should not be reduced to her appearance. She is incredibly kind (she takes the "killing with kindness" thought quite seriously) and very good with both people and animals. Why couldn't we focus on that? On that note, however, Snow White's only way to make a livelihood is by cooking and cleaning. She conveniently fits into the housewife stereotype.

This movie is so incredibly white washed. Not a single character of color. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because of when this movie was released, but still.

So...the prince. A bit of a stalker? He spies her over a giant wall, leaps in, SCARES HER, and then proclaims his love for her. Also, he's the only one who can save her. White Knight complex? Damsel in Distress?


The Bechdel Test
*two named women? YES (Snow White, The Queen)
*who talk to each other? YES
*about something other than men? YES (delicious apples)
So the only time Snow White and The Queen actually talk to each other is when The Queen disguises herself as an old woman so she can poison Snow White. Not exactly female friendly... To that extent, there are NO female friendships in this movie! Of the only two female characters, one is trying (desperately) to kill the other!

Final Rating

Two Stars

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