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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:23 am 
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I was thinking about what our favorite movies would be like genderswapped. Since most fairy tales, especially the Disney ones, are female-centered, it is a good excercise to see hoiw feminist a story is. I will allow stories that are not truly fairy tales to be discussed because they are similar to fairy tales, like Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. And I think it's natural we can and will talk about the Disney versions.

First up I wanna discuss who I am sure is Disney's most popular Disney Princess, Ariel, and The Little Mermaid. Ariel, the female version, uses her brain to outwit the shark in the beginning of her movie. She's smart. I'm not saying she always makes smart decisions, but she has smarts. She has interest in adventure and exploring and learning about another world, and she risks punishment from her father (a King!) for it. It's already fitting if in a gender swapped merman loved exploring and going on adventures. She saves a man, too! She did love the human world before she wanted Eric, but, I'm sorry, she did sell her voice and risk her soul for love. She did not go to Ursula to become human until love of a man came into the picture. That's why she went to Ursula. For a man. But so what?! Remember how in other fairy tales, men fight dragons or, in Sleeping Beauty's original tale, fight through forests of thorns, and risk their lives, all for the love of a female? So Ariel is just doing the same thing, minus saving someone in that same action. If her tale was gender swapped, it would be really cool to see a man make such a sacrifice for a woman. So it's even cooler seeing a girl do it! Ariel didn't just risk her life for a man, though. It was for love. That's what it was for. Then of course Ariel tries to make sure she can hang onto her man, when Vanessa is about to marry him, and she attacks Ursula like twice, saving Eric a second time. And that's Ariel, who, were it a man, would be seen as someone headstrong and rebellious and who goes after what he wants, stopping his true love from marrying the wrong person and saving his soul in the process, but would seem a little weak in comparison to a female love interest who harpoons and eventually kills the bad guy herself.

I also thought about if Disney's third most popular Disney Princess, Cinderella, was gender swapped. So, Cinderfella is a handsome, sweet, kind, and slightly innocent young man who is a servant for his family. He has a backbone, but he only shows it in making fun of his stepfamily and their cat, he doesn't do anything to fight his step family's treatment of him other than believing in his dreams, and occasionally trying to get out of trouble and out of chores, but it's probably safe to assume he never gets out of those. Also, believing in your dreams being all you need to do to make them come true is a dangerous message! That's why I feel Disney's message is to believe in your dreams so you keep working on them, but that is just one theory as to what Disney's Cinderella's true message is, and not everyone will see it that way, so they may not work on their dreams and it could lead to a bad life for who knows how long. Anyway, the gender swap wouldn't work because it was females who didn't have opportunities and rights with which to escape Cinderella's situation, but males did. Let's for the sake of this gender swap pretend men's opportunities are also swapped, so in other words Cinderfella has very few. So, later in the story we see Cinderfella cares for and saves animals, which is great. Cinderfella aslo would push his stepfather to let him go to a ball, which is a little brave, and is also a great thing. He sees and wants to wear a fancy suit. No problem there either. He does all the chores to get to the ball but doesn't have time to make his suit. He got played, but if he had no rights or opportunities, he could do diddly squat about that. But his animal friends made him a suit, so he gets that, only for it to be ruined. He cries. Kind of a wimp, it seems, but he got his hopes up only for them to be dashed, he really tried and his life really sucks so it's all at least understandable. His fairy godfather gives him glass shoes, which he is supposed to be dainty enough not to break. That's kinda sexist, as I thought all men wanted to be strong, but maybe some men, not all gay, want to be seen as very light? I mean, almost everyone wants to at least be thin. So his fairy godfather gets him to the ball, he falls instantly in love with the princess, he leaves a glass shoe behind at midnight, and he gets locked up by his stepfather. He thinks of how to get the key the animals brought free from the cat, and he uses the other shoe he kept to escape his terrible life after his evil stepfather smashed the other one. He marries the hot princess and lives happily ever after. I would say this gender swapping reveals Cinderella was not saved by a prince, but more by situations and luck. The glass slipper saved her. Or we could even say her goodness saved her, as it brought help from animals and a fairy godmother. And she had some control over her situations and that glass slipper by bringing out the other slipper and being good and kind. So, maybe Cinderella is not a bad role model? She just lives in bad situation? I must admit, we could still say she and Cinderfella escaped a bad life by marrying rich. So yes, you could still say Cinderella was saved by marrying a wealthy man, but that's not all she did, she also took some control over her situations.

Let's also talk Ever After. It's one of the best versions of Cinderella and so feminist because, well, aside from Cinderella being tomboyish as well as princessy, she grows more and more of a backbone and fighting against her oppressors, finally coalescing into saving herself from a man who oppresses her the most with some savvy sword fighting. But why is Danielle in Ever After or Cinderella in other versions seen as so strong for just saying "no" to oppressors and growing a backbone, when men usually have a backbone or at least don't put up with slave-like crap in fairy tales? That's part of why the gender swapping makes stories like Cinderella less strong. Men haven't been oppressed like women have, and those female connotations make Cinderella best as a female-led story. And there's nothing wrong with a female kind of fighting sexism in the ways Cinderella does, or could do depending how the story is told. I have heard of Cinderlad and other tales where I believe there is a male character who does chores and housework, but then I believe he usually does feats of strength and swordplay and bravery to get the hot princess. I'd have to look those up to see. But then it would seem while Cinderella used beauty and love to win riches and, well, love, the male character used bravery and skill.

Disney's second most popular Disney Princess is the best one. First off, if we completley gender swap this tale, we feel really awful calling a woman an ugly beast! Then there's Beau (yup, the French word for male beauty!), who is a nerd at least with entertainment-oriented books, and he feels different from his whole town. He wants to escape his poor little town. The whiner! Some hot girl who goes to the gym a lot wants him really, uncomfortabely badly. Beau sees she's not the one for him and loves his inventor mother very much. His mother goes to the fair to sell an invention and gets attacked by wolves and captured by a female beast. Beau uses clever language and movement to escape her buff female's marriage proprosal and send her the message of "no". He sings about how awful it would be to be her husband, then sings of how he wants adventure. That's pretty typically manly. Beau finds his mother in a cell and says he will take her place. Now that's sweet and awesome! Go Beau! Beau refuses to eat with his captor after all she's done. Like Beast says in the original, he's "being difficult." Beau sneaks off to get his own dinner, then to the forbidden West Wing, which is really understandable to me, I'd wanna do that, and I'm a man! Beau runs away when the Beast frightens him, and gets attacked by wolves. The Beast turns out to be one brave biotch and takes care of the wolves but gets hurt. Beau heals her, and then falls in love with her as she gives him a library and starts acting nicer, all while he is still her captive. Hmm... Beau requests to see his mother, Beast lets him go to her (go Beast!), and Beau takes care of her until the buff chick threatens to throw his mother in the looney bin unless he marries her. She refuses and shows the town the Beast is real and they all go to kill her. Beau goes to her in time to be support, but then the buff chick stabs her. Jealous biotch! And that role actually went to a man before the genderswap! So then Beau's love saves the Beast (go Beau) and the whole castle becomes human again and they all live happily ever after. I would say the only difference we see is that we like to see women do naughty things and get angry and argumentative, but it was cool the main female lead was into books and saved her lover and a whole castle, not to mention her father! It seems like Belle has all the power in her fairy tale, you know? That's why it's such a good story for girls!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:35 pm 
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You're right- whether Phillip saving Aurora or Ariel/The Little Merman saving their prince/princess, it's risking their lives for love, and it shouldn't be seen as a gender 'thing' I suppose.

I don't know much about history, so in Cinderfella's time, he wouldn't have had access to his family's money, unless he sold some possessions maybe, so would there have been some opportunity for a low-class man trying to make it? Maybe he could have gotten an apprenticeship, right? which Cinderella would not have been able to do. I absolutely agree with you that CInderella's kindness played a part in her being saved.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:23 am 
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Cinderfella would have been able to get a job, and I don't think he needed references. But if he did need references, then he would have been exactly like Cinderella, who's step family would never give him/her references and so would have depended on marriage for a better life.

I am glad we agree on the kindness thing!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:30 pm 
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I feel like Cinderfella would still work, he would just be shifted from indoor chores to being a stable boy. They generally don't have the same rights as the nobles, and it would still be rather fitting. The mice could also be shifted from living in the house to the stables hayloft with Cinderfella. It would also give a sense of how he's an outsider in his own home and not a part of the step-family.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:43 am 
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Wow, Chernabog_Rocks, those are really good ideas that would make a gender-swapped Cinderella work!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:45 am 
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Yeah, C_R, I think those are really good ideas too...the actual showing of not being part of the physical inside household is great.

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