The Princess Merida Protests: When Feminist Activism Neglects to Consider Anti-Racism Perspectives

So here I am, back after a two year hiatus with a blog post on Disney Princesses. This is perhaps a strange topic to re-engage a political scientist/lawyer, but there’s been a lot of brouhaha over the recent inclusion of Merida (from the movie Brave) into the princess line that has made me feel rather uncomfortable and disappointed.

To start, Disney has made heaps of money on films featuring princesses, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the company decided to create a merchandising campaign that featured all of these characters together. However, rather than focus on the traits that made these characters popular (such as Belle’s love of reading or Ariel’s curiosity), the line was centered on the idea of being a princess and achieving a happily ever after. The women of the line wear big, sparkling princess dresses and stand around passively smiling. They are not frequently shown as active individuals, but simply as examples of pretty women who have found their Prince Charmings. Obviously, such a construction of female role models can be subject to an absolute mountain of feminist critique.

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Quick Hit: The Need to Grow, Grow, Grow… Then What?

One of the very common and very annoying arguments against gay marriage/parenting or voluntary non-parenthood is that, without children, our society will be doomed. (Western) culture will crumble and our society will fall into disaster, just as the Romans once did. While I agree with the idea that children are a necessary part of the propagation of the human species (hard to get past biological fact and all), I question the idea that without constant growth, we will all perish.

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