Thursday, January 28, 2016

Stupid Articles

Most articles are stupid, but these two are stupid enough to warrant mention.

First, I read this article about analyzing Disney movies by percentage of dialog delivered by males and females. The article calls out The Little Mermaid in particular, but makes NO reference to a particular plot element: Ariel spends half the movie mute.

But plot elements be damned: Ariel isn't talking and that harms girls. Ignore what really harms girls in The Little Mermaid: you should risk your life and your family's well-being for the chance to win the affection of a boy you saw from a distance once. No, I guess that's fine. But we can't have you silent while you're doing it.

This entire article is a train wreck, from the title that says The Little Mermaid seems empowering at first glance (no it doesn't) to it's complete dismissal of girl-empowering movies like Mulan and Frozen because of the sex of the speaker. Are the researchers implying that girls discount all information from males, or are they suggesting they should?

Mulan spends a period of time speaking as little as possible so she won't give herself away as a girl in an all-male army. How many girl voices are supposed to be involved in the dialog then? And why does the large amount of male speaking time discount the basic message: a girl can hold her own in a role traditionally unavailable to her? Only an idiot would have the nerve to say, "A movie about a girl saving her nation and breaking sex-specific barriers is harmful to girls because not enough girls spoke during the movie."

(I'm curious if the researchers counted Mulan's dialog delivered when pretending to be a boy as delivered by a boy or by a girl. If they count that as boy dialog, they're idiots. If they count it as girl dialog, they hate Caitlyn Jenner.)

Aladdin is called out as the "worst offender" (as if there is something offensive in all this), but Aladdin is a boy, and once they decided to make Jafar and Genie be boys, that's your movie right there. Jasmine is unapproachable to Aladdin. Frankly, the amount of time she actually is in the movie is just pandering to girl viewers. Could Jafar or Genie have been female characters? I guess; I don't know a lot about jinn. But if the original source material had a male genie, and Disney had Robin Williams lined up for the role, they're not going to change Genie's sex.

The researchers are fixated on how much air time women's voices receive. This is what the modern world has become: all form, no substance. A woman telling girls to always please a man is better than a man telling girls to pursue self-actualization.

The second article full of stupid was this one: the Denver Broncos are going to wear white in the Super Bowl. The article's writer implies that this is just a dumb superstition, that laundry color isn't responsible for the times Denver has lost previous Super Bowls. NFL teams typically wear their colored jersey in home games, and Denver is the "home" team for this game to be played in San Francisco, California. But then later in the article, the writer notes that, this year, the Broncos are 8-1 in orange and only 5-2 in white, and he presents this as evidence that they should wear orange. What he's really saying is, "The Broncos are 8-1 at home this season, so they should get this game moved to Denver."

Either laundry doesn't matter, so they should wear whatever color they want, or laundry does matter, so they should avoid the color in which they've never won a Super Bowl. But don't get all uppity about how superstitious they're being and then say, "But they should follow this other superstition."

1 comment:

Alanna said...

I thought the same thing when I read that Disney article!!! Plus (you may have already said this), in Aladdin, the main character is Aladdin, not Jasmine! Yeesh, what a dumb thing to worry about! Who is financing these studies???