Woke Feminism is Toxic Feminism!

The definition of ‘woke feminism’ is a hard one to explain.

I watched a few videos on YouTube talking about feminism and how it is growing increasingly toxic, one of which I took a lot of points from in this post called Everything Wrong with Woke Culture so check that out and do your own research and reading. 🙂

 

In recent years, there has been a rise in female empowerment in media, whether that be in film, tv shows, books, etc. But that’s not necessarily true…

Bad-ass, empowering, strong and brave women have been in the media for ages. Not as much as we would like but they have been there. These include characters such as Katniss, Black Widow, Mulan (cartoon), The Bride, Ellen Ripley (Alien), Trinity (The Matrix). However, in recent years, there has been a rise in many woman-led main roles, such as Captain Marvel, Ocean’s 8, Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels, Birds of Prey, etc. Although I do like a lot of these films, there is a serious issue within most of them regarding ‘woke feminism’.

 

These characters are designed to be powerful, strong warrior like people, but can also be very arrogant and act very entitled and toxic. There isn’t much growth and learning within these characters, too, displaying that women are born skilled and strong and invincible whereas, in real life, that’s definitely not true. We are raised and we grow to be strong and talented and skilled and brave, we aren’t handed that at birth.

But, Shay, they’re just films, not real life!

With my own experiences as evidence, I have always yearned for representation of women and women of colour in the media because as a young girl, growing and vulnerable to insecurities in this society, I needed someone to look up to and use as a tool to encourage myself to be confident in who I am. I think representation of women, of all backgrounds, colours, sexualities, etc, are important, for the reason being that young girls need that! That being said, we need representation of real women. That’s the whole point of this ‘rise in female roles’; it’s to increase representation. But their representations are wrong with this perception women do not need growth and do not need to work hard to earn their skills and rewards. Growth is important! And so is learning.

 

Something I find common in bad portrayals of women is that they can be very arrogant and entitled. How are these traits going to benefit younger girls and even older women in any way? We are not entitled just because we are women. Just because we’re women and demand equality and want to break down the patriarchy does not mean that we should be fed success instantly without working for it or having any reason to earn it. Teaching girls that they are entitled to anything and everything is toxic. There’s a contrast between the old cartoon Mulan and the new live-action Mulan. Old Mulan started off as this girl, who was a little anxious and had empathy and compassion but still strong and built up her confidence and bravery throughout the film whereas this new Mulan starts off straight away as incredibly strong and skilled. Very realistic. This is the same case with Captain Marvel, who barely worked to get where she was and was emotionless and kind of boring.  Yes, they are strong and brave but they’re boring, unrelatable and unrealistic because they’re so superficial and shallow. And it has nothing to do with them being women dominating the screen because Wonder Woman does it well and was a good film with an amazing female character! In general, using the excuse ‘I am a woman’ to explain why a character is so strong or basing her whole personality and motives on the fact she is a woman, or using society as the villain is tiresome. It’s great to hear the encouragement that ‘women can do anything’ since it’s so inspiring but that doesn’t mean we can do EVERYTHING. This can create a negative effect on younger girls and other women. Sometimes this can be done well, but done badly, it just takes us ten steps back in feminism.

 

The women written nowadays aren’t written as if they’re people, they’re written as an agenda to bring down men. That is not feminism. Feminism is not taking down men to lift ourselves up. We demand equality not world domination.  In fact, it’s almost insulting to women watching, seeing that these female characters are only elevated by belittling men as if that’s the only way a female led film can do well. For example, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in The Last Jedi is so condescending and hateful towards men and I understand that there was a need to display her as a strong woman with high power but that’s no reason to bring down a man. He just wanted to help. There is no superior gender, but these movies are making it out to force that. Hermione Granger is another example. The books describe a very dynamic, 3D version of Hermione, who is intelligent, strong but also loving and relies on her friends and is relatable whereas movie Hermione is very perfect and way better than her male peers, and although I still like movie Hermione, I can admit she was hard to connect and relate to.

Yes, there’s nothing wrong with having male villains; sometimes in real life, men are obstacles for women. But these ‘woke feminist’ female characters and movies are so obsessed with trying to take down men as a whole.

 

And when these films with poor female leads don’t do well, or people don’t like them, it’s because they’re sexist. No. If a film is bad, that film is bad. There are so many films with amazing women in that do well, so sexism is not an excuse. I have found that a lot of people find some female characters to be cringey when if a male doing the same thing wouldn’t be and that is sexism and discriminatory but if a character is cringey, arrogant, 2D, entitled, unrealistic and boring, regardless of their gender, that’s a problem with their production and writing not with sexism.

Take Mulan, for example. Why did the cartoon version do so much better than the live action one? Same concept of the character but different execution.

Of course, if an important part of the character for the sake of the story is arrogance and entitlement, etc, then fine, but we want confidence not arrogance and hard work and growth not entitlement. We need dynamic and different characters, not the same superficial archetype every bad-ass female movie has. WE WANT QUALITY NOT JUST “FEMINISM”!

 

I am grateful we have moved far from the ‘damsel in distress’ type ladies like old Disney princesses and the ‘fixer upper’ girls like Laney in She’s All That and Allison in The Breakfast Club but we might be going a bit far off course. Feminism is steering into a bad direction and it’s feeding into the stigma around it. I know SO MANY people, who do not consider themselves feminists or who judge me for claiming to be one, and I believe it’s because of this woke feminism. Woke feminism is related to elite feminism, where people believe that women are superior. In particular cis-gendered women too. NO! NO ONE IS SUPERIOR!

The feminist message these toxic portrayals are delivering aren’t going to be listened to. It is spreading the wrong message and creating more toxicity and stigma.

We need better female portrayals!

 

Do you agree?

-Shay

Disney Princess Lessons!

We’re back to life, back to reality. And back to school, learning, socialising, anticipating death to take us away. You know, the usual.

Most of the people reading my blog are still students and even though you probably had a bunch of lessons today, listening to your teachers, I wanted to reminisce and write about the OG childhood teachers, most likely if you are a girl. The Disney princesses.

A while ago, I saw the new trailer for Wreck It Ralph 2, which features the Disney princesses, and seeing them all together made me realise how much I actually love them, despite the negative implications they had on me and younger girls. 

There are a lot of negative connotations, morals and examples in the world of the Disney princesses, for example waiting for your prince to make your life better. However, today I don’t want to focus on the negatives. I’m going to focus on the positives, even though I don’t necessarily agree with all of them.

 

Snow White

Snow White is probably the dumbest Disney princess ever. But she’s cute so whatever. I think her stupid mistakes allow younger children to not make them. 

🍎 Snow White taught the lesson of not accepting food from strangers and in general, don’t randomly trust people you don’t really know because you can be taken advantage of.

🍎 She also showed that you shouldn’t be vain and arrogant as it won’t get you anywhere, exemplified by the Wicked Queen, and looks aren’t everything. Instead, sit down and be humble. Personality is important.

🍎 Be kind and considerate. Help out and be selfless and you’ll make good, trusty friends, who you can rely on, like the seven dwarfs and animals.

 

Cinderella

Cinderella isn’t one of my favourite princesses. I liked the mice more than her, in the film. I also had a doll of her, when I was younger. I scribbled on her face.

👠 Cinderella, let’s be honest, is a really hard working princess. And she ended up living a pretty decent life. It’s not everyday you get to be a princess. Although the fact she worked hard, cleaning, didn’t link with her becoming royalty, you can tell that the general idea is hard work pays off.

👠 Ignore your sisters when they’re being horrible.

👠 Don’t let people get you down like the stepmother and stepsisters.

👠 And never stop dreaming. Cinderella didn’t constantly feel sorry for herself, crying about her situation. She went to that damn ball.

 

Aurora

I’m not particularly fond of Sleeping Beauty, even though for most of my life, I convinced myself she had the same birthday as me. Princess Aurora barely speaks in the film so I couldn’t really think of much.

😴 Invite salty people to your parties because they may curse your children otherwise.

😴 Love can help you get through a sticky situation, even though it’s very creepy that some guy wondered over and thought it would be great to snog a girl in a coma.

😴 Also, that love may take some time to come into your life. Just be patient?

 

Ariel

I love Ariel! Personality wise, I think I’m the most like her. She used to be my number one favourite!

🐡 Never stop questioning and always be curious! Curiosity leads to knowledge and I think learning is so important. It can lead to loads of opportunities. Ariel was always exploring and trying to learn new things.

🐡 Ariel had a beautiful and powerful voice and although this may be a stretch, it could symbolise the power of freedom of speech. Voice your opinions and remember you can have your say. Don’t let people silence you like Ursula did to Ariel.

🐡 Parents are annoyingly over-protective sometimes and they’re doing it for the best. But Ariel showed that you don’t need to lead the same lives your parents had or you don’t need to live the life they want you to have. And it’s okay to want to do your own thing.

 

Belle

Belle is also one of my favourite princesses. I loved how she loves reading because I was such a bookworm. Back in the day…

🌹 Never judge a book by it’s cover. It might actually be a good book. But also, in terms of people, they may have a beautiful personality if you think their appearance is ugly. The Beast turned out to be a pretty nice guy and Belle gave him a chance.

🌹 Reading is great! So is intelligence.

🌹 Belle was kind and loving and that ended up creating a lot of joy and positivity whereas Gaston’s war and hate led to violence, darkness and negativity.

 

Jasmine

Jasmine was the first coloured Disney princess, which is exciting for a coloured girl, who barely saw coloured women on TV. Jasmine is a sassy, strong woman and I love that!

🐯 One of the biggest lessons I think Jasmine taught was to be yourself and don’t let other people tell you how to act like marrying some prince. And don’t let people boss you around.

🐯 Be independent. Jasmine showed that she isn’t to be controlled and does not belong to anyone. I feel like in the olden days, it was right for women and men to think that a wife is a possession of a man but that’s not true. You’re not a trophy on a shelf.

 

Pocahontas

I’ve only watched Pocahontas a couple times so I don’t remember as much as the others. Her hair is pretty cool though and I love how brave and courageous she is.

🍃 The song Just Around The Riverbend shows that there’s always hope and you should never give up.

🍃 Look after nature and do not exploit it. Pocahontas tries to tell John Smith that Earth isn’t something you can just claim and take advantage of.

🍃 Be brave and bold.

 

Mulan

I’ve always thought that Mulan is the coolest Disney princess. I also think the film was ahead of its time.

⚔️ She shows that women are just as strong as men are. It’s a shame she had to pretend to be a boy to be considered strong but she proves that women are just as much capable of doing certain things as men are.

⚔️ Family is important, which Mulan emphasises when she risks her life to save her father.

⚔️ As a girl (or even a boy), you do not need to be polite and sweet and dainty. You be whoever you want, just as Mulan did.

 

Tiana

When The Princess and the Frog came out, I was so excited! Disney was really doing well with whipping out all the ethnic princesses, which is so healthy for young girls to see, helping them feel represented.

🐸 Personality is key. Prince Naveen fell in love with Tiana, clearly, through personality as he didn’t care about the fact she was a frog. No offence to frogs.

🐸 Work hard and always aim for a goal/dream. Tiana opened up her restaurant through hard work and persistence and I think that’s a very important learning lesson.

 

Rapunzel

Rapunzel has a child-like, curious personality, which is something I deeply connect with. I absolutely love her! And the film is amazing!

🍳 She teaches the lesson that you shouldn’t be taken advantage of, like Mother Gothel took advantage of Rapunzel for her magical hair.

🍳 Rapunzel was brave, even though she was also scared, and stepped out of her comfort zone. I think taking risks and stepping out of what you’re used to opens up a ton of new opportunities and life experience, which you’ll never regret!

🍳 Don’t believe everything you hear. Mother Gothel lied to Rapunzel for her whole freaking life! You should always question things and make sure you understand everything going on. Also, don’t believe everything you see. as in The Snuggling Ducklings, the ‘pub thugs’ looked hardcore and fierce but all had goals and dreams and soft sides.

🍳 Rapunzel takes on like a billion hobbies to make up for her stuggle living in the tower. From experience, I can say new projects and hobbies help you through difficult times.

 

Merida

Along with Mulan, I think Merida is a boss! From her hair to her personality, she screams fierce and fiery.

🏹 Quite obviously, first lesson is to be brave. Merida is so bloody brave and it’s very inspiring.

🏹 Merida is extremely independent, choosing to control her own destiny instead of waiting for a prince, unlike some other princesses. *cough* Cinderella *cough*. Independence is so important, which I know varies amongst different cultures but it helps to make you your own person and build intuition.

🏹 Archery is Merida’s thing and she stands up for herself, stating she’ll be shooting for herself and going against the norms. Non-conforming in some instances is bad or inappropriate but right now, in this day and age, it’s what is propelling society in the right direction. Standing up for what you believe in and going against the norms is powerful and bold.

 

Elsa & Anna

I’m not gonna lie, Frozen is my least favourite Disney princess film. I’m not huge fans of the princess sisters but I do love Olaf.

❄️ Anna wanted to marry a man she had just met. In the end, we discover he’s the  bad guy. This just shows that ladies, put your books before your boys.

❄️ Elsa goes through a hard time, discovering herself and her body (not puberty though). She hides away but the film shows that your loved ones are there to support you and can help and comfort you. Don’t shut them out, whether they be friends or family.

❄️ Along with not accepting yourself and body…you should accept yourself and body. It’s a big ask but try and be confident.

❄️ Let It Go tells us to let our worries go and don’t let it break you down.

 

Moana

Moana is my absolute favourite princess, at the moment! She’s the first princess I highly relate to as she’s a brown girl from a tropical island! I was so excited when I heard it was coming out and I loved the fact that it’s one of the only princesses who don’t have a male love interest involved.

🐚 Moana followed what her heart told her, since she felt the ocean calling to her. Even if it means facing your fears.

🐚 Although this wasn’t Moana, Grandma Tala says she wasn’t afraid of what other people on the island thought of her. This shows that you shouldn’t be afraid to be different and unique.

🐚 Be strong and have confidence. Moana sails a boat, even though she didn’t know how and she set sail on her journey. She struggled but gained the strength to carry on, which is really important for everyone to remember.

🐚 Maui stole the heart of Te Fiti, which was a huge mistake but Moana helped to fix the issue. Don’t run away from your problems. Tackle them head on and it will reduce the stress building up.

 

In conclusion, most of the Disney princesses teach bravery, perseverance, kindness and the important of knowledge. I think those are pretty good lessons. When I was younger, I wasn’t a big fan of the Disney princesses and found them overrated but now that I’m older and there’s so much diversity amongst them, I understand and appreciate them more.

 

Currently, my favourite princesses are Moana, Rapunzel and Ariel!

Who are yours?

 

-Shay