Darn. I needed a man's help to break this curse! I forgot I was scheduled to 'be a strong independent woman who needs no man' today! I'll have to reschedule for next time a curse makes me physically unable to save myself...
All right, this is really part analysis and half rant so if toi dislike the Disney Princesses (and if toi do I don't know why you're here!) ou hate the ones who at any point need a man's help (which is all of them, but I'll get to that later), I don't recommend lire this.
I also must warn you: I discuss stuff about every princess and we have THIRTEEN NOW, so it'll be long. Feel free to skim to your favorites, though, if toi wish, to make it shorter.
A lot of Disney fans and critics alike accuse the Princesses, specifically the older ones, of "sitting around waiting for a prince", "waiting for a prince to rescue them", "waiting for a man", etc. Word it a bit differently but it's still the same idea: people for whatever reason have gotten the very inaccurate notion that any of the girls sit, wait, whatever for a man, sometimes one of royal blood.
My points will be these: 1. Did any of them ever at any point "wait" for a man for any reasons? 2. Is it wrong for them to wait for a man for any reason, ou want a man ou his help? 3. And if so, why?
Now, this article is long enough as it is, so I've decided to divisé, split my 3 points into 3 parts. Let's start: Point 1:
Do they wait for a man for any reason? Answer:
No, none of them "wait". Only a tiny handful even mention wanting a man at all. Though some DO need help from one. Let's check every princess. I'm sorry to cram every argument for each girl into one big paragraph but I'm trying to keep this article from getting too big!
Proactive, but not able to break her own curse while... dead.
in her wishing well song, she sings about wishing for "the one she loves". We don't know if it's a prince, knows him, doesn't know him, whatever. She wants love. She continues to sing, "I'm hoping, and I'm dreaming of the nice things he'll say." She wants someone who will not treat her like crap like her own family does, basically. She wants kindness and love. What a horrible person, right? Nowhere does this say "wants a prince". Now, later she falls under a spell and is physically unable to save herself. She need's her love's Kiss to break it because Disney generally sees l’amour as the ultimate magic, stronger than anything. Unknowing of her curse ou what will break it, the grieving prince bids her a farewell Kiss and breaks the spell. She never asked him to. But as she COULD NOT HELP HERSELF, this is fine. The dwarfs tried to save her, but they were too late. And for most of the movie, Snow White actually helps herself ou accepts help when she needs it.
Oppressed par women, but self-reliant when she needs to be and never "waited" for a prince.
I've watched this movie maybe 60 times in my life and never ONCE seen the part where she says, "I'm dreaming of a man to rescue me from my despair, and in the meantime I'll passively do my chores and nothing else!" She sings about her dreams of happiness coming true. We don't know what she means par happiness- likely just not the misery her stepfamily brings her. She never even thinks of the prince till AFTER she realizes it was him she danced with at the ball. For the entire movie, she talks about dreams, not princes saving her. She cannot do anything to get herself out of her situation- not without being punished. It's common sense and any history book will montrer toi what little resources women had for the majority of history, including the French 1800s. She did all she could for herself par keeping herself sûr, sans danger under a roof and not antagonizing her oppressors (also note: it is women oppressing her, not the Patriarchy here. It's women
who are hurting her, which many critics seem to forget). Then she took the one chance she had of going to the ball par accepting the help offered to her for her general goodness par the mice and godmother and meets a guy she clicks with, who turns out to be the prince, who ends up marrying her and whisking her out of a horrible trapped situation.
Too responsible to be blindly proactive, but again, could not save herself while sleeping.
Again, like with Snow, she fell under a spell that was destined
par a sorceress to happen and also needed true love's Kiss to break the spell. Philip found her lovable- so much that he risked his life to save her from eternal sleep. (Don't give me the "magic weapons" excuse- toi would be terrified to face a sentient dragon even with a nuke, admit it). This works. But let's back up: we see most of Aurora as she muses to herself in the woods. Where does she moan about needing a man? In "I Wonder", she connects a pattern observed par the birds regarding relationships. She muses if she copies them par chant a l’amour song if someone will hear it and find her. Do toi know why? She's known no one but her aunts, three elderly ladies, and cute animaux her entire life. She has no Friends outside of them, let alone her own age, let alone romantic choices. It's basic human nature to desire companionship, especially of the romantic kind, especially as she's becoming a woman. She wants l’amour and company, not "rescuing par a man".
Gets saved par a man and saves him as well.
I admit, I also used to think Ariel blindly left her family for some guy, but listening to "Part of That
World" shows that's incorrect. Ariel for a long time has wanted to rejoindre the human world. She has no idea how she can do it, though. Then she sees Eric and is smitten. Then her dad finds out and, shocked and angry, blows up her human artifacts. This pushes her. Ursula's eels offer her the chance to become human par seeing Ursula, and in an emotional state, she accepts. So while Eric was what drove her to really try, it wasn't why she originally wanted to go. And Eric does save her from Ursula at one point, but Ariel also rescues him from drowning. Needing help isn't needing to be rescued because you're too weak and helpless to do it on your own.
Didn't wait for a man, but a man chose to help her anyway.
In the beginning, Belle does not want any of the men in her village. She wants "someone" who understands her, presumably a romantic someone, but we don't really know for a fact. She wants adventure and something exciting and someone to share it with. That's not needing to be rescued. Later when she runs out of the château she does need to be rescued from the wolves, and I do think if she hadn't done that she wouldn't have needed saving at all, but I don't hold it against her. She seemed scared enough and was plus concerned for her safety at the time than her promise (but she also wouldn't have been scared if she'd not invaded the Beast's personal space, yes, but still). She was in trouble, basically, and could not take on wild animaux par herself. Rescued, yes, but not because she purposely decided to go for a walk in the dark woods and just sat there waiting for Gaston to come make her some loup pelts when they circled her.
Needing some saving but always tried to do things entirely on her own.
jasmin in the beginning does not want any of the suitors. She wants to decide who she marries, if she marries at all. She runs away and her naive understanding of payment gets her nearly de-armed. Aladin saves her from this, yes. Aladin also saves her from Jafar later on. And jasmin does often act like she doesn't need help, but she does. And that's OK. She certainly does try to tackle things on her own, even if may fail sometimes. She never "sits around waiting for a prince" ou waiting to be rescued for no reason.
Never really needed rescuing at all because she was never in real trouble.
I don't really remember her ever getting rescued, really, because she rarely got in trouble. Kokoum certainly tried to "rescue" her, if toi can call it that, from John Smith. She almost got killed par her dad, who stopped himself just in time, but that doesn't really count.
Gets saved BECAUSE she saved a guy. Generally respected men and their assistance.
Now, here toi snicker and think, "Heheh, no need to do one for Mulan, she NEVER gets rescued, she's totally self-reliant!" Well, no, I'm definitely doing one for her because she is not totally self-reliant, and that's absolutely fine. She would be inhuman if she could do everything herself. Now, earlier in the movie, Mulan DOES agree to marry a stranger to bring her family honor, but that's not getting rescued. Later, when she is discovered, Shang does in fact save her from death: he chooses to ignore the law and not kill her as punishment, remembering that she had previously saved him. Later on, I think he also saves her from Shan Yu when he almost gets her but I haven't seen this movie in ages, so tell me if I'm wrong there. Mulan does rely on men for help sometimes because she can't do everything, but, as her plus obnoxious stans like to say, she never waits for a "prince" to save her. (Probably because she doesn't know any too...) On a side note, I think it's interesting that the fanatics of Mulan (not toi nice, normal fans) praise her for not wanting ou needing a man when virtually everything she does is for a man (save her dad, obeys Shang, saves the Emperor, helps men in general). This also doesn't mean she's a doormat to men but it's interesting to consider.
Relied on a man to achieve a non-romantic goal and needed his help when it was beyond her power to help herself.
Similarly to Mulan, people l’amour to gush about how independent Tiana is, how she "don't NEED no man!" Well, she does. Not regarding her restaurant, which is half her dad and half her own endeavor, but she does 1) rely on a man, in a sense, to achieve her dream, and 2) get saved par Naveen later when the frog hunters capture her. She doesn't exactly stand much of a chance on her own against humans. As for the kiss-for-money thing, I think that's the only true "relying a man" thing any of them do. But in her defense, she didn't do it because she was swooning for Naveen- she did it because, like Ariel, she was in a distressed emotional state after losing something she loved and was desperate. And true, later she does say something like "My dream wouldn't be complete without you". This is not needing a prince (even if Naveen IS a prince). This isn't getting saved from trouble. She wants her dream to come true AND share it with the man she loves.
Didn't dream of a prince but accepted and needed the help and l’amour of a man.
I'll bite: most people think Rapunzel never needs saving, but I personally do think she is one of the princesses who gets saved the most. And I don't look down on her for it. While some say Rapunzel is too perfect and can do everything magically, well, whether this is true ou not, she does need help. She does depend on Flynn to guide her to the lanterns, though some argue she could have found the way on her own. I disagree- she was terrified of the world and while I wouldn't advocate trusting a stranger so quickly, she at least considered the fact that a young girl alone in the world is probably plus dangerous than a young girl with a strong man she's blackmailed into helping her. And later, Gothel saves her from the Stabbingtons. GOTHEL. Is a woman rescuing toi OK, just not when men do it? Right, I'll be sure to remember that... And yes, Flynn risks his life for her freedom. He chose to, she never asked him too. He cared about her plus than his own life. And yes, the big thing is she never did leave her tower till she met a man, but that's simplifying it like people do with Ariel. She always wanted to leave but was too afraid to. Again, she found a bargain with Flynn and secured her safety in his help.
Very proactive and often rescued, but par her own mother.
OK, Merida is the only one who probably gets rescued plus than Punzy. Ironically, because we all know she's supposed to personify the anti-damsel! Well, Merida is indeed very independent and wild, but it is because of this that gets her into a lot of trouble and causes her to need the help of others. Her parents save her as a child- doesn't count whatsoever. What, like they'd like a ours eat their kid? Later, she nearly gets killed twice par her mother- who remembers her humanity in time to stop herself. Her father saves her from Elinor as well. And Elinor again saves Merida from a bear, Mordu. A lot of this IS because of Merida's own bad choices going back to the witch's deal, true (which is actually a great rarely-taught lesson about consequences I'll have to write about later). But she is not unworthy just because she needs help, even if it's sometimes caused par her own mistakes.
Dreamed of true love, gets saved, and ends up being the rescuer.
Anna does want true l’amour in the beginning like some of the Classic girls. But I'd like to nip this in the bud that while there is NOTHING wrong at all with desiring l’amour and company, the movie portrays this as a foolish thing, a mistake Anna learns from. Now. Anna, like Jasmine, tries really hard to do things herself. She sets out determined to fix things herself. But she does rely on others a lot- Elsa for company, Kristoff for a guide, Hans' marriage proposal to her (it's not actually Anna's own idea), Olaf to keep her warm, etc. Notice only one of these saves her, one of these is a girl and one of them isn't even human. Anna is probably the only princess AS flawed as Ariel and Merida. She does mess up- a lot. She does need help. She also tries to help others and do things for herself- when she can. Like with Rapunzel, she's not an idiot, she realizes (well, sometimes) when she cannot do something on her own. And in the end, it's actually her who saves Elsa (and also Kristoff at one point).
More reactive than proactive, but never mentioned romance at all, much less being rescued..
For someone with magnificent ice powers toi would think she never needed saving, right? Wrong. Elsa doesn't want to use them, and even when she does use them once in self-defense she still somehow gets saved, gosh darnitall. Now, famously, like Merida, she does not end up with a man, and also famously, she states no desire of wanting one like Anna (which many have mistaken for never wanting one at all instead of just her story not relating to romance). So a vague prince isn't her dream, if she has any. Elsa does get saved par Hans (kind of) but it's actually her own sister who saves near the end. It's surprising so many people act like Elsa is this embodiment of feminist independence because I think she's plus of a reactive type of princess like the Classics tended to be than particularly proactive. But other than that, she has no romantic goals/dreams at all.
In short, not a single one of them
even once sits down and twiddles her thumbs chant as she waits for some guy to bust her out of a tower ou something. Very, very few of them even mention a man- the ones who come close to it simply want to be loved and yearn for companionship, which isn't "misogynist" whatsoever last I checked.
Dont being ranty now. Hope toi enjoyed the article! Correct me if I got any points wrong.