Premium Essay

Misandry and Emasculation in Disney's Beauty and the Beast

In: People

Submitted By FruitBatOB
Words 1178
Pages 5
Disney's Beauty and the Beast can be seen as a very honest way of depicting how society feels about the gender roles of men and women. Firstly, of the main characters, two out of the three are in fact males. The interesting thing about this balance is that despite there being a higher number of males in the film, they are both shown to be at least partially villainous. Throughout the entirety of the film, the only two characters, main or otherwise, who truly embody and possess typically masculine characteristics (chivalry, a wish to fight to protect women, strength etc) are both depicted as being wrong, evil, and negative. The first of these two men is Gaston. Gaston is by all accounts, the villain of the piece. His great crime? He believes that he has a duty to woo Belle, something which in context is not such a bad act. He believes, according to the long espoused value of men being the ones to make the first move, of men being the ones who are forced to take the rejection when it comes and of men being the ones who are forced to make themselves entirely powerless in the relationship, that he should try to make Belle love him. This value is not a misogynistic value, and is in fact a value that has been endorsed throughout the entirety of time, as it places women on a pedestal as special and deserving of extra privilege. Gaston's other crime, as far as watchers of the film (and in fact Belle, the only character in the piece who is really deserving of positive reactions in full by the audience) is that he sees a giant, monstrous beast, who appears to have kidnapped a woman, and a woman that he is romantically interested in, and he decides that the best course of action is to (as most people in our society would say) 'man up' and defend someone helpless. Gaston in this action is a perfect example of the disposable male, the idea of men as being simply tin soldiers that...

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