See this man and his magnificent turban? This is Giovanni Batista Belzoni! He was a six-foot-seven strongman with a travelling circus until he ended up in Egypt to show off his engineering skills to the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. Yep, he wasn’t just muscles. He’d worked out a hydrolics system that would raise the waters of a little river known as THE NILE! The job didn’t pan out ,but did that bum out the Great Belzoni and his chameleon-collecting, cross-dressing wife, Sarah? No it did not! Instead they set off down the nile, fell in love with Egypt and became archeologists.
Have you ever seen the statue of Ramses II in the British Museum? You know how it got there. Let me give you a hint. 130 men, a pully and log system and all of engineering skills that sit under that fancy headwear. He also had to fight off some gun-toting frenchmen who also wanted the giant statute! There is a reason “The Young Memnon” isn’t in a French Museum. In fact a fair slab of the stuff found in the British museum is all there thanks to him.
You know the Pyramid of Khafre? Guess who was the first European inside that baby in thousands of years? Was it the french who wanted to blow the entrance open with dynomite? Was it the English who kept taking credit for Belzoni’s awesome discoveries? Or was it a giant bearded Italian strongman who used nothing but his enginuity (and a battering ram). And he made sure Henry Salt couldn’t take all the credit like he did for some of Belzoni’s other finds, the Italian wrote BELZONI WAS HERE in giant undesputible letters on the wall. Most historians frown on him for this, but then again most historians weren’t the first inside a freakin’ pyramid.
He was also the first inside the Tomb of Seti I, also known as KV17. Go look it up. We’ll wait. Yep. See that Egyptian splendor. All found by Belzoni.
To sum up. Imagine Indianna Jones as an Goliathian Italian Strongman who blew his way into tombs with battering rams and had brawls with other archeologists who tried to touch his stuff. That’s Belzoni.
But ask yourself: Why is there that knee-jerk rejection of any effort to “overthink” pop culture? Why would you ever be afraid that looking too hard at something will ruin it? If the government built a huge, mysterious device in the middle of your town and immediately surrounded it with a fence that said, “NOTHING TO SEE HERE!” I’m pretty damned sure you wouldn’t rest until you knew what the hell that was — the fact that they don’t want you to know means it can’t be good.
Well, when any idea in your brain defends itself with “Just relax! Don’t look too close!” you should immediately be just as suspicious. It usually means something ugly is hiding there.
Snow White from Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs is strong. She is feminists favorite punching bag, right after Aurora but at least every once in awhile someone will come to Aurora’s defense. Snow (and Cinderella frankly) are seen as what is wrong with the Disney princesses. Snow likes cute animals, cooking, cleaning, and a useless dwarf. She befriends seven strange men who end up saving her in the end. Dude, the prince just comes and kisses her. She is stereotypically feminine. She doesn’t go fight for her country. She doesn’t prevent a war from breaking out. Girl is nice to every single person she meets, even the woman who tried to kill her. She felt bad that she scared the animals when they found her crying in the woods. She is kind hearted. She wants to help everyone she meets. Her looking out for others is what got her killed.
All of that being said does not make her weak. Sure, she is a bit naive but she lived a rather sheltered life. The queen had her locked away doing chores all day. When she found out the queen wanted her killed, instead of standing in the field looking at the huntsman, she fucking ran. She ran away to protect herself. She left an abusive home (she lived with the queen in her castle). When she met the dwarfs, she bargained with them so they wouldn’t kick her out. She ran that house. She put the dwarves and animals to work. She was very sweet but she was also the head bitch in charge. Even Grumpy didn’t try to backtalk her.
The fact she needed the dwarfs and animals to save her doesn’t make her weak. Saving yourself is more than just killing the enemy. It is about surviving, which Snow White did. She may not know how to throw a punch, shoot an arrow, or save her country, that doesn’t make her weak. Not every woman can defeat their demons/enemies on their own. Some of them need help from their friends, which the dwarfs and animals were to Snow, to defeat their enemy and that doesn’t make them weak.
Also, girls who prefer Snow White to Merida are not weak or “too girly.” There is no such thing as being “too girly.” Not all girls are going to relate to Merida and that is okay. Not all girls are going to like Snow White. Some girls like both characters. There is nothing wrong with girls liking the classic Disney princesses. There is nothing wrong with girls preferring the newer princesses. What is a problem is when people try to deem what princesses are “good” or “bad.”
Honestly, bravo. This is one of the best posts I’ve seen on tumblr. I hate that people think Snow is weak because she doesn’t perform heroic acts and, like you said, is traditionally feminine.
She managed to escape from the Evil Queen, make the best out of the situation in the woods and befriended the dwarves, and eventually found her Prince and her happily ever after. There is nothing wrong with that.
100% agree. I wish someone did this with every Disney princess that people shit on. I wish someone talked about how Aurora had one of the most fabulous days of her life and met a wonderful guy (let’s be honest here, Prince Phillip is great) with her adorable woodland creature friends (who given her isolation in the woods for her safety were possibly her only friends besides her fairies) and then was told that she had to give it up for her betrothal. And it kills her to do so because hey she really likes this guy, but she gives up her own happiness to marry some prince for her kingdom (that she just found out about). I love Aurora.
Not to mention that she has been told not to talk to anyone outside her and the faeries (and the animals ofc), but she takes a huge risk by talking to a stranger. He is super awesome, but he could have been someone who wanted to kill her. She went out of her comfort zone to talk to this guy. Something a lot of us (including me) have trouble doing. It may not be saving China, but goddammit, not everyone needs to save a country in order to be brave, adventurous and strong.
I agree with most of the stuff here (like how a lot of the princesses are stronger than they look, and strength is more than just solely physical), except the crap about feminists. I don’t know what “feminists” you’ve been talking to, or what others have been telling you, but feminism is about freedom of choice. Whether that’s being ultra-feminine or not, whether that’s about going against traditional gender roles or not, it’s about choosing what suits you, and having that freedom to choose. Feminism isn’t about having to not be feminine, or not being a housewife, or not cooking or cleaning — it’s not being forced to do these things just because of your gender. It’s saying guys can do these things if they like it, and so can girls if they want to, but nobody should be expected to fulfill a role based on gender. (Not just women, feminism speaks about guys too, and not in a misandrist way, but I’m just writing about women here because you seemed to address feminists and hating Snow White particularly. I’d be more than happy to expand on feminism if you’d like).
I am feminist. I have been a feminist for going on 5 years. My one degree is in Women’s Studies where I spent 4 years studying feminist theory. My tagline on my blog is “Disney with a splash of feminism.” That being said, feminism is a political movement that has a very large theoretical/academic component to it. Choice feminism, which you are describing, completely ignores the theoretical component of feminism and assumes everything women do is feminist. It’s bullshit.
Feminists have been discussing Disney since the 70s with second wave feminism. There are hundreds of different opinions on Disney within the feminist movement but the majority of them come down to Disney reinforces sexism, racism, and other systems of oppression (classism, ableism, etc) through their movies. Which is a very valid critique because it is true. As much as I love Snow White and will defend her until the day I die, she embodies the ideal woman of the 1930s. She was created as the ideal woman with being feminine, sweet, likes cooking/cleaning, etc. She can embody sexist stereotypes of women (everyone in the movie is one walking stereotype) and still be a strong woman/good role model. Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora are the examples feminist tend to stick to when addressing sexism in Disney because its rather obvious. It is less obvious with the newer princesses.
That being said, if you want to see what feminists are saying about Disney princesses I recommend looking at my many posts on them, feministdisney’s blog, disneyforprincesses’s blog, From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture (which is an awesome anthology), and Good Girls and Wicked Witches: Women in Disney’s Featured Animation. Everyone from the authors of the two books to the three bloggers (including myself) all have different opinions of Disney princesses even though we do have many things in common. There are hundreds of opinions on Disney and Disney princesses in feminism, I’m just giving you a small sample.
We Californians be like
“Excuse me but your shirt is fucking gorgeous”
“Wow thank you very much! My nanna fucking knitted it for me!”
“So fucking fetch”