Can we talk about how important fathers are in the feminist battle for a moment?
One of the most hurtful lines I have ever heard in a movie ever, is served by Robert DeNiro in the movie Joy, where he plays the father. The line goes something like this;
I’m sorry, it’s my fault.. it’s my fault for letting you believe you were more than you are…
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie Joy yet, I’d suggest you go see it..but to sum it up; It’s about a woman’s battle to make a better life for herself and her family, and how people constantly pull the rug from under her feet..
…and here’s the father telling her she should have remained miserable, because that’s all she’s worth… Let that sink in..
I’ve seen a lot of discussions about how Anna and Elsa shouldn’t be labeled as the “feminist fighters” of Disney, when there has been strong female characters before, such as Mulan and Merida from Brave. …Can we just for a moment recognize that one of the most important feminist character in Disney movies for the last 60 years, is King Fergus, Merida’s father…?
What’s that big brute got to do with feminism? He is a king, he has responsibilities… …still he respects his wife, recognizing she’s not just his arm candy, but a pillar in his life…
…because being a woman isn’t the same as being weak…
..He gives Merida her first bow
…because he wants his daughter to be happy…
Because he sees her for what she is..
..And he lets her be who she wants to be.. And more importantly, he’s actively supporting her want for independence..
While Queen Elinor wants her to follow tradition and be who she’s not..
(though queen Elinor comes around and sees reason in the end..)
So instead of going on and on about how Anna and Elsa aren’t the feminist icons Disney should lean on, and that female characters in general have fewer lines in their movies, let’s give a little hands up for the great father figures, when recognition is due..! It’s not just our mothers who are important in the battle of feminism.