6.26.2014

And so she MUST be a lesbian: A Disney's Frozen rant.

I was searching through old blog drafts (which is actually sort of a daunting task, considering I have over a hundred of them) and I found this. I wrote it back in January but never posted it for whatever reason. But I'm going to now. Because I re-read it and got mad all over again.




There is an overabundance of online articles (both positive and negative) trying to convince the world that Frozen is an allegory for a young women's coming-out story, and that Elsa's ice powers are a lesbian metaphor. And I, frankly, have a huge-ass problem with this.

It's actually more sexist, misogynistic and prejudice to think that Elsa is a gay woman just because she is the only Disney princess in the entire franchise to not end up with a man, than it is to be homophobic about the possibility.

Why can't she just be an independent woman? Why do people insist on labels within the first three minutes of knowing someone? Why does everything have to have a double meaning? Elsa has enough going on with her icy-hand-magic, she doesn't need you off on the sidelines deciding whether or not she likes girls or boys.

And listen, I honestly don't care if she's gay or straight. But I do care that there are people out there that think just because she's individualistic, doesn't mind being alone and doesn't marry a prince to save her from all her troubles, then, OF COURSE, that must mean she's a lesbian. Thoughts like that are insulting to all women, both gay and straight. I'm sorry, but that's the most sexist thing I've ever heard.


And it's not like this opinion is only coming from one group of people; both outraged homophobes and gay-rights advocates have this ridiculous and detrimental viewpoint. It's that type of stereotyping the LGBT community should be trying to crush, not encourage.We finally get a princess who doesn't rely on a guy to pick her up when she falls, and then we get told, "Oh yea. That's only because she likes girls." Strength comes within, people. And Elsa portrays this. I'm not going to let "progressively-thinking" bloggers who relate to Elsa or panicked Mormons change the focus.

I read an article that says it better than I could, "If we're to believe that Disney is using Elsa's power as a metaphor for the virtues of lesbianism, how do you reconcile Elsa almost killing Anna with that power when they are children? In fact, as an adult, Elsa's power almost kills a lot of people and does some real damage to a lot of innocents. A pro-gay film is not going to claim that lesbianism in any form can hurt and even kill." 

I don't agree with the tone of the whole article, (it's more of a "These are reasons why Frozen is not a pro-gay film" article instead of a "These are reasons why it's damaging to think Frozen is a pro-gay film" article) but it does make some valid points. The idea that her incredibly bizarre, isolating and potentially dangerous ice powers are a metaphor for being a lesbian is more than offensive, and the opposite of progress. The LGBT movement can actually be set back years with thinking like that.

The movie isn't about determining each character's sexual orientation. It shouldn't even matter. And if it matters to you, then you missed the whole point. It's about having to close yourself off from everything you love to protect others. It's about isolation and loss. It's about learning to let go, but also letting others in. It's about love. It's about family. She had magic ice powers, not magic lesbian powers (now, if she had magic lesbian powers, I wouldn't mind the all the speculation). This is a children's movie. It does not have a secret political agenda.

If the reasons for thinking she is gay were legitimate, I wouldn't have a problem. I mean, if you can single out a moment where you thought she really does seem like she is attracted to women, I would listen. But I've seen the movie five times and I didn't see it. And yes, I can just hear you, "But if it was a TRUE METAPHOR, you wouldn't find concrete details like that, anyway." Yea, I get that, but your answer also sounds like a giant cop-out. Because loneliness and shame aren't feelings solely reserved for the gay community.

If you have no reason for believing her to be gay other than the fact that she lives alone and doesn't end up with a man, then you have nothing.

And I'm sorry I'm stomping all over your opinions, because that's a messy place to stand, but I take this personally. Because I also live alone without a man. Does that mean that I must also be a lesbian? Yep, go ahead, label me up. Because I have magical ice powers that keep people away, too.

Why must we all be put in a box!? Why can't you just be yourself without someone judging you for it? Why do people we barely know get to determine who we are based on superficial factors? When did this become socially acceptable and okay? Always? Has this always been a thing? It's not alright with me.


I realize she's a fictional character, but the discussion is necessary. And relevant.


6.23.2014

Give it here. I'll fix it, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Twenty-one days ago I started to watch The Hobbit, and today I finished it. I guess the first thing you have to understand about me and the Lord of The Rings franchise is that we both think the other is ridiculous. That doesn't mean we don't appreciate one another. It just...we think that each other can be a little self-indulgent at times. Or all times.

It takes me weeks to finish a LOTR film; enormous amounts of rewinding, annoying pleas for explanation from those who were unfortunately chosen to watch it with me, and subtitles. We cannot forget the subtitles.

In order for me to relate to, understand, and keep track of the many characters and endless plot lines, I have to make the story my own. I have to find a way to fit it within the confines of my own personal reality.

I do this by renaming the characters whose names are incoherent. And also by giving the less important characters interesting histories so that they don't feel left out.

Friends, Carina and Shelby helped me tailor each name to specifically portray each character's finer attributes.

Let's start with the original trilogy. This is just a smattering chosen from all 9,000 characters.

LOTR Family Photo Album: As Seen through My Eyes



Now let's move on to The Hobbit

Hot Fred.
 I think this one is self explanatory.



Hot George.
Slightly hotter than Fred. And it's possible Fred resents him for this, but it hasn't manifested in any real, domestic quarrel. Yet.




Muskrat.
 Lives among lesser-known species of rodents during seasons of non-dragon-hunting.




Vast Helga.
Does not know where he is. But loves indie films. And hockey.




Small Helga.
As you may notice, Small Helga is only slightly smaller than Vast Helga. This may have been an oversight when he was christened. It's confusing and unclear.
Small Helga's favorite food is salt water taffy.





Common Arthur.
Common Arthur may have contributed to the above confusion with Small Helga. Because I think, originally, he was the true Small Helga. But when it was discovered that he was far more common than someone named Helga, the Small Helga name had to go to the only other redhead.
Common Arthur is very common. He is faceless and sad.
Help us help Common Arthur.
Donations accepted.




 Whitebeard.
Has that same disease as Robin Williams in that film, Jack, where he ages prematurely. So, though he looks roughly 167 years old, Whitebeard is only 28.




Uncle Blackbeard.
Devine baker of casseroles.




Damn, we missed one.
This dwarf is special because he is utterly forgettable. I think he really likes oil paintings?



Percival Goatface.
Percival Goatface grew up in a pine tree without a family. Does not like country music or popsicles.





Starfish.
Helps braid Vast Helga's hair every morning.
It should also be mentioned that Starfish always wins 1st prize at the annual flower show for his magnificent petunias.




Dobby.
Used to be a pirate, but has traded in his hardened criminal past for a brighter future. Has recently discovered his love of theater. Catch him as Feste in Twelfth Night this summer.




Also, shout out to my favorite character of The Hobbit, dragon who just wants to sit in piles of gold coins for hundreds of years. Because that is hilarious. His only aspiration. He just wants to sit on coins. Amazing.