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.


2 comments:

  1. You're totally right and this is the reason why I think most English courses are total BS. Nearly anything can be read into a metaphor with enough effort. If people are looking for a message I thought it was very broad, acceptance, and not as narrow as the people you reference thought.

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  2. I agree. I don't mind when people relate to a message and apply it to something specific. That's fine and totally acceptable. I just have a problem when that specific metaphor does more harm than good on a large scale.

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