Jackson Adler

Colonialism in ‘The King and I’ and Related Media

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‘The King and I’ promotes colonialist and “white savior” attitudes. … Adding romantic interest to the story, showing King Mongkut as exceedingly admiring of Anna and portraying her influence in the court as more than it was, paints Western values and morals as superior to others, justifying colonialism by making it seem as though Eastern countries “need” the West.

Mining the Feminist Messages of ‘Crimson Peak’

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In fact, she genuinely began to feel “depressed” from playing Lucille. However, when she confided this in on-screen brother Tom Hiddleston, who has famously played characters such as Marvel villain Loki, he shared that “you only have fun when your character is having fun,” and, as Chastain explains, “Lucille hasn’t had a fun day in her life.” As the victim of intense patriarchal oppression, it’s no wonder.

‘Inside Out’: Female Representation Onscreen But Not Off

Inside Out

It’s therefore unsurprising that the character who most drives the plot of the film is Riley’s dad (voiced by Kyle MacLachlan). In fact, the film is largely one big piece of advice for fathers from fathers.

Jo March’s Gender Identity as Seen Through Different Gazes

Winona Ryder as Jo March

The male gaze either holds Jo back from the start, or else shows an “educational” transformation from an “unruly” female into a “desirable” young woman who knows her place.

Mina Harker Should Have Her Own ‘Dracula’ Adaptation

Judi Bowker as Mina in "Count Dracula" (1977)

Something not often explored in film and TV movie adaptations is that Mina and other female characters are often inadvertently endangered by the pride of the male protagonists. It is out of misguided respect for Mina that the male protagonists try so hard to protect her, and yet fail so miserably.

We Need Harley Quinn

Suicide Squad_Harley Quinn

The Joker hit Harley and leaned in and leered at her. She held up a protective hand in front of her and looked up at him with absolute terror. In that moment, The Joker was not the clown, was not the humorous villain poking fun at Batman’s stoicism. In that moment, The Joker was something else, something it hadn’t occurred to me that he, or anyone, could be.

Polly Gray: The Matriarch of ‘Peaky Blinders’

Polly Gray, played by Helen McCrory

Though at times problematic, Polly’s story and interactions with other characters is one of a powerful and complex woman who supports and encourages respect for other women.

The Courage to Cry: Men and Boys’ Emotions in ‘Naruto’

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However, when boys are told that “boys don’t cry” and that men should “man up,” their emotions are not respected, and they often internalize this stigma, sometimes with devastating consequences. Of course, simply crying won’t cure a condition as severe as PTSD, but men being shown that they are not “weak” for experiencing emotions and needing help will undoubtedly aid in the road to recovery.

Robin and Patriarchy in ‘Teen Titans’

(Left to right) Beast Boy, Starfire, Robin, Cyborg, and Raven

However, not all of its episodes are comedic, and the show contains a number of adult themes, addressing serious issues both directly and metaphorically. Villains Slade, Brother Blood, and Trigon are patriarchal figures who physically, psychologically, and often (metaphorically) sexually attack, abuse, and assault the Teen Titans, causing them severe and often long-lasting psychological trauma.

“Colorblind Casting,” Whitewashing, and the Erasure of PoC Histories

Norm Lewis as Javert in Les Miserables

Thus, theatre erases the histories of People of Color in Europe by claiming that they use “colorblind casting” instead of just “casting” when they cast a Person of Color in a role that, historically, could have been a person of color. Meanwhile, TV and film European period pieces erase that history by Whitewashing it, not casting and thereby not providing employment to, or visibility and representation of, actors who are People of Color at all.

Sophie in Don Bluth’s ‘Anastasia’

Vlad and Sophie

Sophie is still exceptional among animated characters, and even live action characters. Though a fantastic character, she should not be the exception. She should not be a rare case of fat-acceptance. It should not be rare that a fat woman loves herself and is loved.

The Male Gaze and ‘Gigi’

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However, the film musical is very different, dividing the women and telling the story from a male gaze, making it a romance instead of a story of female survival.