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Transcript of Mulan
At 43 minutes into the movie Yao stands on top of a rock, nude, and calls himself the “King of the Rock”. He then proceeds by saying, “There’s nothin’ you girls can do about it”.
Little after the scene in which Mulan lines up with other women in hopes of being picked by the potential male suitor, she is unfortunately rejected as a potential bride for the suitor and realizes she is unable to fill the roles of a female in her society. This is particular scene is accompanied by the literal song “Reflection”.
Later in the movie, Mulan and the rest of the soldier’s march off to face the Hans. As they march through the country side they begin to sing the song “A girl worth fighting for” depicting qualities that they desire in a women. More specifically Yao sing’s how he wants a women who will “marvel at my strength, adore my battle scares”.
Once again in the song “A girl worth fighting for”, Mulan states “How about a girl who’s got a brain, who always speaks her mind”. The other men quickly respond with negative criticism of these qualities in a women.
Mulan’s reaction towards her father accepting the Emperors orders to serve as part of the soldiers fighting for China was not acceptable through the eyes of a man. By Mulan in a way questioning her father’s decision of going to war she questions his masculinity, his honor. The
within the concept of masculinity represents this strong, self-reliant, brave and does not ask for help persona (Masculinity, 24 Feb 2014).
are defined within the first 10 minutes of the movie. Roles are behavior expected of a person having a particular status/position (Gender and Sex Roles, 27 Jan 2014).
Within the film we see the concept of the
. This policy plays a huge part in China in order to “reduce the increase in population, in the culture families prefer a male baby to be born as opposed to a female baby (Gender, 10 March 2014).
are used by males to belittle other males because the word is associated with the devalued group in our dichotomous society of females (Gender Roles, p.254). The textbook further goes on to explain that the most popular, and taken for granted, label that males use to insult other males is “girl”.
Another soldier, Ling, says, “Oh yeah, I think Ping and I can take you”. Ping (Mulan), then says “I really don’t want to take him anywhere”, to which Ling replies, “Ping, we
This shows that males are expected to follow the
that society has established for them. The textbook even further explains that boys learn early on in life that turning the other cheek is less respected than fighting out of a difficult situation (Gender Roles, p. 249). Rather than being praised or respected for walking away from a physical conflict, boys will often be further ridiculed and taunted for not “standing up” for one’s self.
The entirety of the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” has lyrics within it that describe what a “man” should be. It states that a man should be “swift as a coursing river” have the “force of a great typhoon” have the “strength of a raging fire” and be “mysterious as the dark side of the moon” while constantly reiterating after every of these lyrics “Be a Man!” When Captain Chang sees how unsuited they are to begin with, he calls the troops “spineless, pale, [and] pathetic”.
Song: "Ill Make a Man out of You."
This idea plays into the concept of
(Gender Roles, p. 245). These traits are all seen as the norm of masculinity and anything outside of these traits is considered inferior. This idea harms men of minority groups such as men of color or non-heterosexuals because of narrowing the idea of what is masculine. This idea is harmful to women as well as it belittles them and puts them into the substandard category.
The whole arranged marriage of Mulan to her potential suitor was typical of the ancient feudal society of china. This particular scene falls in line with the concept of
. The text defines patriarchy as a form of male-dominated social structures that lead to the unfortunate oppression of women (Gender Roles, p. 3). Mulan lines up with other women as they wait to be inspected of their particular attributes. In this way they are suspect to the inspection of the male and his family to find a female suitable of the males needs.
At the beginning of the movie Mulan is prepared by her family to be chosen as a bride for a potential suitor. The scene is accompanied by a song in which the main chorus and title of the song is “Bring honor to us all”.
This scene depicts the concept of
in Mulan’s particular society (Gender Roles, p. 58). Gender identity is described as the extent to which an individual becomes aware that the two sexes behave differently and the gender roles expected of one in their particular society. According to gender identity, Mulan is able to acknowledge that her behavior is inconsistent for females in her feudal society.
Yao’s statement is very consistent with the
for men. The text describes the toughness norm as expectations for men to be strong, confident, self-reliant, brave, and independent individuals (Gender Roles, 248). Yao’s preference for a female that acknowledges these attributes are an extension for his affirmation of masculinity under the toughness norm.
The men’s rejection of Mulan’s statement of basically having a girl with attributes relating to intellect, can be compared to the
intellectual success norm
for masculinity (Gender Roles, p. 248). The text defines the intellectual success norm as the male expectation of being intellectually superior to women. In accordance to the feudal society of China, in which the movie Mulan takes place, men are generally seen as superior over their female counterparts.
In society women are not to question a man’s reasons as to why something is being done the way it’s done. It is a sign of disrespect towards the men, and it is a questioning of their manhood/pride. In this case Mulan questions her father in front of the Emperors messenger, the messenger angrily tells her to “be quiet, an order is an order.” When Mulan tries to confront her father inside their home he tells her, Mulan, “I am going to get our honor back.”
Although in most country’s women do not play a role in society, they do have expectations to meet. When Mulan’s family is prepping her for the potential male suitor the matchmaker begins to test Mulan on how a woman should be. For example, the matchmaker tells her to show her the way to serve tea, how a woman should be thin, and well dressed. With these expectations women in a sense have standards as to how to take care of a man through serving them. Gender roles are easily visible because it is a way of living for women, and men. In this case Mulan has standards that she needs to master in order to be able to be wife “material.” Not only does Mulan go through this, but other women in countries that follow a patriarchal way of living.
In this film we see Mulan taking her father’s place when he was requested by the Emperor to partake in the war. In order to prevent her father from going to war she dresses herself as a male and take her father’s place. Since there is no other male person in the household she takes her father’s place in order to keep him safe since he is ill, and cannot fight to the best of his ability. Even though this policy plays a restriction on family size, there are families who do not follow this policy and have “options” as to who can partake in war for their families honor. In this case Mulan brought back her families honor regardless of she being caught in her disguise.