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Gender Stereotypes And Feminist Movement In The Movie Mulan

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Feminism women’s social theory and political movement is based on the Disney movie Mulan because it shows gender stereotypes and fights against them. Mulan shows that a real woman can do anything that man can do. Also, shows how strong she is and she can fight. Women’s experience of struggle in society and trying to be equal to men. The men stereotype is the belief that men have to go to war or go to work while women have to stay at home and take care of family. Feminism is the belief that women should have political and social equality with men.

The Disney movie called Mulan, she is a Chinese fighter and tells the story of her journey of beginning to stay at home, finding love and escape to help to win the battle. Mulan is a lead female character and her character was courageous, confident and determined. I admire her because she is a very strong independent woman and she’s very determined to do what she wants. Mulan represents that she identified herself as a female of gender and asian. I think I believe that she is madness because she stood out of her character and the way she wants to break the standardization. I believe that she represents the madwoman because she is very resisting rather than staying silent for something that she believes in right things to do. Mulan wants to defend her country, she joins the army to hide her identity to take her father’s place because being a female privilege never exists and they aren’t allowed to go to war or go to work. Mulan wants to be nothing more than to serve in the war.

As you can see in the movie, the first wave feminism; at that time believed that women were less inferior to men. People believed that a woman’s first job was the home to do cleaning and cooking. Mulan was struggling to face the women stereotypes because they don’t have the privilege to have the same rights as men. The struggle was even more for these women because they are facing sexism and dealing with the issue of sexism. They don’t have privilege to have the opportunities to join the army and this is something that prevents them from gender roles. “Mulan has no place to go except the traditional role expected of all Chinese women-namely the role of a “dutiful” wife and a “filial” daughter” (Lan, 2020). Mulan still views the world with her own eyes, she sees gender and equality isn’t equality. Mulan has the power to have the opportunity to break the gender stereotypes to join the army. Also she doesn’t like the idea that men are only selected to attend the army and they have the honor to be given the opportunity. Mulan decided that it’s best for her to escape her home to join the army without her parents knowing because her parents didn’t want her to break the rule. Mulan is the only and one that breaks down the female stereotypes. In society, they expected them to wear the dress and polite acts. She was breaking the traditional gender role during war time. She has strong embracing powerful female heroism and strength. Mulan has a powerful voice for those who don’t have a voice. She protests against the injustices that have been done to these women who want to join the army and she has successfully used to prove them wrong that she saved her country.

The Mulan describes the inequality found in the society and other oppressions such as discrimination based on sex and class. She felt the oppression because everyone which seems to affect the everyday lives of all social brings in this world. She has always struggled to find a way to prove to these people that she can do anything that man can do. When people realize that she wins the battle and breaks the socialization of gender roles and might face the consequences of her action when she meets the emperor of China because she breaks the rule. Mulan didn’t show the characteristics that the society expected her to be a woman to find a husband and do house chores. She shows them that she’s a warrior. She definitely knows how to serve better to her home country.

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Mulan can experience the wartime while she’s hiding her female identity because she knew she wasn’t allowed beings in the war with all of these men militaries. The way she experiences in the wartime is different than the way men experience but they all can fight in the wartime in a full capacity. Women shouldn’t view themselves as weak but they should view them as strong. They live in a different world. It’s just different gender roles. It’s how Mulan’s expressing that they can show the society what they have. Mulan has the desire to see and experience the army in the same way that men do when connecting emotionally to battle. She has always been in a relationship with her brain and heart because she knows that she is strong enough to fight and is going to win the battle for her country. Women are less able to experience the meaning of army because they are not allowed to join the army. This has also inspired movies such as Mulan to work on fighting the gender stereotypes and believed herself to protect her country. These women’s roles have evolved and have greatly expanded the relationship the emperor of China has with Mulan. Women have the ability to experience men’s role in society but they can develop a cultural and more meaningful relationship with the emperor of China that goes beyond the wall.

Everytime she sings a few songs to honor her feelings because she’s really focused on every detail of emotions such as sadness, happiness, scared and nervous. She should open her feelings to see what she feelings and ask herself multiple questions like what’s going on? Why is this happening? She should allow herself to see doing this is the way to open her eyes to realize if this is the right thing to do. She doesn’t even talk about her true emotions or discuss with her parents because of the reality of society that taught her to take something in immediately herself as a young woman. She doesn’t always show her emotions when it comes to discussing with her parents when she wants to take her father’s position. She was struggling to find the true definition of her true strength. Mulan’s journeys and life experience can be a relentless pull of emotions. This process is part of her to grow her journey from the bottom to the top. For example, from the bottom, she was newly in the army and she was struggling and exhausted at practice to be prepared to be a real soldier but when she found out that she was laid off because she was not doing well. She’s determined to fight her feelings and it leads her to success. She’s experiencing her emotions and being vulnerable when she’s working with the people and it helps her to have great strength, not a weakness.

The song, “I will make a man out of you” is an inspiration song because it shows gender stereotypes and how women struggle through gender roles. “Her initial attempts at both these roles are so poor as to be comical, but eventually, having been she can go home, Mulan becomes so determined to succeed that she very quickly begins to prove herself, both as a man and as a soldier” (Davis, 2020). When Mulan became a soldier, she was very brave and fought the bad Huns who invaded China. Mulan proves that she can do anything a man can do, shows how strong she is and has the ability to fight. This song is the main point about how she starts to become a warrior to fight in the battle where she keeps her hope and doing the best she can be in the war to prove them that she’s a real soldier while she develops the qualities and skills that the males have because society still views the women as weak and views the men as superior. Mulan has to be masculinized to become a strong prove to the capital of the army. “Television, in particular, began to feature shows about strong, captable women-referred to by some as superwomen- who were successful and balanced in their careers, with their families, with their love lives, and in any other areas of their lives” (Davis, 2020). She is a strong independent female leader with courage and purpose who defies gender stereotypes and she wasn’t afraid of rebels. She doesn’t need a prince to save her but in fact, that she saves herself and to defend her country. She really stands up for herself and beat these gender stereotypes. She was selfless and fearless. She did everything to protect her loved ones. She doesn’t need to be saved but instead she saves her family’s honor and brought the honor to the emperor of China after what she did to her country. She believed in herself and used the action going toward the equality between men and women. She discovered that she always ends up victorious and that she’s grateful that she brought the honor and sword to her home. Her struggles seem to be in vain because all her attempts to escape to save her father’s position seems to push her back to where she fought. She only puts herself in the position first because she wants to focus on herself and her success.

One of many reasons why I chose Mulan as my cultural analysis essay because I think she was the perfect example that she represents the madwoman and she was the figure of gender, mental illness and social class. The way she describes the movie that she’s a warrior. She wasn’t like every other woman because she was different in an extraordinary way. She finally was heard because she fought one step at a time from the bottom that leads her to success. She keeps believing in herself when nobody believes in her. She never gives up on herself and she was a very determined person not like others. She was awarded the honor come from the emperor of China and she changes the world and changes the way people view her as a strong independent woman.

Works Cited

  1. Davis, Amy M. Good Girls and Wicked Witches: Changing Representations of Women in Disney’s Feature Animation, 1937-2001. Indiana University Press, 2011. JSTOR, Accessed 23 Apr. 2020.
  2. Lan, Feng. “The Female Individual and the Empire: A Historicist Approach to Mulan and Kingston’s Woman Warrior.” Comparative Literature, vol. 55, no. 3, 2003, pp. 229–245. JSTOR, Accessed 23 Apr. 2020.

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Gender Stereotypes And Feminist Movement In The Movie Mulan. (2021, August 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from
“Gender Stereotypes And Feminist Movement In The Movie Mulan.” Edubirdie, 31 Aug. 2021,
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