One Woman Rescues An Entire Nation : Mulan Defies Traditional Gender

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One Woman Rescues an Entire Nation:
Mulan Defies Traditional Gender Roles & Becomes a Hero
What does it mean to be a man or woman, girl or boy? Who creates these gender constraints and reinforces these roles within a society? Gender is a social construct that is manufactured by the media in order to guide the masses towards thinking and behaving in a way that is perceived to be accurate. “Gender is not something we are born with, and not something we have, but something we do—something we perform” (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 1). “[It] is the very process of creating a dichotomy by effacing similarity and elaborating on difference” (5). In essence, society believes men and women are to act a certain way and deviating from these societal norms is unacceptable. Traditionally, women were to be docile, domestic, beautiful, frail, and submissive beings in need of protection and guidance from their strong, intelligent, powerful, and dominating male counterparts. Women are groomed to be housewives. Men are destined to be providers and soldiers. In this essay, I will explore the ways in which the animated Disney film Mulan represents conventional gender roles, yet also features a heroine who opposes this categorization by rejecting the typical female stereotype and demonstrating that women are equal to men—she sets a powerful example for women that resonates with me to this day. Disney’s Mulan is the tale of one woman’s quest to save her handicapped father from dying at war by

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