I don’t like to repeat myself. I also don’t like to repeat others. Luckily for you, it’s the written word, so you can read it as many times as you want. Which is good, dear reader, because I’m not interested in saying anything twice. (In the words of Mitch Hedberg, we call this introduction “attitude.”)

So I’m not going to write another piece about the word feminism, or female stereotypes. I’ve said it before. I also feel a little uncomfortable writing about resignation of public figures, abortion laws in other countries or racial stereotypes because it’s been said by those more eloquent than I. So while writing this article, I retreated to the safe world (albeit new one) of the old standby: Facebook.

So while I was searching Facebook groups (we reflect on the anti-feminist groups article), I came across several “Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about love,” with member counts rising above 114,000. Disney also gave several Facebookers unrealistic expectations about men, body image and my own personal favorite: physics.

And it’s not just Disney. “The Notebook” and “Grey’s Anatomy” are also to be blamed for our unrealistic expectations. I see where everyone is coming from. I am also aware that people don’t have waists like that, and I understand why so many feminists and just normal people have a problem with Disney’s promotions of traditional gender roles and reliance on white heteronormativity. I am also aware that many of the princesses are white, and even some of the multicultural ones (Mulan and Esmeralda) are not princesses at all.

I get all that. But I have a few things to say. First, seriously, take some responsibility, people. I literally grew up with Disney, and I know all the words to songs and have sung along to even some of the most anti-feminist ones – even “Me” in “Beauty and the Beast” and this gem from “Cinderella,” “Leave the sewing to the women, you go get some trimming.”

Yet, I don’t think young impressionable me came away thinking, “Well only girl mice sew dresses.” I also don’t think I believed that people in coffins can be kissed back to health. While not defending Disney Corporation, I’ve also wondered why people didn’t come away with Ariel singing, “Bet they don’t reprimand their daughters, bright young women, sick of swimming, ready to stand?” which I always read as female independence, and instead got caught up in, “Some day my prince will come.”

Speaking of princes, Prince William and Kate Middleton broke up this week, which apparently means that he’s available, sending the message to us young, impressionable Disney-watching girls that any girl can be a princess (but it’s better if you have a high pedigree, old money and are, um… English) – if you want to be part of that patriarchal, class-ist system.

Patriarchy aside, I personally don’t think Disney has done me a lot of damage. I don’t think “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Notebook” have either, because I think I was profoundly aware that these are stories – just like how I’m pretty sure that even if I promise him my first born child, Rumpelstiltskin isn’t going to write my paper (that’s the college equivalent of thread into gold for me). It’s also against the honor code.

It’s also interesting that film and television get attacked the most for this. I was once talking to my old roommate about how so many songs are written by men, and it’s always these sensitive guys, talking about how much they love these girls. Yet, the Facebook group “Ben Folds gave me Unrealistic Expectations about Guys and Pianos” is still yet to exist.

Yet, with all this talk about princesses and expectations, I am left to draw on that classic movie, “A Little Princess,” in which Sarah says, “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses. All of us.”

Even if they’re embittered from their childhood watching Disney movies. Even if they’re feminists, and even – to those who think like Don Imus – if they are college basketball players.

Frank is a member of the class of 2009.



The value of Rochester journalism

When big events are over, the national news has to move on. Local news is what covers the aftermath.

Through fire and flames, local business Akimbo Bookshop has the community at its back

This outpouring of support from the community has emboldened Crawford to think about the future of Akimbo, including opening Akimbo 2.0.

The shadow of Monterey Park cast on the Rochester community

“Lunar New Year is supposed to be a time of celebration and reunion, yet 11 families will forever remember this as a time of grief."