Gender Stereotypes In Mulan And Flawless

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The idea of a person being a woman or a man, or gender roles, is a cultural idea that has been developed all over the world in different ways. In recent years, the media has attempted to rebel against gendered stereotypes, such as “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the film Mulan by Matthew Wilder and “Flawless” by Beyonce Knowles. These pieces are perceived as revolutionary and breaking gender roles but in actuality they enforce gendered stereotypes and can be harmful.
The author of “I’ll Make a Man out of You” uses language to say that a female can do a male’s job but ultimately they enforce a male stereotype. The text begins by asking “Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons” (Wilder, Line 3). The actual text is stating that only
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When this line is said, the film focuses in on Mulan, reminding the viewer that Mulan is female. However, this doesn’t deny that everyone else in the army is male, Mulan is the only female who presumably wanted to fight. This makes Mulan a singularity creating this idea that only one girl is strong enough to be like a man which can be harmful to girls as it can create competition. The song then repeatedly uses words like “force” and “strength” coupled with the word “must” to imply that this is how males have to be in order to become a so-called man (Wilder, Line 21, 23, 25). These words are all describing a physical aspect of becoming a man and the physicality of a man is the main focus of the song. Again, the film tries to counteract the lyrics. It begins this section by showing all the men failing to complete a training task, and then having Mulan be sabotaged into failing. This is supposed to be arguing that Mulan is being prevented from…show more content…
Throughout out the text, the author repeatedly uses the work “flawless” coupled with pronouns and or actions, for example, “You wake up, flawless” (Knowles line 46, 50). This connection between physical actions and the word creates this idea that only visible things can be perfect. The author also describes physical objects as flawless like “This diamond, flawless” (Knowles line 50). By also describing an object as flawless, the author is stating that females are like objects. Diamonds are an especially interesting choice as they are mainly seen as something to be bought to look nice. This is then inforcing the idea that women are just commodities that are only needed for their looks. This sends out a potentially harmful message, that only what a person looks like or does is worth paying attention to. While the song is not defining what it means to look “flawless,” it is still putting emphasis on outward appearance, not on how a person acts. As this song is marketed at women, who the media often say are only good for their looks, it can reinforce the idea that it is still physicality that is important, even if the song doesn’t define how their appearance should be. “I woke up like this” is a hashtag where people show pictures of themselves without make-up, but it is still focusing on what women look

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