Spirited Away Gender Roles

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As feminism and gender equality are becoming more important to society, the way gender roles are depicted in literature and media are shifting to conform to society’s views. This usage of gender roles can be seen in two popular contemporary animated movies: Frozen and Spirited Away. Both of these films are geared for younger audiences and attempt to teach important life lessons, like friendship and growing up. Through closer examination of how each film portrays gender, however, Frozen appears to not be as egalitarian as many have come to believe. Comparing both films, Frozen is not very feminist as it continues to perpetuate traditional gender roles and fairytale tropes, such as love at first sight and damsels in distress, whereas Spirited…show more content…
Chihiro, who begins the film as a scared and confused little girl, eventually overcomes her bleak situation and becomes determined to save her captive parents. One way Chihiro accomplishes this is by demanding a job at a restrictive bath house under the evil witch Yubaba, the only entity capable of returning her parents to normal, in order to earn her parents’ freedom. She eventually faces Yubaba and outsmarts her, gaining her parents back and being set free from the bathhouse and spirit world. Steven Guitron references in his article “Miyazaki” how Chihiro does not conform to her own gender stereotypes of being meek and incompetent but instead pushes forward and continues toward her goal, not letting anything fool her. This not only subverts common worldwide gender roles, it also challenges social norms present in Japanese…show more content…
These films attempt to reflect both change in society and differences between cultures, despite Spirited Away clearly being more successful in this aspect. This difference in subversion also reveals what is necessary to create a truly feminist work that can effectively influence the minds of people and cause effective change to society. With this insight, it can now be more easily discernible what constitutes a feminist film and how it can positively affect

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