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Colette Fitzpatrick: Disney strike a blow for feminism? Frozen in time, more like ...


A scene from Disney's Frozen.

A scene from Disney's Frozen.

Lindt cafe.

Lindt cafe.

Matthew McConaughey.

Matthew McConaughey.

Lindt cafe, Sydney.

Lindt cafe, Sydney.


A scene from Disney's Frozen.

Heard of the Bechdel test? It's a sort of a yardstick that asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.

Disney's biggest grossing and most successful movie of all time, Frozen, passes with flying colours.

But what's been hyped as the most feminist Disney movie ever for little girls, for me, falls far short of being the feminist fairytale I've been waiting all my life for.

First off, the girls in this movie are painfully thin. It's the old Barbie doll 'head too big for their tiny bodies and microscopic waists and ample cleavage' from Disney movies of old. The boys in the movie have a much broader range of body types.


Elsa also wears ridiculous glass stilettos and a tight dress to negotiate the snow. How modern. The studio's animation supervisor was quoted as saying that animating female characters is hard because you have to make them "pretty". Why, exactly?

And Elsa's powers. She is unable to accept who she is and actually runs away from her only sister rather than learn to deal with her true self. Avoidance, responsibility and anti-social issues, anyone?

The romance element. Here we go again. A woman defined by her desire and search to meet a man is still part of the plot.

The female, Anna, is the naive, silly girl, while the male, Hans, is cleverly toying with her emotions. She isn't smart enough to see through him. Right until the last minute until a snowman has to point out who the 'right man' for her is.

She couldn't actually come to the conclusion herself.

I loved the fact that Anna ended up saving herself as well as Elsa in this film. It's the highlight for me.

But when Anna was doing the saving, did she have to have so many male companions help her? Couldn't she have done the rescuing on her own? Or roped in another female character?

Message - Anna is a brave, determined, capable girl and not helpless. But not quite brave, determined or capable enough to save her sister by herself.

Finally, the race issue. Would it have killed Disney to include some people of colour in a movie in 2014 rather than the all white cast? When will we get a Princess heroine who is black or Asian?

For me Disney's Frozen juggernaut is a step in the right direction. Its climax doesn't involve a man coming to the rescue of a princess and a wedding but it's not some revolutionary step for little girls.

For me it's false feminism. So Frozen is still frozen in time.

Since when was it ok to post a selfie from the scene of a siege, you Twits?

It's been a bad week for basic humanity. When did it become OK for bystanders to take selfies at an unfolding hostage siege?

Yet that's what happened in Sydney on Monday. While being fascinated with an event like this is natural, rubbernecking or gathering around the scene of a crisis, incorporating it into your timeline and Twitter feed, is not.

Believe it or not, some people were even smiling in their selfies.

It's not the first time people's moral gauge has been set to 'unethical'. Search #funerals on Twitter and you'll come across dozens of people who don't understand that a funeral is not about you, your dress, nor the number of followers you can get by tweeting your pic.

Other places where utterly inappropriate selfies have been taken include the gas chamber in Auschwitz, Chernobyl, Holocaust memorials, war memorials and Anne Frank's house.


What goes through the mind of someone taking a selfie at an unfolding hostage siege? 'Must show my digital 'friends' I am here and de facto, this is sort of happening to me.'

Do you think you're somehow feeling someone else's pain or terror because you're taking pictures of yourself, from a few feet away?

And why are you posting this? For 'likes'? How can you 'like' a crisis? For emojis of thumbs up? For comments? The issue is now not the crisis at which you are taking the selfie, but the fact that you think it's ok to take a selfie at it.

I think selfies are great. They really are a fun thing to do in the right circumstances. But the trend has been linked by psychiatrists to mental health conditions related to narcissism and a person's obsession with their looks.

And when people think a #sydneysiege selfie is ok, they really #needtocopon.

Matthew has it easy, he just plays himself

I WAS disappointed with Aaron Sorkin's comments in a leaked email from Sony, in which he compared male and female award-winning roles and declared there's a higher "degree of difficulty" for the men. Was Cate Blanchett's performance in Blue Jasmine not as challenging as Matthew McConaughey's in Dallas Buyers Club? All McConaughey had to do was lose weight. Then play himself, the way he does in every other film he stars in.

* So more talk this week of new political parties/alliances/groupings/whatever you're having yourself. But the talks often seem so secret that Lucinda and the rest don't even seem to know if they're happening at all. Maybe there's room for a Monster Raving Loony Party here. Remember that crowd in the UK? Screaming Lord Sutch established it in 1983 with bizarre policies to effectively satirise British politics. With plenty to satirise here, seems to me that it would be a perfect fit.

* If what we google is a reflection of Irish society, I guess we have more of an interest in what makes your ears bleed (Garth Brooks, the most searched for musician here) as opposed to your eyes (Ebola, number 6 most searched for news story). Does make you think though - what it would be like to have your internet search history read aloud to everyone you know. I'm off to google 'how to delete search history'.