Lock up your daughters! And don’t, whatever you do, let them go to the cinema. Because if Walt Disney has its way, they’ll all be brainwashed into becoming strident little Feminazis who insist on equal pay and endlessly gripe about men’s behaviour in tweets hashmarked #HurrahForWimmin or #MenTotallySuck. The man-hating subtext of Frozen was bad enough, but Maleficent is the second misandrist manifesto from the Mouse House in six months. To paraphrase Auric Goldfinger, once is happenstance, but twice is starting to look like enemy action.
It’s true that in the past, Walt Disney Productions practised gender discrimination in its hiring policies (“women do not do any of the creative work” went the discouraging reply to one aspiring female animator in 1938) albeit no more so than any other company of the era. But Uncle Walt, like all right-thinking men, loved and respected the fairer sex, and the heroines of his cartoons proved it. Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora were lovely gels who knew their place in society – not endlessly mouthing off, like today’s stroppy man-haters, but gracefully perched on a throne in tiaras and pretty ballgowns, revered by their loyal subjects and silently supportive of their handsome princes. Which is how it should be.
In their shrill demands for equality, women forget they can never be physically equal to men (unless they take lots of steroids). But they are naturally decorative, and accomplished at shaking their booty in skintight catsuits (Catwoman and Black Widow), stripping down to their undies (Star Trek Into Darkness’s Carol Marcus), or being naked (Mystique). That’s when they’re not being wives and girlfriends who get kidnapped (everyone else) but their presence lends a welcome feminine softness to the masculine hardware, and also stops the heroes from looking too gay. Occasionally, a girlfriend gets above herself and starts thinking about her own career, like Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But hey, look what happens to her.
Everyone knows girls won equality aeons ago, but instead of shutting up and getting on with whatever it is that girls do, they’ve decided they need special treatment. And because they never stop nagging about it, Hollywood is obliged to pander to their whims. Hence, we’ve had two films about real-life princesses (Diana and Grace of Monaco) which show that being a princess isn’t a bed of roses. But the wimmin moan because those films are boring (of course they’re boring! they’re about wimmin!) and because neither Diana nor Grace gets to kick men in their testicles, as the Monstrous Regiment would no doubt like to see them do.
And the silly bints are never satisfied. Sally Hawkins played a scientist’s assistant in Godzilla, for heaven’s sake, but clearly that’s not enough for the harpies since she doesn’t get to kick Godzilla in the testicles as well. The Other Woman, is a bawdy comedy with not one but three female leads – career woman Cameron Diaz, housewife Leslie Mann and swimsuit model Kate Upton. Yet even that’s not enough for the selfish sheilas, who complain that the film still doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test because all three harpies do nothing but talk about getting their own back on Jaime Lanister for having cheated on them and raped his sister. So they lace his drinks with hormone drugs and laxatives, which is permissible because he’s a man. Can you imagine the uproar if the genders had been reversed and three male characters had slipped drugs into a woman’s drink? We would never hear the end of it. Talk about double standards.
As for Disney, the rot started back as far as Beauty and the Beast, in which the white male character was ridiculed while bookish Belle threw herself at a hirsute fellow of another race. As more and more wimmin infiltrated Disney’s creative team, this tendency to do men down was carried on into Brave, in which no Scotsman is good enough for our feisty Rebecca Brookalike, and Frozen, which has brainwashed an entire generation of small girls into endlessly singing Let It Go, an anthem exhorting them to turn their backs on polite society and torture their parents with earworms.
And now the Feminazification of Disney reaches its apogee with Maleficent, which (like Oz the Great and Powerful) insists that women behave badly only because men have been beastly to them – well, boo hoo! Leaving aside for the time the questionable wisdom in saddling a child with a name like Maleficent if you don’t want her to grow up to be a villain (see also Evil-Lyn, Sinistro and Victor von Doom) the film also comes down squarely on the side of lefty environmentalists, whose fairy republic full of gaily frolicking pond trolls and transgendered treefolk augurs the sort of domino effect unseen since the heyday of Ho Chi Minh. The kingdom next door understandably sees its values under threat and seeks to quell the spreading contagion – only to get thoroughly vilified for its pains.
In short, Maleficent pulls no punches in painting traditional masculine behaviour in the worst possible light, from lying about feelings to armed aggression to the mutilation of female anatomy. It’s nothing less than a feminist tract for all the family – though not without its fair share of Angelina Jolie shaking her booty in a skintight catsuit. Pshaw! They might as well have called it Femaleficent.
This piece was originally written for the Telegraph website, but never ran.
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