Even Disney princesses have to deal with the patriarchy.
According to The Washington Post, linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer recently presented a preview of their research on dialogue in movies with Disney princesses during a conference. The results are a bit disheartening.
The research shows that male characters in most movies starring Disney princesses talk more than the female characters in the films. Men speak 68 percent of the time in "The Little Mermaid," and 71 percent in "Beauty and the Beast." They talk more than 75 percent of the time in both "Pocahontas" and "Mulan." The biggest patriarchy problem of all is in "Aladdin," which has men taking over 90 percent of the dialogue.
Surprisingly, Fought and Eisenhauer discovered that women actually had a bigger opportunity to speak in older movies featuring Disney princesses. The dialogue is approximately split evenly in 1937's "Snow White," and women talk 60 percent of the time in "Cinderella," which came out in 1950. In "Sleeping Beauty," which was released in 1959, women make up 71 percent of the dialogue. That means a movie starring a princess who is literally asleep for a portion of the film has more dialogue coming from women.
This trend certainly makes it seem like Disney has taken a step backwards, but a few newer films manage to offer women more time to talk. Women speak 52 percent in "Tangled" and a notable 74 percent in "Brave." However, Disney's hit "Frozen" features men speaking 59 percent of the time (even with two women as its protagonists).
According to this research, dialogue is mainly dominated by men in movies featuring Disney royalty. Here's to hoping future princesses get more of an opportunity to speak their minds.
Same, Ariel. Same.
For more information on this research, head to The Washington Post.
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