Saturday, September 27, 2014

There is Nothing Wrong With Aspiring to be Married

Recently, I've heard complaints about the Disney movie "Frozen".  The complaints sound something like this.  "Well, yeah I guess it's nice that Disney has a character who questions whether it's sane to marry a man you just met, but still, there is marriage involved, and one of the characters aspires to be married, which is damaging to young girls because it sets a bad example."

Let's set aside the fact that some people just like to bitch, and that Disney will NEVER be able to redeem themselves in the eyes of certain people who hold their 1950s cartoons against them.  Let's also set aside the fact that in the movie Frozen, the other main character becomes a LEADER OF A COUNTRY.  Let's pretend that the issue is simply that Anna wants to get married.

So what?

Look, I'm a feminist.  I fully agree that girls should have goals outside of getting married, and that they should know that their value is not attached to their ability to marry.  But that doesn't seem to be the point being made when people complain about "Frozen" and its like.  Their idea seems to be that little girls shouldn't aspire to be married at all, and shoudn't even think about it until they've earned their Phds in physics and won their Nobel Prizes.  

I think that's silly and sad.  Because in addition to being a feminist, I am also a big fan of marriage.

Most little girls (not all of them, I know) are natural romantics.  Their hearts are open and wide and strong.  They haven't been beaten down by the world yet.  Their hearts have never been broken.  It's to be hoped that they see examples of healthy marriages all around them.  Is it so wrong for them to want that for themselves one day?  Is a little girl who dreams about having a big wedding and meeting someone who sees her specialness and cherishes and supports her somehow anti-feminist?  Why?  It's not like we live in the dark ages when getting married was the end of the road for a woman, and she could kiss all her dreams goodbye.  Today's men want their women to be happy and to be successful.  They aren't threatened by it like previous generations have been.  Today's marriages, more often than not, are partnerships where the partners help each other achieve their goals.  

Is marriage for everyone?  No.  But it is for most people.  And telling little girls that marriage is not something they should want or plan for is unrealistic and silly.  Should it be their only goal in life?  Of course not.  But most girls are intelligent and complex enough to have more than one goal