The Portrayal of Sisters in Pop Culture or Why I Wasn’t as Impressed with Frozen as Everyone Else

Some of you who read this blog may remember me mentioning that I have an older sister. She drives me up a wall half the time, but I love her dearly, and I’m sure she feels the same about me. Here is my problem, though: I have only seen one sisterly relationship portrayed in pop culture that I can actually relate to. It’s weird, to say the least, but I think there is a reason for that. Women and stories about women are given significantly less screen time than male characters and stories about men. On the rare occasion women have starring, or even just supporting, roles, they are the lone female character. Said female has no sisters, no other female relations of note, and certainly no female friends. Either female characters’ backgrounds and never delved into, or these female characters will only have male influences in their lives. So already at least half the time women are tokenized and/or shown only associating with men. It should really come as no surprise, then, that when female relationships are present, they tend to lack the complexity that male relationships are given.

I see this a lot when sisterly relationships are portrayed. There seems to be only two possibilities for sisters: either they hate each other and can barely tolerate being in the same room together, or they love each other so super much that they are each others’ BFFs 5ver!

So when Frozen came out and everyone praised its portrayal of sisterly love I expected… well, something different than what I got, I guess.

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Fanfiction Fridays: The Queen’s Eyes by underoriginal

Frozen group pictureThis was not a fic I was originally going to recommend, because not only is it unfinished, I worry that it might be abandoned. But underoriginal’s The Queen’s Eyes is too good a story to pass up. Like all things, it does have its problems—personally, I think the story could expand on some of the mythology it’s introduced—but it also has a lot to offer, and I was pleasantly surprised by those things, since nothing in the story summary indicated that they would be there.

Desperate to find a way to redeem their brother, the princes of the Southern Isles send Hans back to Arrendale. Hans agrees to become a member of the elite and mysterious police force called the Queen’s Eyes. At first, he wonders why he is given so much power, but he slowly comes to realize the price. As Hans starts to wonder if he made the right choice, Anna struggles with her own powers awakening and the possibility that she may never be able to adventure again, Kristoff tries to find a way to marry a princess despite his low class even with Elsa’s blessing, and the Queen herself begins to crack under the pressure of the crown. Meanwhile, a terrible snowstorm ravaging the Southern Isles raises an even more dangerous problem; what if Elsa isn’t the only sorcerer out there?

Potential trigger warning for transphobia ahead.

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In Brightest Day: Emotional Abuse in Frozen

Frozen-Movie-Anna-Elsa-HD-Wallpaper1So I’ve only seen Frozen a couple times by now—five or six, but who’s counting?—and yet I’m still struck by how amazing this story is. Sure, it has some problems. I mean, nothing’s perfect, but Frozen has so many progressive themes that it’s hard to ignore what a great movie it truly is. Additionally, while being caught up in its awesomeness, it might be a little hard to articulate why certain parts of the movie are so great. I knew that I didn’t really like Elsa’s and Anna’s parents when I first saw the movie, but it wasn’t until the second or third time through that I realized I disliked them because of how abusive they were to their daughters.

Spoilers after the jump.

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A Surprisingly Warm Frozen Review

I’ll be honest with you: I was all set up to hate Frozen. Aside from the not-really-there marketing, the egregious whitewashing, that bullshit about animating female characters being haaard, and the skeevy-looking snowman sidekick, it just looked like a kind of unremarkable movie.

Take it away, Thorin:

tumblr_mg0abqYbGi1rrf6jwo9_r1_250Spoilers after the jump. Continue reading