After revisiting the adorable Doctor Strange of the Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur comic last week, I found myself craving more Strange stuff. And while I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to bring myself to watch the MCU movie, I do own a few trades’ worth of Doctor Strange comics. I remembered enjoying them well enough when I first read them, so I figured the time was nigh to revisit one and see if older, woker Saika still thought they were any good. And that’s how I ended up rereading the 2007 comic Doctor Strange: The Oath, by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin. Turns out, while it’s a good standalone story to read if you’re interested in the good Doctor, it’s also full of some tired tropes and isms.
I think this is somewhat common knowledge, but there exists a line of wedding dresses based on Disney Princesses that is endorsed by Disney. There are also bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and accessories of various kinds. So in case you wanted the perfect Disney Princess wedding, you are now several steps closer.
We bash Disney and how it has poorly influenced little girls through its portrayal of women, specifically the princesses, plenty of times. No one is pulling the wool over our eyes. We realize it and we talk about it all the time. According to Disney, girls should be skinny as rails, and they always need a man. This is blatantly wrong; these stereotypical definitions of beauty are degrading to girls everywhere and send a poor message to the youth of our society.
So let’s say someone recognizes that Disney has given them an unrealistic idea of society and societal gender roles, like we have. Does s/he have an obligation to society to try and correct their extremely incorrect views so that they do not get passed onto others?
I’d say yes. In a sense, we as a society try and (many do) convince ourselves that Disney has their audience’s morals and values at heart and their goal is to help (essentially) raise upstanding citizens. However, Disney is a company. Their goal is to make money. In a sense, they don’t care about society’s values as long as they get a nice paycheck at the end of the day. But we keep buying their products because we believe their products are good for small children. So it’s sort of a Catch-22. We have to break the cycle somewhere, and Disney isn’t going to change for shits and giggles. So it’s up to us to change. If you don’t like what they’re selling, don’t buy into it.
But do we have a moral imperative to not buy into it? I’d say yes. There are a lot of different ways to go about proving why, but I’m going to choose a more roundabout one simply because most of you have probably heard of it. Utilitarianism, a concept first coined by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, advances that individuals should maximize utility, aka maximize happiness and minimize pain, for society. Disney, by putting forward bad examples of female role models for little girls (and boys) to follow, is detrimental to society, or causing pain. That pain needs to be corrected so that happiness (and therefore utility) can be maximized. Because we as a society have a moral obligation to maximize utility, individuals who understand the pain Disney is causing have an obligation to speak out and try and eliminate this pain.
What on God’s green Earth does that have to do with Disney wedding dresses? Essentially what the wedding dresses do is propagate the princess image (and its accompanying pain) outside the fictional sphere. This is more detrimental to maximizing utility because it makes the Disney princess image (seemingly) more tangible or achievable, when in fact it’s not. Reinforcing the princess image outside of a Disney movie is a terrible influence on society.
Does this make sense to all of you? Lose anyone? Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!