And the more I think about it, the more real it becomes. Mulan spends virtually the whole movie concealing her sex, but projecting her physical and mental prowess all while having to listen to locker-room talk that depicts women as subservient and passive (most prevalent in all the musical numbers) – and for the audience, this is a great source of humor and dramatic irony. What resolves this irony in the end is that Mulan leads the effort that defeats the Huns and saves the emperor and China; therefore, she overcomes gender stereotypes and proves the worth of women in a society that demeans their existence to nothing more than child-bearing and domestic servitude.
Or rather, this might resolve the irony if she accepted the importance and validity of her actions. But instead, Mulan declines the emperor’s offer for her to live in the palace and consult with him in making significant military decisions; she opts to return to her domestic lifestyle because she’s “been away from home long enough.” She’s had her fill of adventure and showing her capabilities, now it’s time to go home where she can return to normalcy and forget her vocational hiatus. When Mulan sees her father at home, he lovingly welcomes her back into the family; she gives him the only tokens she has of her deeds as if to say, “Here, daddy, take my sword and medal – I don’t need them anymore considering the fact that I’m done playing dress-up and am ready to take my rightful place in society. And, after all, you’re the patriarch; it’s only right that I hand over my symbols of dominance to you!”
“When Mulan sees her father at home, he lovingly welcomes her back into the family; she gives him the only tokens she has of her deeds as if to say, “
Here, daddy, take my sword and medal – I don’t need them anymore considering the fact that I’m done playing dress-up and am ready to take my rightful place in society. And, after all, you’re the patriarch; it’s only right that I hand over my symbols of dominance to you!””
Aaaand this is what you get when you view asian myths and characters from a western perspective. Filial piety and respect becomes submission and deference. Throwing us under the bus and saying we’re weak because they don’t understand our culture. Smh.
Don’t make our stories about something they’re not. Mulan was never meant to be your girl power, stickin’ it to the world, white feminist hero and I don’t appreciate such liberties being taken with her.
#hah remember when white feminists were all over mako mori because they didn’t get the concept of filial piety?#yeah
Ugh yeah I get pissed off by that. And the thing is, that this kind of display of filial piety is SO FAR REMOVED from ‘submissive femininity’, because it’s usually the son’s role.
white feminism is so annoying uggggggh
Um?? Mulan does accept the validity of her actions: she takes back the tokens — the sword and the medal — home to bring honor and glory to the family name. Which is something that someone mentioned above, typically the duty of a son.
Also, like, it would actually be out of character if she stayed with the emperor at the end because that’s not filial piety. And Mulan is nothing if not the ultimate story of filial piety, and filial piety does not mean deference and submissiveness. It’s love, respect, and honor to the parents. It’s appreciating them for bringing you into this world and raising you and respecting them.
Like, in the beginning, she wants to be a good bride because she doesn’t want to disappoint her parents and family. She goes to war because she wants to save her father’s life. She declines the emperor’s offer and goes home because she misses her parents and doesn’t want to worry and upset them more. You’re completely misreading the ending scene if you think it’s her being submissive: it’s not ‘daughter giving symbols of her deeds of valor and worth to patriarch’. It’s ‘daughter gives symbols of her filial piety to father’. Also it’s her father acknowledging her deeds and saying that he’s so proud of her and loves her. And he doesn’t really care that she saved China. He’s touched that she risked her life to save his.
In essence —- FUCK WHITE FEMINISM AND THEIR WESTERN LENSES ON ASIAN CULTURE. Stop shitting on Mulan and saying it isn’t feminist or revolutionary just because you don’t understand it.
Also, my fellow Asian feminists should watch the opera version of Mulan because it’s riddled with a bunch of awesome symbols and it’s super feminist and revolutionary and beautiful and I 10/10 recommend. You can find it on Youtube I think. I remember looking up Mulan Ge Zai Xi when I was 13 and watching it in its entirety and being in complete awe.
Me:So, let's say that you're at school and you see a guy you know. I mean, you guys talk every once in a while and he's pretty cool, but you're not like friends or anything. You just talk to him every once in a while.
Guy Friend:What's his name?
Me:I don't know. Frank?
Me:Okay, fine. His name is Will. Okay?
Guy Friend:I don't think it really suits him, but okay.
Me:...So anyway, you're at school during lunchtime and you see Will. So, you notice Will's not eating anything. That's when you realize that Will has no lunch, no money for lunch, and no way of getting either. He's just sitting there like he normally would. He's not acting any differently and he's not asking anyone for anything. Not money, not a fry, not even a salt packet, but you know he's gotta be hungry. So, what do you do?
Guy Friend:Do I have any money?
Me:Yeah. You have enough for you and another meal.
Guy Friend:Duh, I buy him lunch.
Me:Okay, cool. So, like you said, you buy him lunch. You buy your lunch and you buy his lunch and you go over and hand it to him. And, he says, "Wow. You know, that's really nice of you, but I wasn't gonna ask anyone for lunch. I was probably just gonna wait until I got home to eat." And, then you say--
Guy Friend:Nah, it's cool.
Me:Exactly. You say, "Nah, it's cool. I'm just being nice. It's a gift." And, Will says, "You know, that's awesome. You're really nice, bro." And, after that, you guys start hanging out. You guys are like really good buds. You are always hanging out and laughing and just having a good time. So, you guys are friends for a few months, and it's tons of fun. Then, one day, you go up to Will and you say, "Hey, Will, you know, I've been thinking, and I kinda want that five bucks."
Guy Friend:What five bucks?
Me:Hold on. I'm getting there. So, Will says, "What five bucks?" To which, you reply, "Well, we've been hanging out for a long time and it's been really fun, but like, I've done a lot of really nice things for you. Like, I'm always nice to you and I always listen and do things you wanna do, so I was thinking that because I've been so nice, you should pay me back that five bucks I spent to get your lunch right before we started really hanging out."
Guy Friend:What? Why would I--
Me:I'm not done yet. So, then Will looks kinda hurt and he says, "But I thought you were just being nice. I thought that was just a gift." So, you say, "Whether or not it was a gift, don't you think you kinda owe me that five bucks since I've been so nice to you?" And, Will says, "No. I don't think I owe you that!" And you get mad, so you say, "Well, I think that you do, so I think you're being really shitty and stuck up about this and I feel like I've been completely wronged."
Guy Friend:Oh, my God. That's so fucked up of me. I would never do that to Will. Will was nice. We were buds. That's way screwed.
Me:I know, right? Hey, just wondering, have you ever heard of this fictional place called "The Friendzone?"
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—