Gender Inequality and the Disney Princess Who Gets It Right

I’ve never seen anything - for children or adults - that illustrates institutional sexism as clearly or simply as the pilot episode of Disney’s “Sofia the First.”

Sofia wants to race pegasi, but she’s told that it’s something only Princes do - that Princesses just watch. She is discouraged by the other girls, the boys, the instructor…

She faces a truly uphill battle, as she is given the slowest, smallest horse in the stable, and no professional instruction or encouragement like the boys are. She almost gives up into believing that everyone was right - that Princesses belong on the bleachers and not in the race - but her mother encourages her to pursue her dream. Even though her biggest detractor among the boys is so threatened by her that he has to blatantly cheat at the final race, she manages to make the racing team.

Yeah, some idiots might say that she got special attention and encouragement from her brother, but this is how it really works. The deck was stacked against her, she had to fight twice as hard as anyone, and she got treated with really unsportsmanlike conduct by her competitor. Can you imagine how well she would have performed if everyone had treated her equally from the start?

Kudos to Disney for getting this one really, really right.

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