this is like when you’re sitting with someone that you really like then you like touch knees or something and all of a sudden you feel all this energy going through both of you through this one point of contact
this gif is kinda like that
Gender Roles in Shrek
A movie that subscribes to all of our beliefs about gender roles is a perfect movie for Hollywood to air. A great example is the movie, Shrek, where the common viewer can comfortably and passively enjoy himself. Not a single questioning thought enters the viewer’s mind as the plot unravels. Of course it makes sense that the movie is about a grumpy ogre on a quest to save a princess, and not the other way around. Of course the princess would be thin and expressive, while the male ogre would be beefy and reserved. And logically, the two would fall in love as the female’s qualities complement the male’s qualities. What we see in Shrek is a template of behavior which men and women are expected to follow in America. The elements of this template are dotted throughout the movie.
Right from the beginning of the flick, we see the first element of gender roles expressed; the male’s job is to be dominant and aggressive and to snag women. “The Bro Code,” a clip made by “Challenging Media” on YouTube, supports this belief: “Women are taught to be submissive and sexual, while men are shown to be in control, physically powerful and having as many sex partners as possible.” The story of Shrek adheres to this notion by having our hero bravely rescue the proverbial damsel in distress, Fiona, despite all the obstacles put in his way. Even the way he handles Fiona—by slinging her over his shoulder—comes from this idea. When Shrek’s hardy actions are questioned by Donkey, Shrek quickly shuts him down. We see this in the scene where Shrek instantly returns to his swamp after overhearing Fiona and Donkey’s conversation about a monster. Immediately convinced that they are talking about him, Shrek decides to dump Fiona. He avoids Donkey as Donkey prances around trying to reason with him. This scene resembles an argument between domestic partners. Donkey takes a feminine role by being a thinker, while Shrek is taking a masculine role by making rash actions. Shrek then applies his masculine role by shutting Donkey (the woman) down.
Fiona doesn’t deviate much from her prescribed female role either. She longs to be rescued from her tower by a Prince Charming, and plays her feminine part willingly. In addition, the movie suggests that it is the woman’s is job to be expressive. Again, Fiona shows no resistance when she wakes up amidst nature, and sings to the birds and trees around her. Another element of a woman’s place in society that the movie implies is that women have to be beautiful. And if they’re not beautiful, they should want to be beautiful. Why else would the creators of Shrek make Fiona look so attractive? But when Fiona transforms into an ogre, she hides from the world because she is ashamed of not fulfilling her feminine role. She repeatedly tries to find ways to become permanently beautiful until Shrek tells her that she is beautiful even as an ogre. It’s only then that Fiona can finally relax.
There are several instances in the movie where the characters contradict society’s views of sexuality. And what happens when this occurs? Humor! We expect a man to be strong. So when we’re introduced to Lord Farquaad, the almighty king of Duloc, and see that he is short, it’s funny. In fact, several jokes are made throughout the movie about Lord Farquaad’s height. Or when we meet Fiona, the dainty princess, we automatically assume that she is fragile. But when she expertly fights off a group of hunters, we’re surprised and we laugh at this amusing twist. There is a formula for comedy, and it is to come up with a scenario which contradicts our common sense beliefs. Shrek utilizes this formula well.
It is evident that Shrek adheres to Americans’ assumptions about sexuality. We can generalize that most of Hollywood’s other movies also adhere to our ideas of factors such as sexuality, race, and class. But what would happen if one made a movie that contradicts these beliefs? Because we hold our mindsets for granted, the movie wouldn’t be a success. Viewers would continuously experience dissonance between the themes of the movie and the views that they have of society. Therefore, they would criticize the film as being inaccurate of what the real world is like, when in reality, the movie could be proposing an innovative idea. It isn’t the movie industry that teaches us the values we hold. It’s our values that teach the movie industry what to make.
Disclaimer: This is not an attack on the movie, Shrek. I actually love the movie. This is just an analysis of something we should open our eyes to.