I know this movie came out twenty years ago, but it is a classic, so I have to mention it. The movie “Mulan” is full of gender diversity, specifically gender roles. The Chinese culture in the movie depicts women as being inferior to men as well as having women live in the private sphere (staying within the household). There are many scenes in the movie where this is seen, so I will only talk about a few.
At the beginning of the movie Mulan is being dressed and made up to meet the Matchmaker. The Matchmaker will find her a husband if she is worthy, which she doesn’t end up being to the Matchmaker. She brought great dishonor to her family, even though it wasn’t her fault that the meeting with the Matchmaker went wrong. It was the worst possible thing that could happen because her purpose in the Chinese culture was to marry a man, have children, and take care of the home.
Later on, Mulan’s father gets drafted into the army for a second time and she speaks out against it. First, it was in public where she was told to “hold her tongue” by the man who gave the orders. The next time she speaks out is when she is having dinner with her family. She doesn’t want her father to go, especially since he is hurt. As she argues with him he states, “I know my place, it is time you learned yours.” Soon after this Mulan takes her fathers suit of armor and goes to take his place in the army. When her parents find out they run outside to try to stop her, but she is already gone. Her mother tells her father, “You have to go after her. She could be killed!” Her father responds, “If I reveal her, she will be.” Women weren’t supposed to leave home at all, much less impersonate a man and join the army.
At the end of the movie, Mulan tries telling men in the city that the Huns are there and are going to take the Emperor. They ignore her and wave her off. Even Shang doesn’t listen to her when she stops him. Mulan is a woman and the men in the movie don’t feel the need to listen to the women because they are superior.
As you can see, “Mulan” has many scenes where gender roles depict women as being inferior and living in the private sphere. Although, Mulan starts to change things at the end when the Emperor gives her his crest and Shan- Yu’s sword in gratitude. He even offers her a position on his counsel. If you can get past the gender roles, this is actually a really great movie.