About the Author

Satiricalifragilistic grew up during the Disney Renaissance, and The Little Mermaid was the first movie she ever saw in theaters at age 3. Her mother flatly refused to let her leave the theater when Ursula got huge and terrifying, and maybe that explains her troubled psyche.

While she'll admit to being an inveterate nitpicker, she firmly believes in loving a piece of art even while criticizing it, and in the importance of engaging critically with what she loves. She has special contempt for anyone who tries to claim the politics in Disney films don't matter because "they're just movies," because she knows exactly how much the Disney Canon influenced her little gradeschool self—for good and for ill!

She loves art, design, music, dancing, movies from Hollywood's Golden Age, and British comedy...expect a lot of these to turn up in her reviews and mashups!

Part 1a: When "Choice Feminism" Really Means "Don't Question The Status Quo, Ever"
Turning Inside Out Upside Down

In response to my post Actually, Inside Out’s Gender Norms Are A Real Problem, I received a comment on reddit that encapsulates a huge part of the frustration I have with the defensiveness of “choice feminism.” Quite simply, this is a prime example of taking the idea of supporting women’s choices to the absurd and shark-jumping extreme of reflexively lashing out at anything that even criticizes the game rather than the player, let alone suggests the patriarchy-approved choice might be patriarchy-approved for a reason.

As opposed to this kind of shark jumping, which is awesome.

Anyway, the comment is quoted in full and in its original sequence, with my response interspersed.

You know why gender norms like these exist in fiction?

Because that's what a typical family looks like.

Actually, no. Not at all. According to the bureau of labor statistics, in 2014 only 19.9 percent of married families had a sole male breadwinner.

Moreover, the fact that this is what's considered "typical" is HUGELY affected by centuries of economic, social, religious, and educational oppression against women.


Part 1: Actually, Inside Out's Gender Norms Are A Major Problem
Turning Inside Out Upside Down

I honestly do love the vast majority of Inside Out ... despite the fact that this post is going to be all negative stuff--sorry! I've had to admit to myself that the dominant emotion at my Headquarters control console is probably Disgust...

...Snarky and Nitpicky? Perfect!!

At first, I got a little annoyed in the theater that the family seems to be picking up its life and centering all its goals around the Dad's job, but I told myself at the time "Some parents get really great opportunities they can't pass up. People move for jobs. That is A Thing that happens, and it doesn't have to imply male-centric social norms."


The movie still reinforces that social norm: Dad is portrayed as the one having the big ideas for the family, being the central provider, and Mom has no job that I could make out, and seems to do the majority of the child-rearing and home-and-hearth stuff. And BLEGH. Even the whole speech Riley's mom gave her about how they appreciate how positive she is came with some rather squicky undertones about the womenfolk needing to fall in line with the Man of the House's goals. Amanda Marcotte seems to think the film offers a critique of the gendered expectation that women be the positive emotional support, but I honestly didn't see that in the work itself. While Marcotte's critique is definitely spot-on for a lot of real women and girls' lived experiences, I don't think that in-universe the movie actually criticized or challenged these gender norms, or even understood why this is problematic.