Turning Inside Out Upside Down

Loyal readers of my blog will note that there are few things in this world that drive me quite as nuts as something that is aaaaalllmost perfect, but has a few glaring flaws...especially if those flaws could have been easily avoided if only the Powers That Be had simply spent a day or two inside my head! (It's lovely up here, really!)

And oh my goodness, does Inside Out fit this pattern to a T! Pixar created such an original and imaginative world inside Riley's head, and the visual design is absolutely brilliant. BUT, it's really noticeable that in contrast to the incredibly creative internal world, the outside world just coasts on stereotypes, and this is particularly regressive and galling with regard to gender. I don't have enough electrons to list everything I love about the movie (and tons of people have already done that), so here is a series unpacking the gender stereotypes in Inside Out and how these kinds of stereotypes affect our social norms:

Prologue: So...One Little Nitpick About Inside Out nothing really deep here, but as a native Californian I just can't let this one go.

Part 1: Actually, Inside Out's Gender Norms Are A Major Problem looking at how some of the unquestioned setup of the movie reinforces a very unfortunate status quo about gender, family dynamics, and the workplace in the real world.

Part 2: Inside Out's Feminism, and Other Imaginary Friends how the contrast between the brilliant and imaginative mindscape and the cliched sexism of the movie's "real world" sets up some toxic implications.

Part 3: Has Anyone Else Noticed That Riley's Parents Kind of Suck? cliched writing and storytelling shortcuts combine to make these underwritten parents implausible as the heads of a happy, functional family.

Part 4: When Sexism Is More Than Just Bad Table Manners my frustration with the gender roles in this movie intensifies with some incredibly lazy sexism and sitcom cliches that have no place in a movie of this caliber.

Coming Soon!

Part 5: The Revenge of The Dinner Table Scene


  1. Part 2 links to the article for part 1. I think it was meant to link to http://satiricalifragilistic.blogspot.ie/2015/09/inside-outs-feminism-and-other-imaginary-friends.html instead. :)


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!