Essay
Gender- Madison Lee
The movie Mulan is a tragic tale about a young woman that faces gender discrimination. The story sets place in Han, China where the Huns invade. Pat Morita, the emperor of China has to mobilize his troops to get ready for the invasion. The emperor asks for all the men in each of the families to report for duty. This becomes an issue in Mulan family because she does not have a brother and her father is too ill to go to war. Mulan decides to stand up and fight for her family regardless of her gender. Women are not supposed to go to war, so Mulan learns to act like a male so she can do what needs to be done.
Mulan comes across Mushu, a small dragon. Mushu helps Mulan become a man and learn all aspects of being a man. The plot makes this part of the movie funny for its young viewers, however most young viewers don’t know that there is a very strong message being sent. Although Mulan chose this path for herself, it is not right that she has to pretend to be a different gender in order to help her father. Young women should be able to fight in a war if they please to. It is important to note that Mulan took a big risk in pretending to be a male, because in the Chinese culture they believe that if you make the ancestors angry then you will have a bad after life. Mulan takes her chances on her life to do something greater for her family and her empire.
Most men would take a look at this and not think anything of it because they would first see that she is a female and disregard everything else. That is exactly what happened when her helmet was unveiled and everyone found out the truth about her being female. They automatically didn’t want anything to do with her. However they did not take into consideration the fact that she is a woman and she made it through training and battles alongside all the other men. This proves that she, as a female, is just as good as other men and can [[#|complete]] alongside them.
This movie plays a big role in teaching young children about gender discrimination. I took a look back at my childhood and how difficult it was to be a girl. I was always around boys, because of bothers. I just remember them always giving me grief about being a girl and they would make me cry, obviously because we are more emotional. Mulan stands up for the female race and proves that we are just as good and can be better than what males have made us out to be. I think that every gender, and not just females can learn about gender discrimination from this movie, because males also need to see that females are equal to them and no one is on top of the other. Currently in our society we are striving for equality among race and gender so it is important to have evidence like this to prove gender discrimination.


Gender Roles in Mulan
Rachel Patterson
Themes like women’s rights and gender roles are prevalent in many films. It is in the film “Mulan”, however, that these themes are seen throughout the entire film, in many examples. This makes the movie a good choice to show in [[#|schools]], of any age, but especially for elementary or middle school-aged classrooms, when ideas of gender roles and women’s rights are first being introduced. Through the fun film, the students will learn about gender roles and women’s rights without being aware of learning anything. The best example of gender roles comes from Mulan’s relationship with her father, Fa-Zhou. Mulan tries many different approaches to win her father’s approval, and it is only when she becomes herself that she is able to prove to her father that she is the daughter he wanted.
Throughout the film, Mulan and her father are not as [[#|close]] as some father-daughter relationships, because Mulan is not as respectful and honorable as Zhou would like. This makes for some tension in the Fa household, and it leads to Mulan fighting to make her father proud of her. At first, her fight is against herself, trying to be the dainty and poised woman her father expects. However, this is against what Mulan wants from life, and she fails, almost immediately.
When she fails at “bringing honor to her family”, it seems as though there is nothing else she can do to make her father proud. When the Huns attach China and a war begins, one male from each family is expected to join the troops. Mulan tries to stop her father from joining because he is ill. She is looking out for his best interest, hoping that he will notice how much she cares for him. This idea backfires, as well, though, and she is once again seen as disrespectful and dishonorable.
To stop her father from going to war, Mulan cuts her hair and runs away, to become a “male” and join the Chinese troops. At first, Zhou is more upset than ever, viewing Mulan’s actions as more instances of disrespect. It is only when Mulan becomes a war hero that he realizes his daughter joining the troops in his place was the most respectful action she could have taken.
By questioning gender roles and taking the place of a “man” in the army, Mulan is finally able to prove to her father that she’s the perfect daughter. This shows how gender roles are constructed by society, and can be broken when needed for the good of a family. It is through this breakage of gender roles and Mulan being the woman she wanted to be that she is able to show her father that being a daughter is worth something, just as a son is.


Gender Roles in Mulan

Chase Cooling


In the movie Mulan, a young woman faces many trials and tribulations, most notably those dealing with the fact that she is a woman. This is a great movie to show to children of any age as it emphasizes the ideology that women are capable of doing just as much, if not more than men can. As the Chinese send out a request for a male from every household to fight in the war, Mulan is worried because of her father’s condition that he will not survive. Mulan then breaks traditional gender roles as she suits up in her father’s place as his fictional son Fa Ping to fight the invading Huns.
Throughout the movie, Mulan comes across many daunting tasks as she prepares to fight for her families honor. After changing her physical appearance by cutting her hair, she joins Fa Li’s training unit with many other men for the upcoming war. In traditional Chinese culture women are to take on the role of the ideal bride, taking care of the home while raising the children. Mulan goes against this ideology as she takes on much more of a masculine role in joining the male dominated army in place of her father. Throughout the movie she portrays herself as a strong, independent woman capable of much more than people thought.
Although the movie is intended to be enjoyable as well as comedic, the women’s rights and gender role issues that are addressed play a very important role. For years, men’s and women’s gender roles have been defined by tradition. Men are typically seen as the dominant figure in charge of maintaining order as well as providing for the family. Women are in charge of keeping the household clean while raising the children and performing daily chores. It is not only until recently that women have taken more of a dominant role, not only in the household, but in the job market as well. More and more women take positions of prestige each year and continue to gain respect in the community. Mulan breaks this tradition in every way as she takes on more of a masculine role in preparation for the upcoming battles.
Children will see Mulan overcoming many physical tasks as well as taking on a role of leadership, neither which have been typical traditional roles for females in the past. This is a great movie to show to children because it can help steer them away from many of the traditional preconceived notions about women. It portrays the female sex as strong and determined all while making it enjoyable for children of any age.
A very effective way of changing popular culture is to question many of the supporting components and work to disprove them. Movies like this that portray women in a different light and challenge many of the previous ideas about women can teach a lot. Gender discrimination is a huge problem in our society and it is still noticeable today despite the women’s rights movement. The only way to change popular culture is to teach our youth that women are just as capable as men are. Showing this movie in class is a great step to shutting down the notion that men are more powerful than women and because of this deserve higher roles and roles of honor in our society.



Ben Strellner



The movie Mulan revolves around a young Chinese girl who struggles with some discrimination against women. This worry starts for her when her country is at war. It is required that one male from each family serve in the military during the war. Mulan’s father is very ill and can’t even walk correctly. She takes it upon herself to disguise herself as a boy to fight against the Huns. Mulan does this to represent her family and show that girls can do anything that men can.
Mulan goes onto join a training camp with her commander Li Shang, who is extremely tough on his soldiers. Mulan and friends struggled at first but then became warriors who were very well trained. Mulan especially shows great determination in her training and earns respect from her peers and even her demanding commander.
When the warriors venture on a mission they arrive up against a group of Huns. They seem to be in trouble when Mulan comes up with an idea to save the whole group. She thinks of a way to capture most of the Huns group in an avalanche. Unfortunately she gets injured in the battle and is forced to reveal her true identity. Her fellow warriors and her commander abandon her when they find out that she lied to them. They didn’t understand that it wasn’t a gender issue to her because she didn’t care which gender she was going to war with. She knew that no matter which sex they were that everybody around her was trustworthy and had one common goal.

I think that this movie really can be used as a teaching point in schools. By showing this movie you are able to show the students that all genders should be treated the same. Mulan is proof that anybody can overcome a tough situation if they just try. She becomes a great and witty warrior when she wasn’t even supposed to be able to be in the Chinese military in the first place. I think she makes all viewers appreciate the message when she outsmarts everybody including the enemy.
Men are always portrayed in movies as being the big tough characters who always end up saving the day. In this movie Mulan is the hero at the end when she figures out a plan to sneak into the palace and ultimately save the emperor. Mulan is deservedly praised by her country and honored as a great warrior even though she is a woman. That is just another great example of how there should be no prejudice when deciding on who should be able to defend their country.

Mulan
Jon Kochmit

There are two character traits in this movie that are essential in becoming successful; integrity and indomitable spirit These two characteristics are what separate the hero’s and successors from others. To be truly successful in anything these traits must be present. In the story of Mulan, her persistence through these tough times is what allows her to succeed.
The definition of integrity is, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty” (1). Everything Mulan does is for a moral principle; not letting her father sacrifice himself in the war, overcoming the gender differences in boot camp, saving the emperor after she was dishonored and kicked out of the army, and overcoming her gender role attached during this era. She has one fault in this whole story and that is stealing her father’s armor, but the morals behind this justify her actions. Even though women were not allowed in the army at this time, she hides her gender to save her father’s life and honor in the town. She risks losing her life, family embarrassment, dishonorment of her family name, and possibly allowing the Hun’s to win the war. Standing up for what is right doesn’t occur too often, but when it does it is a heroic event.
An indomitable spirit is someone who is, “Incapable of being overcome, subdued, or vanquished; unconquerable” (2). Mulan has an incredible sense of pride and refuses to give in when she is losing. Through the entire movie, Mulan was always disadvantaged yet conquered in the end. Hiding her gender, not having prior military training like the other men, not being as strong as the others, overcoming her injury, losing respect and family honor were just a few things that she overcame. Her biggest disadvantage was being a female during the 5’Th century. Women were treated very poorly and were supposed to do whatever the men said. Her entire life she refused to be a man’s puppet, which must have been a difficult thing at this time. She put forth more effort than any male to overcome these adversities. This trait is what brought honor back to her family name.
This movie in particular has a strong emotional connection with people. Women’s rights have come a long way, yet struggles still happen between genders. Mulan shows us how poorly women are treated during the 5th century, and this trait really affects the viewers. We feel sympathy for her and take on her sense of pride to defeat her gender role and the Hun’s. Her strong spirit to continue through hard times also connects with us. We want her to succeed and continue fighting through her trials and tribulations. Even the music in the movie connects with our desire to see Mulan succeed and defeat the gender barriers that attempt to hold her back. The song “I’ll make a man out of you”, make us want Mulan to become as strong as the men in her platoon. Being able to perform better than her male counterparts, hide her gender, and still succeed in the army would be an incredible achievement
It takes a special person to overcome multiple disadvantages in life. This is a popular theme in many movies that strikes the core of human emotions. Often people will start out with a strong spirit, but they steadily lose this as adversity builds against them. Mulan never lost her motivation or desire to continue. At her lowest point in the movie she was about to quit, and that is when she stood up taller to fight. It is a popular theme in movies and hopefully teaches the youth a good moral; never give up and never die easy.