I’ll Make A Man Out of You

October 21, 2011 astridmartin1116

After hours of studying for midterms, I opened up ITunes to listen up to a few of my favorite songs. I wasn’t expecting to think about any of my classes for these few five minutes of peace, but when the song “I’ll Make a man Out of you,” popped up on my computer I couldn’t help, but  to take a deeper look into the Disney song’s lyrics.

Although, I must admit, I am is a fan of the upbeat song, I had a problem with the line “I’ll make a man out of you.” I understand that the character, Shang, is trying to push his weak soldiers to their limits in hopes to make them stronger warriors, but why does acting like a man necessarily mean strength? Masculinity may  translate into toughness and muscle power, but women are just as capable as men.

Despite this sexist line, the fun twist that I liked about the actual movie was the idea that almost all the men, including Mulan, were unable to find the stamina to complete the hard military-training tasks n the beginning. This is especially apparent when Mulan’s male counterparts sang:

 “I’m never gonna catch

my breath

Say good-bye to those

who knew me”

Overall, the idea that Mulan was eventually able to persevere and keep up with her training with her male counterpart  proves to society that women are  just as capable to protect  a country. Men are not the only ones that can be strong, both genders have to work equally as hard if they have the motivation.




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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. healthylivesforwomen  |  October 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Very true! What a great Disney movie, and with most princess movies the girl is sweet and innocent and loves nature and so on. I love that in this movie Mulan actually turns the feminist idea around and tries to act and fit in as a man.
    I like how you take into account that none of the men could complete the military tasks, but then at the end they do persevere through it and Mulan does reach the top of the pole that each man had such difficulty climbing. It doesn’t matter what gender is trying to accomplish a task, what ever we put our minds to we can do. And that’s why I love Disney movies so much… they’re all inspiring and even as cliche as it is.. there is a happy ending in there for everyone. We just have to look and reach for it!

  • 2. Sheriece Hooks  |  October 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    I love Mulan! It is my favorite Disney movie. I nevere really paid much attention to the association of the phrase “I’ll make a man out of you” with the male stereotype of strength meaning masculinity. I still love the song, but i can definitely see why you would have a problem with that line. It’s not right to use strength to define masculinity.

  • 3. kimirl  |  November 7, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Personally, I always really liked the ide of Mulan for that reason. It isn’t just some stupid princess movie, it is about a woman taking power. It is one of the very few main stream movies for kids that display a woman who has strength and power and individuality. She can influence young girls and boys to veiw women in this way, rather than as powerless or unequal to men.

    • 4. astridmartin1116  |  November 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      I completely agree with you. Mulan was one of the few movies that I grew up with that introduced me to the idea of female empowerment. I kind of wish I praised the movie more in my blog post, but I felt that analyzing the song was essential because I never really explored the inner meaning of the song.

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