While historically Disney doesn’t exactly have the best rep for being inclusive or tolerant (Google Walt Disney—he was notttt the most chill guy when it came to anyone who was not white, Christian, and male), our favorite princess movies have really gotten their act together, especially more recently. But even before Disney set the world aflame by—gasp—having two male characters kiss, the princesses knew what the fuck was up. Like, even before we knew what feminism was or why we needed it in our lives, the Disney princesses were serving up a big ol’ slice of feminist pie in their movies. Not all of them—lookin’ at you, Princess “give up my best attribute in hopes of kissing a guy” Ariel—but a lot of them were woke af. So we’re taking the time to celebrate these animated feminist heroes. Below, the most feminist Disney princesses, in no particular order because we’re not about pitting women against each other (today).
Belle was a fucking G. Who knew women in 18th-century provincial France were already woke? I mean, this is the country that brought us Joan of Arc, so it all makes sense. Anyway, Belle was the original Strong Woman Who Don’t Need No Man™. When fuckboy suitors (ahem, Gaston) came calling, she didn’t let them or society pressure her into getting married so she could leave her father’s house and embark on an exciting career of cleaning the house and grocery shopping. She fought for her right to be left TF alone so she could read her books. Speaking of books, Belle was obvi smart AF, and you all know how we feel about smart women: we love them, the GOP hates them.
Unlike the girls from your sorority whose highest aspirations were to obtain an MRS degree, Tiana dreams of opening her own business—a restaurant, no less. From what I’ve gathered from watching a shameless number of hours of Kitchen Nightmares and Bar Rescue, I know that opening a restaurant is the riskiest business venture there is. Tiana is not some rando with an Etsy jewelry shop—she is the real deal. She works two jobs to earn enough money to turn some random sugar mill into a restaurant, and we wholeheartedly respect her hustle. Also, despite all Naveen’s charm and obvious good looks, Tiana doesn’t fawn over him right away because she knows getting tangled up with a fuckboy is only going to hinder her dreams. Smart girl.
Meg is independent AF, almost aggressively so. She isn’t your damsel who needs to be rescued, and her only weakness—before Hercules comes along and fucks up her shit—is “weak ankles.” Which, incidentally, is the same answer I give in job interviews.
^I’m just gonna leave that there. Jasmine has fucking integrity. When random princes from far-away kingdoms come knocking, she is not impressed—if Jasmine gets married, she’s doing it for love and not for money or power. That is also what I tell my dad when he asks why I’m 25 and still single. Anyway, Jasmine isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even if her dad gets mad at her and an evil sorcerer almost kills her and the man she loves in the process. That takes a special kind of bravery. And while we are not down with the way women are too often seen as sex objects, we can understand why Jasmine would use her sexuality to distract the crazed psychopathic sorcerer-turned-genie who is trying to drown the guy she actually likes in a life-sized hourglass. It is a practice more commonly known as “working with what you’ve got.”
Do I even have to explain it? Fine, I’ll do it. Mulan A) defies gender roles and joins the army even though doing so could get her killed B) is a fucking badass warrior C) FUCKING SAVES CHINA FROM A HUN INVASION SINGLE-HANDEDLY. Ya. Sorry Shiang and your band of (lovable) clowns. You ain’t shit. Mulan for Emperor! Ayayayay!
For some reason I still don’t understand, it took until 2013 for a Disney princess to realize that it’s completely ridiculous to marry a guy she’s only known for a day. Like, way to be slow on the upkeep, Disney. Elsa is QUEEN which obviously demands respect. Because of her special powers, Elsa was brought down by her family for her entire life until one day she just said “fuck it, I can’t let the haters keep me down anymore” and went off on her own and built her own ice palace where she could do whatever the fuck she wanted. Is Elsa every feminist, and are Elsa’s parents and the kingdom in general an allegory for the patriarchy? Who’s to say? Well, me, and I’m saying yes.
Yeah we all know Brave as a movie was garbage, but at least it brought us Merida. This girl doesn’t care about fuckboys or doing “typical feminine” things—which we resent as a concept anyway because gender roles are bullshit. Merida is also super good at archery even though it’s a typical “male” sport and if her mom had her way, she’d be wearing dresses and attending etiquette classes or whatever women were “supposed” to do back then. Merida is basically the Scottish Katniss Everdeen, sans Hunger Games—only Merida is like, 12 years old, I think. She also does not give a single fuck about her appearance, despite having a gorg head of red hair, which is just another “fuck you” to the patriarchy and society’s beauty standards. I am here for it.
Pocahontas is smart as hell and independent af—and no, I don’t mean that because her best friends are a raccoon and a tree. Our girl P-Money (K, I’ll stop) stands up to her dad who’s not an ordinary dad, he’s a cool dad the fucking chief. And I mean that not like how your dad calls everybody “chief” as a term of endearment, but in the way Native American people say it, which is more meaningful I think. Like, I’m afraid to ask my dad for money because I blew out my tire again—imagine asking him for the ability to make your own decisions and forge your own destiny. Yah, it’s a BFD. Pocahontas makes the cardinal mistake of falling for a racist white man, BUT at the end when she’s given the choice between living with racist-turned-bae John Smith or staying and helping her tribe, she chooses the later. Pocahontas probably invented the phrase “hoes before bros” because she’s a down-ass bitch. She is quite literally ride or die.
Today is the Day Without A Woman strike! It is my sincere hope that you are reading this under a thousand covers, eye mask half on, after having left a 20 minute long voicemail for your boss explaining how the patriarchy hurts all of us—but if randomly not showing up to work isn’t something you can do right now (fair), here are four other ways you can participate in the Women’s Strike today:
1. Don’t Buy Anything, With Your Money Or Your Dad’s
This does not include minority- or women-owned businesses, so if you absolutely must shop today might I direct you to shopbetches.com?
2. Wear Red
Not that you need an excuse to wear a bold lip, but lipstick totally counts here.
3. Refuse To Do Work, Paid Or Unpaid
You probably know what paid work is (if not idk what to tell you), but if you’re confused about “unpaid” labor, it’s basically all the shit that you do for other people (men) all day that you don’t get any money for. So like, when you do your boyfriend’s dishes because he seems to be confused about how dishes go from being dirty to clean, that’s unpaid labor. When you help your best guy friend write his dating profile because when left to his own devices he’ll include stuff like “looking for a quick beej,” that’s unpaid labor. If you can’t take off paid work today, you can at least take the day off from helping men figure out how to be functioning humans, even though they might like…die.
4. Donate To Charities That Support Women
It’s not technically an official part of the Day Without A Woman strike, but we’re taking some liberties here. We’re gonna go out on a limb and say that the “don’t spend money” clause does not apply to charitable organizations whose purpose is to help women. So use the money that you would have spent on a green juice today and divert it to a cause you care about. Reminder that your personal Ben & Jerry’s fund does not actually count as a charity, no matter what its GoFundMe says.
Pro-Women Nonprofits You Can Donate To Like, Now:
The Movement Foundation: If body positivity is your cause, send your cash to The Movement Foundation, which empowers women to feel confident in their bodies by equipping them with the tools to be active. It was started by former SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither, so you know it’s legit.
Lady Parts Justice: As a Betches reader, it’s probably safe to say that you have a healthy interest in both women’s rights and comedy (also that you’re smart AF). LPJ uses comedy, culture, and digital media to “sound an alarm” about the erosion of reproductive rights in the U.S. They were the women behind the nationally trending #PaulRyanSoScared, and what could be more worthy of your support than trolling Paul Ryan on Twitter?
Girls Who Code: Girls Who Code helps to empower girls with the computer science skills they need to pursue 21st century opportunities. Think about how much money you’d pay to not have to ask your guy friends or some sweaty fuckboy at the genius bar for help with your electronics. Then donate that much.
The Malala Fund: The Malala Fund is a group started by Malala Yousafzai (duh) and provides girls around the world with 12 years of education to achieve their potential and create positive change within their families. If you’re feeling on the fence about whether or not your can really spare another $10, calmly remind yourself that the Taliban straight-up shot Malala in the face and then donate an extra $10 for being petty.
Planned Parenthood: You know ‘em, you love ‘em, it’s Planned Parenthood! With the GOP replacement threatening to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s funding, your donations are more important than ever. Do your nails at home this week and donate your manicure money to PP so that your next pregnancy scare doesn’t result in you being tied to Brad from Ultra for the rest of your goddamn life.
Some men are gentlemen. They listen when you talk and ask you questions and respect whether or not you want to fuck them. These men are called pros and we reward them with our company and blowjobs, if we feel like it.
Okay so now that I’ve gotten all that #NotAllMen shit out if the way let’s talk about the everyday creepy assholes who roam the streets chasing tail and blurring the line between man and beast. I’m talking, of course, about cat callers.
Every betch on earth has been cat called. In fact, you don’t even have to be a betch to be cat called. You just have to be vaguely female-presenting and outside. It’s fucking lame, and I think I speak for all betches when I say we’re over it. So here’s our guide making it through the day without being gobbled up by some dude who amounts to nothing more than a literal animal wearing human clothes.
DO: Look Visibly Disgusted
Betches have a whole range of faces for letting someone know you hate them without ever actually acknowledging them. So use all your skills: bitchy resting face, eye rolling, pretending to vomit, actually vomiting. Whatever makes you feel good and lets this creeper know you are far from interested.
Like most wild beasts, cat callers lose their shit when you make eye contact, so don’t. Turn up your headphones, put on your sunglasses, and walk on by. Let this fool know that shouting down women on the street is less of a dating strategy and more of a sign that he won’t be moving out of his mom’s basement anytime soon. When you talk to these freaks or smile at them or say hello then they’ve gotten what they wanted: your attention, and there are plenty of normal, not-insane bros who haven’t even earned that.
DO: Tell Someone
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re moving from a regular cat call situation to a first-scene-in-robocop type situation, fucking tell someone. Go into the nearest store or flag down the nearest sane person and let them know what’s going on. Girls find a million reasons not to report being harassed because it feels shitty and takes time and makes you seem dramatic, but fuck that. Be dramatic. You didn’t bat an eyelash when you drunkenly flipped out at a dude who spilled his drink on your satin shoes, so why give this actual psychopath a pass?
DON’T: Let anyone convince you it’s flattering
Any girl who’s ever had to run to the store in sweatpants on her period with a hangover knows that cat calling has nothing to do with how you look. In fact, it has nothing to do with anything except the fact that you appear to have a vagina and that makes some men think they can shout at you. Like, oh you think I look beautiful? Well I already fucking knew that because I’m a perfect fucking snowflake. These dudes would cat call an actual cat if they thought it would understand what they were saying, so don’t let them try to convince you that their unsolicited comments on your appearance are something you should be grateful for. It’s fucking gross and he can go shave his back now.
Thanks to Beyoncé and that African lady on “Flawless,” we are now all familiar with the definition of feminism (something about waking up like this I think?) Now that Bey has taken it upon herself to show us that feminism has less to do with burning your bra and man-hating and more to do with loving yourself and getting the respect you deserve, it’s time for betches to embrace the term and not puss out when somebody asks them point blank if they’re a feminist. (Note—the term “puss out” probs not super pro-feminist but, whatever. We all take on what we can handle.)
So that being said, here are some betchy feminist buzzwords you can use the next time some bro tries to take you down a notch just because you won’t touch his nasty-ass d.
#1 “The Patriarchy”
A long long time ago a bunch of cave bros got together and decided that they couldn’t have women leaving their caves and doing things because they might start doing those things better than men can do them. This idea persisted throughout history as bros convinced themselves that if women were allowed to have jobs and drive cars then men would never get hard again or some other bullshit, and thus the patriarchy was born. The patriarchy is all around us and is constantly trying to hold betches down. Luckily all the betchy ladies in politics and a bunch of just regular citizen betches are not having that shit anymore and are fighting on the daily for a betch’s right to decide not to carry a fuckboy‘s illegitimate child to term and to get paid the same amount as bros for the work they don’t do. TG.
So, there are a lot of super long articles about the psychological impacts of gaslighting and how shitty it is, but for the sake of not boring the shit out of you, here’s a crash course. Remember when your so-called bf blew you off for like a full week and then told everyone you were a “psycho bitch” when you finally went off on him via text? That’s gaslighting. Remember that dude you met on Tinder who said his ex was “crazy” but then after a little investigation you found out he just cheated on her a bunch? Again, that’s gaslighting. Remember that time you were in the car with your hot stepbrother and some chick in a beret laughed at your understanding of Hamlet even though you know you remember Mel Gibson accurately? You guessed it—gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a term that comes from some old-ass movie that means when a bro (or anyone—betches can gaslight other betches) tries to deflect their own shittiness by trying to make you feel insecure and stupid, usually by telling everyone you’re crazy and making you feel crazy. This is the ultimate in shady bro behavior, but unlike other shady things bros do, it’s not attractive. Gaslighting is bullshit and is used by people who want to take away your agency and make you feel small so next time somebody tries to do it to you tell them to fuck off and be like “you can go gaslight your back now byeeeeeeee.”
#3 Slut Shaming
Every betch observes the code of not fucking bros (sometimes) differently. For some betches, “sometimes” literally means “some of the time” and for others it means “basically every weekend now that I’m on Tinder.” Whatever. Do you. A betch is a gift to society and if she chooses to bestow that gift upon an entire basketball team, that’s her prerogative. No judgement. Slut shaming is when people fail to mind their own fucking business and act like what you do or don’t put into your front pocket has anything to do with them. Luckily, betches have been long times champions of the anti-slut shaming movement by embracing the joys of dressing like a slut and always keeping in mind that we’ve “got to stop calling each other sluts and whores because it just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” Thanks Tina.
#4 “The Bechdel Test”
The Bechdel Test is a test for movies that asks one simple question: Does the movie portray at least two named female characters who talk about something other than a man. Sounds easy, but a legit large percentage of movies do not pass this very simple test and it’s like come on, if I could pass Organic Chem you can pass the Bechdel test. It’s not fucking hard. Luckily, the Bechdel test might as well be renamed the Betchdel test because all our fav movies like Clueless, Mean Girls, Bring it On, and Spring Breakers all pass the shit out of it proving once and for all that feminism and betchism go hand in hand.