Disney didn’t say why they were finally giving Minnie Mouse a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, but it could be because they just realized her longtime partner, Mickey, got his 40 years ago. In 1978, to be exact. Whether they're "woke" enough to realize the symbolism here or not, Minnie’s treatment is an uncanny example of an industry relying heavily on women but pretending not to. Her story is every woman’s story
Minnie’s treatment wouldn’t be such a big deal if a parade of mediocre make-believe males—Donald Duck, the Rugrats, Woody Woodpecker—hadn’t already received their stars decades before, despite having substantially lower value to their parent company. Even dogs get stars before Minnie. Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and Strongheart have had theirs for 60 years now. In what kind of upside down world does a woman, who’s been serving her boss for over 90 years and is pretty much the face of a billion-dollar media company, not get as much credit as dogs who couldn’t even talk and nobody under the age of 40 has even heard of?
I realize this is a anthropomorphic rodent we’re talking about here, but Disney’s disregard for Minnie and her importance to their global success perpetuates a larger world view that doesn’t value women’s work, both paid and unpaid. What makes it all the more ridiculous is the fact Disney relies on its female characters even more than its male ones. In fact, some might say Disney’s shift to princess culture is behind their takeover of the entire industry.
This push toward princess-driven stories was intentional after Disney struck gold with The Little Mermaid. Before then, Mickey and Minnie were the characters we’d stand in line to get a hug from.
Now it’s all about princesses. To put things in financial terms, everything these royal women touch turns to gold. The toy manufacturer, Hasbro, saw a 14.2 percent quarter-four increase in 2016 sales once they started carrying Disney princess merchandise. And until Disney took over the Star Wars franchise, princess stories were almost always their top-grossing films. In fact, princess culture is one of the entertainment industry’s biggest successes of all times, drawing in billion from films, merchandise, theme parks, and everything. My nieces use Frozen toothpaste. Disney World's onetime symbol of innovation, Epcot Center, was all but dead until they turned Norway into a Frozen-themed ride.
So where is Elsa’s star? Will she have to wait 40 years too?
What women in Hollywood, real or animated, want, deserve, and are finally demanding is money, recognition, and protection. Whether it comes in the form of pay, Oscars, or Hollywood stars, time is most certainly up on this industry that makes boatloads of cash off women, but still doesn’t want to pay up for the privilege.
Since the #MeToo movement pushed women’s abuse to the forefront of our cultural dialogue, women have felt empowered to speak up about all forms of power imbalance. We’re calling out the Oscars, who refused to nominate Wonder Woman for a single award despite its massive success. We’re calling foul on Lady Bird’s female director being denied a Golden Globe nomination despite critical acclaim and massive success. (Luckily, the Academy saw the light—she was nominated for an Oscar this week.) Whether it’s Michelle Williams or Catt Sadler, the pay disparity between women and their male equals is not business as usual anymore.
The women’s Olympic gymnastics team is trying to gut an industry that made them sacrificial lambs to a sexual predator while they brought them home gold medals. The women’s soccer team, who won the World Cup and are far more talented than their male counterparts, are suing for compensation. NFL cheerleaders, who reportedly make less than minimum wage, are telling their stories now too.
Whether it be Hilary Clinton, Natalie Portman, or Simone Biles, women are tired of having to tap dance backward to be successful. In fact, we’ve been doing far more than tap dancing in heels or hugging little kids in the Magic Kingdom wearing kicky polka dots. Our labor is what makes the world turn.
see original article at https://www.glamour.com/story/minnie-mouse-star-walk-of-fame-40-years-after-mickey