Horrors! Disney princesses don't talk enough!
Data linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer analyzed all dialogue in Disney princess films and found that men have three times as many lines as female characters. This trend started with the Little Mermaid, where men speak 68% of the time. The statistics carry on well into the '90s from there, with men speaking 71% of the time in Beauty and the Beast, 76% of the time in Pocahontas and 77% of the time in Mulan.
Women speak less than 50% of the time in 2009's Princess and the Frog and 2013's Frozen. Brave and Tangled break that streak, with women getting 52% and 74% of lines respectively, though they appear to be exceptions to the rule.
And if that weren't bad enough:
In addition, the characters are usually surrounded by men, Fought and Eisenhauer note.
“There's one isolated princess trying to get someone to marry her, but there are no women doing any other things,” Fought tells the Post. “There are no women leading the townspeople to go against the Beast, no women bonding in the tavern together singing drinking songs, women giving each other directions, or women inventing things. Everybody who’s doing anything else, other than finding a husband in the movie, pretty much, is a male.”
Their data shows that since Snow White in 1937, pretty much every Disney princess film has a mostly male cast. Aside from princes and villains, the sidekick/best friend character is typically also always male. For example Mushu (Mulan), Flounder (The Little Mermaid), Genie (Aladdin), Olaf (Frozen) and more.
Well, maybe we could remake Snow White to include Grumpette, Doperina, and Sneezyella. And isn't Flounder a fish?
I love the bit about "women inventing things." Because in real life women invented the airplane, the steam engine, the automobile, the mechanical harvester, the sewing machine, the typewriter, the radio, the television, the electric light bulb, the grammophone, and the computer. Is there anything that women can't invent?
I hate to point this out, data-linguist ladies, but if, say, Ariel and Pocohantas got to yackety-yack throughout their films with their mermaid and Indian-maiden gal-pals, here's what we might get:
"It is a bore – how women complain endlessly about their men, or the lack of them. And you can get sick of the hours spent with girlfriends immersed in trivia – diets, how this or that girl looks. If I was a man having to listen to it all, I'd be quietly switching off. Women say they want to be taken seriously, but frankly, most of the female conversation I encounter is pretty predictable."
And that was a 25-year-old woman speaking.