Also known as Hua Mulan, a legendary Chinese warrior from either the Northern Wei or Tang dynasty (accounts differ). The sixth century Ballad of Mulan poeticizes the tale of a young woman fighting in place of her father who does not have an eldest son. She gained merit and respect during her twelve years of service. When offered lavish rewards, Mulan simply asked to return home. Only after she returns does Mulan reveal to her fellow comrades that she is a woman. Mulan is one of many female soldiers who employed disguise to become an equal among their male peers, other notables including Nadezhda Durova, Joan of Arc and Brita Olofsdotter.
Shin-Guarding the Bard
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, DreamWorks’ She’s The Man follows Viola Hastings as she fights for her chance to play soccer on a men’s team after the women’s team is cut from her high school sports program. Impersonating her fraternal twin brother (those fraternals, always good to have on hand), Viola transfers from Cornwall to Illyria where she successfully joins the male team. After several near-discoveries, the truth comes out at, wouldn’t you know it, the match against her old school. X-Men movie fans will appreciate Vinnie Jones’ (Juggernaut) role as Coach Dinklage. Sweepers, goalies and a movie in the same vein as Just One of the Guys. Could it get any better?
Mme. de Beaumont Would Be Proud
In a world that often struggles with finding a happy medium when it comes to gender parity, we are seeing an increase in equality awareness. One organization paving the way is HeForShe, which launched on September 20, 2014 (in the UN Building, no less). Their goal is to unite one-half of humanity in full support of the other, “for the benefit of all.” Among their ambassadors is Emma Watson, who appears as Belle in the upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Also advocating on behalf of HeForShe—vampire aficionados, we haven’t forgotten about you—former Lost Boy, Kiefer Sutherland.
For more information, feel free to visit their website at http://www.heforshe.org.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files brought to you by editorial assistant Adrianna Dasher and poetry editor Jon Riccio.