I'm not making assumptions. I was simply told that by the executive at Disney Animation with the cold blue eyes who sat behind his desk. It was 1987. They were getting some flack because they didn't have enough women in creative positions–especially their story department – their current count: 0. "We need a woman. And you're the right price." His exact words – I kid you not.
Chapman then talks about her work on Disney princesses Ariel and Belle, and about how they were, for Disney at that time, or really any time, considered fairly progressive. Or, progressive-ish. Progressive-lite? She writes:
I know some hardcore feminists have ripped both of the above to shreds. But I consider both films a huge step forward compared to the old ones from the 30s and 40s. Can't have it all at once – never seems to work that way. Just know we tried the best we could.
Chapman's post is definitely worth reading, and celebrating, but we gotta move away from this whole, "Disney female characters are getting slightly better, let's all be glad" thing — they wouldn't be any better at all if weren't for the hard work of what she calls "hardcore" feminists. Just like she never would've been hired without feminism.
I Was Hired Because I Was a Woman [Brenda Chapman]