OPINION: The new Aladdin film is too scared to give women a voice

Starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott.
Starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott.
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The new live-action Disney remake of Aladdin is proving divisive, mainly because – shock, horror – the princess has a voice. I have read that the modern film is being labelled as ‘too feminist’ – is that possible? 

It makes me laugh so much as people get stirred up about this.

Why not get riled about the Sultan being ready to merrily hand over his kingdom to a stranger?

Isn’t that plot defect – a leader being so stupid as to say ‘oh yes, you seem like a good bet, you total stranger, with no evidential experience of running a country’ – worth some ire?

Another moment in the film stuck with me as – spoiler alert – near the very end, Princess Jasmine does get to be the next Sultan, with her father’s words ringing in her ears which go something along the lines of: ‘you have proven yourself’.

So to all you Disney aficionados out there who are banging on about it being ‘too feminist’ rest assured, it’s not.

It’s the same story being shoved down the mouths of our next generation.

A male rocks up and can literally be given the kingdom because he has a penis.

Simply that.

A woman has to prove herself, has to fight, has to strive and then, only then, when she has shown herself to be adaptable, hard-working, ballsy, and willing to put the country before herself, is she able to be seen as ‘proven’.

If there was any evidence needed in our society that the new Aladdin is not ‘too feminist’ it’s staring you in the face.

And in case you doubt what I’m saying, it’s about different standards for men and women.

Getting rid of the ‘too’, the film’s not even feminist (about being equal) as yet again we see it’s only the men who get to rub the lamp.

If Princess Jasmine had indulged in rubbing the copper, all of her problems could have been solved with a couple of wishes.

I loved the film by the way, the costumes, the songs, the dance routines – all of that.

I just wish they’d been a little braver with the script and outcomes.

We should make the most of the D-Day 75th anniversary

If you’re looking for one of the best possible activities on offer this weekend, make your way to Southwick Village for the revival weekend.

My family and I have been going there every year watching it get bigger and better. And in a shameless plug, one on my plays – Five Beaches – is being performed there on Saturday. It tells the story of the D-Day landings and is being shown by a cast from Bay House School, Gosport.

I promise to stop talking about D-Day after I’ve watched the Red Arrows display today.

Long may we remember those who fought for us, and the freedoms which we enjoy today. And long may we protect those freedoms.

Town did itself proud with its D-Day commemorations

I was so impressed with Gosport’s D-Day commemorations last weekend on Stokes Bay. 

It was great that thousands of people turned up to listen to music, look at the displays, remember and thank all those who left our shoreline for D-Day to fight.

I had been worried that no one would come, given there is so much else going on over these couple of weeks. 

But kudos to Gosport Borough Council and the wider team who made this event so special for so many.

The evening dance was superb and the dancefloor was crammed with an age range of 16 to well... I’d guess that one chap I saw strutting his stuff must have been at least 80. 

Gosport rocks!