2014 Lenten Devotional – “40 Days of Disney” – Day 29
Song #12 – “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” – Mulan
While suspension of disbelief may be required to believe that Chinese Captain Li Shang’s singing voice sounds identical to Donny Osmond’s, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” is, nevertheless, widely regarded as the most popular song from Disney’s “Mulan.” In the song, Li Shang sings to his new military recruits about how they’ll need to toughen up if they are going to learn the necessary discipline to fight for him. In a sarcastic lament, he chides, “did they send me daughters when I asked for sons,” only to declare, “I’ll make a man out of you.” Little does he know that one of his best new recruits, Mulan, is secretly a woman in disguise as a man.
The movie plays on the same gender stereotypes that existed long before the Gospel was even recorded. Indeed, the Bible makes no effort to hide the truth that its revelation came during a time of patriarchal dominance. Truthfully, Mulan would have been violating a strict order from Deuteronomy 22:5 that states, “Women must not wear men’s clothes, and men must not wear women’s clothes…” (CEB). However, it was not only these old laws of gender inequality, but this entire way of thinking that Christ came to amend, as Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:28, CEB).
Loving God of All, restore our minds to your truth that all were created in your image, all were created equal, and all are worthy of your love, regardless of gender or any other disposition this world may use to keep us separated. Amen.