Mei 30, 2020

Oleh: Muhammad Alif Faturrachman
(Founder Mediatikusastra) 

Image Source: disney.com

The concept of post-feminism world is depicted perfectly in Disney animation film titled “Zootopia” as Zootopia itself is an utopian animal world where all animals are supposed to live in equal to each other and all animals are free to be what they really want to.

“Zootopia, a gleaming city where animal of all breeds, predator and prey alike, live  together in peace and harmony” (Zootopia Trailer, 2015)

The concept of equality to all is represented in this animated film by the fact that predators and preys in this world have set aside their old savage-violence way of life and settled on a new peace and equal life. Therefore, the Zootopia world concept is parallel to what feminism aims which is equality for everyone. While the concept of Zootopia world seems to be a perfect feminist world, the film itself told a story about a young female rabbit named Judy Hopps who spends her entire life being told to always settle and never take any chance even by her own family. Judy aspired that one day she would become a law enforcer as even though that there is no rabbit that ever becomes a policewoman yet, she aspires to be the first among all rabbits. The premise of the equal world and a young female bunny who aspires to be something that the world thought that she should not be is a great stage to depicts a modern post-feminist society where a woman is a victim of discouragement in a world where everything is supposed to be equal. In addition, the writer of this research employs the concept of post-feminism of women self-empowerment proposed by Macdonald (1995).

Moreover, in order to validate the usage of Zootopia animated film as an object of literary study, According to Luthfia (2020), film is created for the sake of the viewer, in transforming the text from the literary work into the film’s script, the adaptation is involved. The adaptation space between the literary work and the film is a substantial issue in film transformation. The adaptation space is taken into account to reveal the dynamic shifting of the social consideration from the previous social group reflected on the literary work to the recent social group as film’s viewer, through the analysis of time and space. The time and space investigation usher to the shifting meaning in accordance to culture, tradition, and social consideration among distinguished literary formations. Therefore, film could be considered as a valid form of literary research

Young Judy was taught from childhood that there is a class of people that stands above her, as they are dangerous and will take advantage of her. The scene began when a young Judy Hopps was playing on a theatre stage that told a story of how Zootopia world has evolved.

Young Judy Hopps: Back then, the world was divided in two - vicious predators and meek prey. But over time, we evolved and looked beyond our primitive savage ways. Now, predator and prey live in harmony and every young mammal has multitudinous opportunities.” (Zootopia, 2015)

She acknowledges that there was in fact a time when this class of people was on top of the natural hierarchy and may have taken advantage of her as their prey, but that time is long gone, and now everyone is equal and anyone can be anything. In fact, the world of Zootopia itself is built on the premise that everyone is equal and everyone can co-exist in this world without having conflicts which others.

Young Judy Hopps: And I can make the world a better place, I am going to be... [Bobby turns on a radio and moves his head side to side with the beat of the police music that is heard, and Judy tears off the clothing revealing a police officer's uniform] ...a police officer!

[Bonnie and Stu look shocked and glance at each other in worry.]

Young Gideon Grey: [laughs, nudging Travis, who is eating peanuts] Bunny cop! That is the most stupidest thing I ever heard.”


However, the truth is that everyone is still a victim of their nature and that freedom and equality are not really true. Although the fact that Zootopia is an equal world, the main character of Zootopia film was mocked and discouraged by the society because she wanted to be a cop which kind of against nature as there is no rabbit that ever becomes a cop in this world and also the fact that they are physically inferior to other animals is why the society think that Judy Hopps would not fit to become one. In spite of Gideon Grey, a fox that was an acquaintance to Judy refers her dream to be a bunny cop as the stupidest thing he ever heard, However, Judy decides that she does not want to bend to the society wills and then she decides to rise above this cultural and social barrier and join the police force to become the first police rabbit in Zootopia. Judy manages to empower herself despite the odds that she was being discouraged by society, proves that in fact, she has the post-feminist tendency that empowers herself, by staying true to her own dream and wills.


Stu Hopps: See? That's the beauty of complacency, Jude. If you don't try anything new, you'll never fail!

Young Judy Hopps: I like trying, actually. [jumps on a line of hay and skips]

Bonnie Hopps: What your father means, hun, is that it's gonna be difficult, impossible even, for you to become a police officer.

Stu Hopps: Right! There's never been a bunny cop.

Bonnie Hopps: No.

Stu Hopps: Bunnies don't do that.

Bonnie Hopps: Never!

Stu Hopps: Never.

Judy parent expresses their fear toward Judy dream to become a cop, the fact that they said "there is never been a bunny cop in Zootopia" it further emphasizes that there is also a cultural barrier that prevents Judy from realizing her dream, while the premise of the Zootopia is equality and everyone can become anything, Judy was being told that she could not be a cop because there is never been a bunny who became a cop in this world just because there is never been a bunny cop, therefore Judy should not be one.

She was mocked by those who knew her, discouraged by the society that her dream of becoming a cop is stupid, even her own parent tried to discourage her even more, by saying; “Jude. If you don't try anything new, you'll never fail!” and “it's gonna be difficult, impossible even, for you to become a police officer” further cementing the fact that this unsupportive manner of her parent is, in fact, to discourage her even more.

Young Judy Hopps: [disappointed] Oh... [enthusiasm picks up again] Then I guess I'll have to be the first one! Because I [runs to a stand, flips off of it and lands, striking a pose] am gonna make the world a better place!

While she was being told that it is impossible for her to become a cop one day by her parent, it is, in fact, make her disappointed by these unsupportive manners of her parent, she expresses her expression of disappointment by saying “Oh…” with her disappointed face expression. However, she immediately empowers herself and manages to restore her passion and enthusiasm for becoming a cop, she said “Then I guess I’ll have to be the first one! Because I am gonna make the world a better place!” this proves that she is able to empower herself. Macdonald (1995) stated that the post-feminism is intended as a mean of realizing women self-empowerment rather than to put women in equal to man in politics of society, Judy Hopps do represent Macdonald (1995) concept of post-feminism.

Judy aims to become a cop is not about her political agenda of equality, therefore, her aims to become a cop is not motivated by the fact that there is no rabbit in the Zootopia police force then she must be one to achieve equality and represent her own kind in a collectivist manner, but rather because she wants it for herself to achieve her own dream, as a form of self-fulfillment rather than to achieve the collective goals of her kind. Macdonald (1995: 93) stated that self-fulfillment, therefore, could be achieved not through the collective feminist action, but through individual woman’s consumption of consumer products. In this case, Judy wanted to fulfill her personal desire of becoming a cop are motivated by her own ambition to make the world a better place, she empowers herself to reach her own goals and self-fulfillment. Even though she said that she would become the first, it is not because of her sense of demanding equality for her kind, but rather a response to her parents' discouragement earlier. By saying that she will become the first, she intends to emphasize to her motivation that she is going to be a cop and make the world a better place even though that there is a social and cultural barrier ahead of her. The fact that she is motivated by herself and not by her kind or sense of equality reflects how the concept of women's self-empowerment in post-feminism is proposed by Macdonald (1995).

Stu Hopps: [laughs nervously] Or, uh, heck, you know, if you wanna talk about making the world a better place, no better way to do it than becoming a carrot farmer.

Bonnie Hopps: Yes! Your dad, me, your two-hundred seventy-five brothers and sisters, we're changing the world!

Stu Hopps: Yeah.

Bonnie Hopps: One carrot at a time!

Stu Hopps: Amen to that. Carrot farming is a noble profession. [as Bonnie and Stu are talking, Judy sees Sharla, Gareth, and a rabbit girl with tickets walking off; Gideon and Travis are close by and they follow them.]

            Furthermore, Judy's parents attempt to discourage her more, by telling her that there are other ways to make the world a better place and that is to become a carrot farmer as it is what the majority of her kind are doing. This adds more to the fact that there are cultural barriers that prevent her to reach her dream. Most of her kind are working as carrot farmers, believing that it is what they are supposed to do, most rabbit chose to stick with that as it is their comfort zone. Judy's parents wanted to bound Judy to the rabbit/bunny culture and that is to become a carrot farmer and leave her dream to become a cop. This parallel to the reality in our world, while most women are bound to be housewives and discouraged by her own family and society if they ever wanted to become more or to pursue their own dream. However, just like women who believe in the feminist movement, Judy decides to pursue her own dream and not be bound to the culture or society wills.

Bonnie Hopps: You get it, honey. Yeah, but it's great to have dreams.

Stu Hopps: Yeah, just as long as you don't believe in them too much. [They both turn to look at her but then realize that Judy is no longer present.] Where'd the heck she go?

Young Gideon Grey: [sarcastically] Nice costume, loser! What crazy world are you livin' in where you think a bunny could be a cop?


It is clear, that both society and family are against Judy's dream, each of them expects Judy to give up on her dream and admit that it is impossible for a bunny like her to become a cop. Her parent expects her to not believe in her dream too much, while Gideon, her acquaintance, and also rival said that she is a loser to believe that a bunny could be a cop. Judy receives discrimination and skepticism toward her and her dream just because she is a bunny.

Young Gideon Grey: Cry, little baby bunny, cry! [Then, Judy kicks Gideon hard in the face, shocking everyone else. Gideon feels his lip.] Aww, you don't know when to quit, do you? [Gideon unsheathes his claws. Judy gasps in fear, and Gideon growls, then slashes Judy across the cheek, causing her friends to scream in horror. Judy's cheek shows three claw marks on it. Judy feels her cheek and gasps, her face full of fear. Gideon shoves Judy's face into the dirt] I want you to remember this moment the next time you think you will ever be anything more than just a stupid, carrot-farming dumb bunny!

Society, in form of Gideon, frustrated that all of their attempt to discouraged young Judy Hopps has no avail, went to extreme violence measure. Gideon slashes Judy in her cheeks, a form of violent abuse from the masculine figure toward feminine figure in order to repress Judy from believing that she could make the world a better place. Gideon then reassures his domination over Judy by saying “I want you to remember this moment next time you think you will ever be anything more than just a stupid carrot-farming dumb bunny!” Gideon wanted Judy to know that she is inferior in this world, even inferior compared to him in the form of physical appearance and power. While Judy lives in a world where everyone should be equal, she is still considered to be inferior and not equal that she is forbidden to dream of becoming more than just a carrot-farming bunny. Even the society, who has been discouraging her all the time, does not hesitate to employ violence, in order to repress and suppress her dream and wills.


Young Judy Hopps: Well, he was right about one thing: [Judy picks up her officer hat off the ground and puts it back on, as determination spreads rapidly across her face.] I don't know when to quit!


However, despite all the efforts made by Judy's parents and also Gideon to discourage Judy's dream of becoming a bunny cop, Judy chose not to give up and continued to emphasize that she would not stop chasing her dreams. This proves that in the midst of social discrimination, pressure, and repression from both her family or masculine figures who even physically harm and threaten Judy, she remained resilient and held fast to her stand. Then, Judy chose to ignore these obstacles and continued to motivate herself with enthusiasm and optimism that what she was doing was the right thing and aimed for herself and the world around her. With this, Judy Hopps character from the animated film Zootopia is a representation of the Post-feminism movement in the modern era, where it emphasizes self-motivation and not demands on equality politics as the concept put forward by Macdonald (1995).

In Conclusion, Zootopia is an animated film that holds so many messages about struggle and equality. The iconic character of Judy Hopps is able to offer the impression that this film is intended to build enthusiasm and always believe in ourselves. This animated film presents various messages about how Judy Hopps was able to face challenges and obstacles that prevented her dream of becoming a police officer. Although he was rejected by society and was not supported by his own family, Judy continued to believe and motivate herself to reach the dream she had been dreaming of, being a bunny cop and making the world a better place.

This film is also able to present the message of the post-feminism movement where according to Macdonald (1995) feminism is not about women fighting against male domination and fighting for their social, economic and political rights or equalities anymore but rather how women must always motivate themselves to achieve personal satisfaction, self-fulfillment, and freedom in determining and reaching their goals. The issue of feminism carried by this film is not about femininity against masculinity, but how women who are often seen as inferior must face social and cultural barriers in the midst of society overcome these obstacles and prove themselves that they are able to be more and not bend to the society wills.

Furthermore, the concept of post-feminism that has changed from the problem of gender differences and moves forward on the self-focus and self-fulfillment of women who are still considered inferior is perfectly represented by the embodiment of Judy Hopps, a young female bunny who aspires to be a cop and fight for her dream in spite of discouragement from the society, she is able to empower herself.


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Muhammad Alif Faturrachman kerap disapa dengan panggilan “Alif”, “Alep”, “Toad” adalah seorang pemuisi amatiran serta salah satu Founder dari Mediatikusastra. Ia memiliki passion di bidang desain grafis dan komputer dengan jejak rekam petualangan sebagai lulusan “terbaik” dari SMK Negeri 1 Sungailiat, sebuah gelar yang sengaja ia klaim sepihak agar terdengar prestis. Kini, takdir membawa Alif ke jurusan Sastra Inggris di sebuah universitas negeri di Indonesia, dimana ia harus meninggalkan mimpi menjadi seorang game developer atau seorang desainer grafis dan apalah itu mimpi-mimpi yang pernah ia impikan.

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