Even though we might have all been traumatized by Scar killing his only brother, Maleficent putting a curse on a baby and even Hans telling Anna that nobody loved her, no Disney villain is scarier than Gaston.

The villain of the beloved Disney film, The Beauty and the Beast, is a very large and self absorbed man that goes by the name of Gaston. He parades around the small town demanding respect from everyone and stealing the hearts of every young woman, except for Belle. Unfortunately for him, Belle’s attention is the only thing he wants. He thinks that because she is the most beautiful girl in town he has to be with her as he deserves nothing less. He harasses her and clearly makes her uncomfortable with his advances. At one point he even pushes his way into her house and demands her hand in marriage. And when she denies him, slightly humiliating him in front of their town, he takes great offense and attempts to have her father thrown in a mental asylum in exchange for her marrying him.

In comparison to other Disney villains who might have had themselves turned into a genie to gain power, Gaston had the support of the entire town. Everyone was convinced that Belle, although extremely beautiful, was weird. The women who were jealous of her even called her ridiculous for not wanting to be with him. Society praised his bullying and aggressive behavior because he was considered the manliest of men. But how does this make him the scariest Disney villain?

Gaston can exist. Some men walk around thinking that they are entitled to certain things because they are big and strong rather than actually doing something to deserve what they want. Society allows them to continue this behavior because they write it off as just a “man” thing. The voices of women who are harassed by these men go unheard because the men can’t possibly be at fault. Or the men have some type of social status that excuses them from this type of behavior. A more recent example of this is the case of the college swimmer, Brock Turner, who was given a lenient sentence for rape because he was young and the court, as well as his parents, didn’t want jail to negatively impact him. There was no concern for the woman he attacked and the way she was treated during the entire legal process.

Though it is true that people can grow up in a home where they are mistreated and forced to do all the cooking and cleaning, it is more likely that they will meet a Gaston. A guy who walks around with a chip society has placed on his shoulder, able to get away with whatever he pleases, and that is unacceptable.

 

Picture Credits: College Humor & Comic Book 

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