Mulan is often held up as an example of a movie where a 'Disney Princess(TM)' proves that no woman needs a man; "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle", to quote the politician Irina Dunn.
So does Mulan need a man?
Let's look at this from several levels.
Does she need a man romantically?
Feminism claims that women don't need men. Is it an honest interpretation of the plot of Mulan to say she doesn't need love?
Well, what about as a hero? She's not a princess in anything but marketing spin; she faces a peril not of her making, and unselfishly conquers it. She is brave and capable.
As a hero, does she really win without the help of any man?
A feminist looks at this situation and sees a woman and background. The men are no more important than a horse.
An honest person sees that while she is a great hero, she is hardly flying solo; she is fighting with an army, a multitude of men, all of whom she needs, without whom she would die.
They are brave and capable, too, perhaps not as much, but she is fighting as part of a gigantic team, and to erase those men is simply contemptible.
A fish doesn't need a bicycle; moreover it cannot conceive of one. Women, however, need men; some can do without them romantically, but it is an outright lie to say that all, or even most, do.
What about otherwise?
Certainly women can be soldiers. But imagine if these soldiers didn't have men in their army, would they really be as capable?
Men are needed, exactly as women are, in Mulan, as in real life.
Irina Dunn, in her own life, needed many men, but simply regarded them as things, unworthy of any respect as people.
Perhaps a more accurate one is "A woman needs Feminism like a fish needs a bicycle" - something rusting and toxic, no longer in it's rightful environment.
Maybe it's time to clean up the lake?