A few years ago, someone started a campaign to make Elsa the first lesbian Disney princess. It didn’t get much traction at the time, just like the idea that Ernie and Bert were shacking up as domestic partners on “Sesame Street.” People just laughed at it, including me, who wrote some articles about the ridiculous nature of sexualizing cartoon characters (notable exception made for Jessica Rabbit). Fast forward to 2022. Now, we have Disney executives caught in flagrante, as they describe their master plan to force adult sexual obsessions on toddlers. Christopher Rufo, who almost single-handedly alerted the country to the dangers of Critical Race Theory in elementary schools, leaked video of a high-placed employee of the Manic (er, Magic) Kingdom getting all weepy about her “pansexual” and trans kids. This woman vowed to inject as much sexual theory and wokeness into children’s fare as humanly possible, because she wanted her own little darlings to see themselves reflected in the Disney characters.
Just imagine the possibilities: Peter Pansexual, Snow White Privilege, Sleeping Doctoral Candidate and Pinocchio (pronouns he/wood) will gather together and show children that it doesn’t matter what you’re born with and where it’s located, you can be whatever you want to be, because fantasy has taken over reality.
Florida has become ground zero in the fight for family values and decency, as Gov. Ron DeSantis attempts to protect children from the excesses of progressive politicians who care more about social media approval than they do about the emotional and psychological welfare of minors. He has signed into law provisions that give parents more control over the education of their sons and daughters, and has erected a necessary barrier between the youngest students and the zealotry of LGBTQ activists disguised as teachers. The so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law did not bar the word “gay” from the Floridian lexicon. It simply, and clearly, prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation and gender issues in grades K-3, where they have no place and where the inclusion of those subjects can only confuse tending minds. Of course, the folks who find fault in virtue and gain purchase through hypocrisy (protect the kids from GOP fascists and keep abortion legal!) think that a child who can’t even walk yet needs to know that Heather has two mommies, and her uncles are actually her aunts.
Excuse me if I sound flippant, but the idea that a beloved company of boomers and subsequent generations is now controlled by social engineers of the most dangerous and egotistical kind is upsetting. I have canceled Disney Plus from my streaming account, because I can no longer justify subsidizing an organization that thinks toddlers should be exposed to adult concepts. To think that poignant, life-changing films like “Old Yeller” that marked my own childhood will now be replaced by digital cartoons that erase the distinction between male and female, is infinitely sad.
When you are talking about children, the rules are different. Same-sex marriage, adults who transition to an alternate gender, playing with pronouns and even First Amendment issues at the intersection of gender identity and faith are all fair game for debate. In an open society, mature adults can engage, even when they vehemently disagree. For years, I wrote about these issues in my newspaper columns, and welcomed the feedback. Some of it was very hostile, but I understood that when you challenge people on their sense of self and those values that define them, and when you question the laws that govern our adult conduct, you will shake a hornets nest. That, I enjoy.
But I don’t enjoy this. I don’t enjoy talking about children who are being exposed to things like “birthing people” and “persons who menstruate” and all sorts of crazy suggestions that, if you oppose them, turn you into a hateful person. Children are not experiments. They do not have the coping mechanisms that adults have, and it’s exactly for that reason that they are treated differently under the law. That, in a nutshell, is why Florida passed the “Don’t Say Gay” law which is really just a last-ditch attempt to restore power and dignity to parents.
Those same parents used to be able to trust Disney to baby sit their kids for hours on end. They didn’t have to worry that some unsavory ideas were being shoved down the tikes’ throats under the guise of inclusion and diversity. They thought that Cinderella was looking for her de ella Prince Charming, not that Prince Charming was considering how he’d look in those glass slippers.
Childhood ends soon enough. In many cases, it ends far too soon, as with abused and neglected boys and girls who never have the chance to experience the unconditional love of caring adults. I have met those kids. I’ve worked with them. I’ve taught them. I’m related to some.
To see Disney attempt to pull the rug out from under the parents who actually do care, and destroy that wonderful magic of childhood to appease some misguided adults, the same ones who persecuted the Boy Scouts for banning “gays” (even when no one asked for a boy’s sexual orientation before signing him up) is despicable.
Are we now going to worry about the sexual antics of the Seven Dwarves? Will we get a full-blown rundown of what happens when the prince climbs up Rapunzel’s braid and into her bedroom de ella? Does the Beast get new pronouns? Does Ariel have a closer relationship with those fish than we were led to believe? And what about Sleeping Beauty? Has she really been alone in that forest all those years?
Walt Disney had a dream. The people who kidnapped that dream are trying to turn it into a nightmare.
Christine Flowers is an attorney. Her column by her appears Thursday and Sunday. Email her from her at firstname.lastname@example.org.