Give Elsa a girlfriend? No, give the kids a break
From its launch in late 2013, the Disney box office sensation Frozen has been widely read as an allegory of LGBT experience. Heroine Elsa is a princess like no other. The special power that has to be hidden is her suppressed lesbian nature and its potential to provoke a social revolution. Her passionate song, “Let It Go”, is about her coming out. And so on.
Debate raged about whether this was intentional, and how much it mattered – positively from the queer point of view, or negatively from a conservative-Christian point of view.
Now, with Frozen 2 in the pipeline, some fans may be forced to make a decision one way or the other: a Twitter campaign is calling on Disney to come out of the closet and GiveElsaAGirlfriend. The European movement CitizenGo has countered with #CharmingPrinceForElsa.
Writing in The Guardian Chitra Ramaswamy says:
Imagine it … a Disney princess who is gay and happy at the same time. It would be radical indeed to watch Elsa and her lady love (I picture her as a mash-up of Mulan and Merida from Brave) making ice castles in the air in their glittery dresses. It would be a bit like Carol 2, but in CG. The sad fact is we’ve barely seen such a thing, even outside the ultra-heteronormative land of Disney. We have now had an Indian Disney princess (Jasmine), an African-American Disney princess (Tiana), and a red-haired Disney princess who is more into archery than marriage (Merida). Yet nothing for the LGBT community. It’s time that Disney took a look at the latest GLAAD index which found that not a single one of the studio’s films (not just the cartoons) released in 2015 featured a gay character. Not explicitly, anyway.The question now seems to be whether Disney would dare not to stage Elsa’s coming out. Gay marriage has been established in America. Six-year-olds are deciding on their gender identity and school bathrooms are being rejigged to accommodate their preferences. Indeed, the US government is virtually commanding schools to do so. All people who are not heteronormative and homophobic bigots will be awaiting this cinematic great leap forward.
Little girls, I am told, are talking about the Twitter campaign in the playground and anticipating the outcome.
The reception of Frozen 1 -- with all its ambiguity, but also with its captivating effects, mesmerising songs and even, according to sympathetic conservative reviewers, modelling of many virtues – has certainly prepared the ground for the next step. And if the packaging of a brazenly lesbian, rather than frozen Elsa is equally thrilling, it could melt all but the permafrost of moral objection amongst parents.
And yet… there is some risk. First time around, cautious parents and pastors did not know what was coming; the first wave of audiences came to the movie expecting another Disney triumph, and that is what they got – plus a bit more to think about. This time the film is being politicised in advance, and the effect of a building controversy cannot be certain.
And there’s this to consider: Disney films are first and foremost for children, and it is not fair if their entertainment is spoiled by an adult agenda about sexuality. It’s true that this agenda is already intruding upon their social and imaginative experiences, but surely something is sacred. Fairy tales, for instance.
So, Disney, forget about giving Elsa a girlfriend. Give her a prince charming – and give the kids a break.
Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet
As Daniel Moon points out in his thoughtful article below, “Lost in the Gender Triangle”, you have to mind your pronouns in New York City. No, not who and whom, or I and me, or which and that – baffling enough, except for pedantic editors like I (no, I meant "like me"). But pronouns such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir for referring to transgender or gender-nonconforming persons.
You really need to watch your Ps and Qs, as you can be fined US$250,000 for "willful, wanton, or malicious" misuse of pronouns. The NYC Commission for Human Rightshelpfully explains what this means: “For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman ‘him’ or ‘Mr.’ after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses.” How this would be enforced is hard to imagine, but the regulations at least show the world that grammar Nazis take their job seriously.
|Lost in the Gender Triangle: is transgenderism social, medical or legal?|
Daniel Moody | CONJUGALITY | 18 May 2016
Logic sinks without a trace in a trackless seas of assertions and theories
|Students are using ‘Mission Impossible’ technology to cheat in exams|
Ritesh Chugh | CONNECTING | 18 May 2016
How smart technology could dumb down education
|Give Elsa a girlfriend? No, give the kids a break|
Carolyn Moynihan | FEATURES | 18 May 2016
The campaign for Frozen 2 politicises children’s entertainment, and that’s unfair.
|How to rig a surrogacy hearing so dissenting voices won’t be heard|
Alana S. Newman | FEATURES | 18 May 2016
Let me tell you about my state Senate committee hearing experience.
|Do you wish you were a 1970’s mum?|
Shannon Roberts | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY | 18 May 2016
One reason why birth rates are not recovering post-recession.
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia
Designed by elleston
New Media Foundation | Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605