'Mulan' Scared The Hell Out Of Mike Pence, Because Of Course It Did
Indiana governor Mike Pence, the running mate of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, was once a fearless/fearsome crusader against the very thought of women in the military. He valiantly defended his position by calling Disney's Mulan — brace yourself — "liberal propaganda." To the new VP pick, the character Mulan represented all of the things the liberal agenda was attempting to push, and the Disney film was its concerted effort to force public opinion in favor of women serving in the military. To put it another way, Mike Pence is afraid of Mulan, which in all things considered, pretty directly lines up with his more recent fear of women's periods.
In a 1999 op-ed uncovered by BuzzFeed News, penned when Pence was but a mere conservative radio talk show host, Trump's running mate argued that Mulan could not possibly serve in a combat role, given those pesky feminine attributes like her voice. Wrote Pence:
Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan's ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts. Obviously, this is Walt Disney's attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.
Despite the fact that the story of Mulan is based on the 6th century tale Ballad of Mulan, Pence believed that the Disney film was the work of "some mischievous liberal at Disney" to shift the cultural position of women in the military. He feared that the movie could "cause a quiet change in the next generation's attitude about women in combat."
Pence then pivots to the asinine idea that Mulan's subplot involving the main character and her superior officer falling in love proves his point — that people of the opposite sex would be incapable of serving together without sexual attraction getting in the way. He sums up his argument with this lovely gem: "Moral of story: women in military, bad idea."
Of course, Pence's darkest fears have since been realized — since the '99 op-ed, women have been given the right to serve in all combat positions. In December 2015, The New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened up all combat roles to women, saying they could serve in all positions previously restricted to men.
All in all, it is both hilarious and overwhelmingly terrifying that a vice presidential candidate suggested that a Disney heroine caused what he apparently sees as the downfall of the United States military. While Disney is known for having an influence over culture, we can at least argue here that, if anything, Mulan made a lasting, positive impact for children wishing to be a little braver, and yes, even serve their country.
Images: Disney (3)