Mike Pence Has Some Strong Feelings About Mulan

By
When will my reflection show who I am inside?
When will my reflection show who I am inside?Photo: Disney Productions, Getty Images

Indiana governor Mike Pence is now presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate. Before that, the Indiana governor was notable for making some terrible decisions about women’s health. And long, long before that he was but a humble talk-radio host with some very strong opinions about the animated movie Mulan.

For those in need of a refresher, Mulan is a 1998 Disney film in which the titular character is a young woman who disguises herself as a man so that she can be drafted into the military in the place of her elderly and ailing father. She acquires fighting prowess and impressive upper-body strength during her training and eventually goes on to defeat the Huns. The film also features a particularly soulful ballad by Christina Aguilera.

Mike Pence, however, was not moved by “Reflection.” No, as BuzzFeed News discovered, he was far too concerned with the hidden liberal messaging in the movie (which was based on a sixth-century Chinese legend) and took to his radio show’s website to air his grievances in a 1999 op-ed.

Pence ranted, “I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan’s story will cause a quiet change in the next generation’s attitude about women in combat and they just might be right. (Just think about how often we think of Bambi every time the subject of deer hunting comes into the mainstream media debate.)”

He also pointed to the ending of Mulan, in which she falls in love with her army captain, Shang, as an example of why women and men couldn’t possibly serve in the military together. “You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually,” he wrote. “Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.”

Read Pence’s full op-ed (while blasting “Reflection”) below:

Just spent a memorable Fathers Day, like so many other all American Hoosier dads, with my kids at the new Disney film entitled, “Mulan”. For those who have not yet been victimized by the McDonald’s induced hysteria over this film, Mulan is a fictional account of a delicate girl of the same name who surreptitiously takes her fathers place in the Chinese army in one of their ancient wars against the Huns. 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. I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan’s story will cause a quiet change in the next generation’s attitude about women in combat and they just might be right. (Just think about how often we think of Bambi every time the subject of deer hunting comes into the mainstream media debate.)

The only problem with this liberal hope is the reality which intrudes on the Disney ideal from the mornings headlines. From the original “Tailhook” scandal involving scores of high ranking navy fighter pilots who molested subordinate women to the latest travesty at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the hard truth of our experiment with gender integration is that is has been an almost complete disaster for the military and for many of the individual women involved. When Indiana Congressman Steve Buyer was appointed to investigate the Aberdeen mess, he shocked the public with the revelation that young, nubile, 18 year old men and women were actually being HOUSED together during basic training. Whatever bone head came up with this idea should be run out of this man’s Army before sundown. Housing, in close quarters, young men and women (in some cases married to non-military personnel) at the height of their physical and sexual potential is the height of stupidity. It is instructive that even in the Disney film, young Ms. Mulan falls in love with her superior officer! Me thinks the politically correct Disney types completely missed the irony of this part of the story. They likely added it because it added realism with which the viewer could identify with the characters. You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually. Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.