William Kilpatrick is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His books include Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West (Ignatius Press), What Catholics Need to Know About Islam (Sophia Press), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad.
The Mouse that Roared is a 1959 comedy film about a mouse-sized country (the Duchy of Grand Fenwick) that decides to solve its money problems by declaring war on America, then surrendering, then reaping the financial aid that America always bestows on its defeated enemies.
“The Mouse that Whored” is a contemporary true story about a giant entertainment company (built around the character of an animated mouse) that has declared war on American parents. The monster-sized mouse corporation has no intention of surrendering. On the contrary it expects you to surrender your children to it.
It has a good chance of success because many American parents have already half-surrendered their children to the mouse.
In addition to its obvious sexual meaning, the word “whore” can also mean selling out one’s principles for the sake of obtaining fame, fortune, or power. Thus, an unprincipled actor may be said to be “whoring” after celebrity.
Disney has sold-out its family-oriented principles for the sake of more money and more influence. At first, this seems counter-intuitive. Wouldn’t Disney lose lots of money once its family base discovered that it is actually anti-family?
Not necessarily. As Daniel Greenfield points out in a recent piece, half of Disney’s movie business is targeted at “adults with no children.” Even more surprising, 60 % of Disneyland visitors were adults with no children, and only 37% of visitors to Disney World had children under 18. “The largest demographic for the theme parks like the movies,” says Greenfield, “are millennials.”
Moreover, writes Greenfield, “Disney’s new demographic are adults who have never properly grown up and on some level still think of themselves as children.” Like Peter Pan, the storybook character that Disney has capitalized on over the years, the millennials and Gen Z refuse, at least in many respects, to grow up.
The new LGBTQ-friendly Disney has been described as having an anti-family agenda. But its agenda is both broader and deeper than most suppose. It’s not simply about introducing more gay, lesbian, and trans characters and themes into its stories. Although that is certainly a slap in the face of traditional families, the anti-family agenda is more profound than that.
Functioning families help children to grow up, whereas the newly woke Disney wants them to remain children. Traditionally, growing-up meant getting married, having children, and taking responsibility for the care and growth of those children. For most people, getting married and having children was the main way of finding meaning and purpose in life.
An adult’s life is centered largely on others; a child’s life is centered largely on self. Consequently, grown-ups who “still think of themselves as children“will be reluctant to get married, and even more reluctant to have children. Having children greatly limits one’s ability to remain a child.
Perhaps, the classic example of man-child irresponsibility is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the philosopher whose theories about educating children are still influential today. Here’s an excerpt from a letter he wrote at age fifty-five:
I love to dream…without enslaving myself to any subject…to wander alone endlessly and ceaselessly among the trees and rocks about my dwelling, to muse or rather to be as irresponsible as I please…finally to give myself up unconstrainedly to my fantasies…that, sir, is for me the supreme enjoyment…
Yet the man who idealized childhood in his writings and who loved to abandon himself to “my fantasies” also abandoned all five of his children to orphanages as soon as they were born. Rousseau’s orphaned children paid the price for his unwillingness to grow up.
Despite his brilliance, Rousseau maintained throughout his life an adolescent preoccupation with self. In typical passages he writes; “What could your miseries have in common with mine? My situation is unique, unheard of since the beginning of time…” “Show me a better man than me, a heart more loving, more tender, more sensitive…”
Unfortunately, our own society is encouraging youngsters to be similarly self-absorbed. Both the entertainment industry and the educational establishment seem intent on indoctrinating children with the idea that they are very special people who are misunderstood by parents and other authorities. In a recent article, Ben Reinhard notes that in most recent Disney films for children, the child “is conditioned to regard any constraint on his freedom of expression as an exercise of tyranny, developing a habit of mistrust for authority, limits, and tradition—especially of the local and parental variety.”
In short, the Disney films have the effect of driving a wedge between children and their parents (and other authorities such as ministers and rabbis), thus leaving them more vulnerable to those who would prey upon their immaturity. Parents are right to be worried that many in the entertainment industry want to sexualize their children. Some do it for financial reasons and some for other reasons. But whatever the motives, the entertainment industry is indeed grooming children to live a life that most parents would find deeply disturbing.
However, that is not the whole story. There is another sense in which children are being desexualized by schools and by the entertainment media.
If you look up the definition of the word “sex” (and you’d better look it up soon before the dictionaries all go “woke”) you’ll find that the primary definition goes something like this: “either the female or male division of species, especially as differentiated with reference to the reproductive function” (The Free Dictionary.)
Sex, in short, is primarily about reproduction, and reproduction requires a male and a female. The continuation of life on earth is therefore dependent on men and women who take an interest in reproducing. Most societies throughout history have also concluded that the best way to bring children into the world is within the institution of marriage.
But, by-and-large, people of the LGBTQ persuasion are not interested in reproducing. A 2019 PEW Research article reports that only about 10.2 % of LGBT Americans are married to a same-sex partner—a number that has remained fairly constant since the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing gay marriage. Despite all the publicity about same-sex marriage, lesbians and gays seem to have relatively little interest in getting married.
Moreover, the LGBT survey respondents had little interest in having children. When asked to rank reasons for getting married, only 28 % of LGBT Americans cited “having children” as a “very important reason” for getting married versus 49 % of the general public.
Although the media would have us believe that Pete Buttigieg, his “spouse” and their children are the norm for gays, the reality is quite different. Fidelity and exclusivity are the exception, infidelity and instability are the rule. According to the Sex in America survey “heterosexual couples were 41 times more likely to be monogamous than homosexual couples.” After reviewing the research literature on the high rate of promiscuity among homosexuals whether “married” or not, Robert R. Reilly concluded that “the nature of love between homosexuals is not spousal.”
Whether or not one thinks that same-sex marriage should be legal, it should be obvious that such unions are not conducive to bringing children into the world. By their very nature same-sex unions do not result in children. Of course, one can hire a surrogate to fill in for the missing parent of the opposite sex, but that creates problems of its own. The advocates of LGBT families talk a great deal about the suffering of children who are made to feel different, but they seem unconcerned about the difficulties that children of same-sex couples will face precisely because of the unconventional nature of their upbringing. The research suggests that the children of such marriages do not fare as well as children from traditional mother and father families. Among other problems they have difficulty forming stable relationships.
As for transexuals, the phenomenon is so new that not much has been done in the way of long-term research about marriage and family formation. However, one side effect of transitioning that is well-known is that the hormone treatments that are employed in the process often result in permanent sterilization—thus cutting off the child or adolescent from the possibility of ever reproducing.
I don’t know the actual percentage of trans youth who end-up sterile, but I think sterility is an apt metaphor for the whole LGBT movement. Instead of a healthy self-forgetfulness, the movement encourages an unhealthy self-preoccupation. It encourages people to find meaning not in marriage and children, but in the kind of ceaseless self-exploration that Rosseau indulged in. Rousseau wasn’t sterile, but he might as well have been. He had no interest in future generations beyond the desire that they recognize his genius. And like the Disney-raised adults Greenfield describes, he seems to have thought of himself as still a child. In his political philosophy he makes it quite clear that the state should relieve parents of the responsibility of raising children.
Parents are right in thinking that Disney and other media conglomerates, along with many educators are anti-parent and anti-family. But sexualization of children is only part of the picture. The woke elite are not only grooming children to accept unnatural forms of sexuality, but are also grooming them away from fatherhood and motherhood. The elite, in other words, wish to steer children into a life of perpetual childhood—a life centered on entertainment and consumerism and on obedience to the parental state and the paternal corporation.
Individuals so groomed may think of themselves as being emancipated from the shackles of family and tradition, but in reality, they are more constrained than ever. In the meantime, as they continue to act out adolescent fantasies of escape, they will have missed out on one of the great adventures that life has to offer. For most people, home is the area of life in which they will be most tested and challenged and most likely to find self-fulfillment.
Disney and other entertainment companies once did present this vision of life in stories such as Old Yeller, Sounder, The Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which was co-produced and co-distributed by Disney,) and many others.
In place of this difficult but achievable life goal, the dream factories now hold out impossible dreams to impressionable children: that they can choose from dozens of genders, that they can become the opposite sex, that a homosexual marriage is equivalent to a marriage between a man and a woman, and so on.
Many of the fantasies that children are fed on really are impossible dreams. They are unachievable because they are unreal. Instead of helping youngsters cope with reality, they urge him to avoid reality—to deny the reality of his body, his biology, and his physiology. Because these fantasies are so out of sync with physical laws, natural law, and clearly stated divine law, they almost invariably end in frustration and disappointment.
Children and their parents deserve better than this reckless manipulation of young minds.
As for the story weavers in New York and Hollywood, there are some old stories that they ought to revisit. “The Pied Piper” comes to mind. And so does the parable about wolves in sheep’s clothing. For those who prefer more “edgy” reading, I strongly recommend Dante’s Inferno.