Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence went to go see Mulan with his daughters. He thought it was gonna be a nice, innocent time! He thought, perhaps, that like most other Disney movies, it would teach his daughters important life lessons about what it means to be a woman. Like how dudes really like it when you don't talk, or are unconscious, or have impossibly small feet and wear very uncomfortable shoes. BUT HOO BOY WAS HE DISAPPOINT!

Why? Because the story, based on the legend of Hua Mulan, was LIBERAL PROPAGANDA directed at making it seem like women could do military stuff, when Mike Pence knows for a fact that women being in the military ruins everything. Which makes us wonder if he has chatted about this with Joni Ernst, a military lady who spoke (at length) at the RNC last night and was also considered as a possible contender for VP.

Anyhoo! Buzzfeed unearthed an op-ed Pence wrote when Mulan came out, back when he was a radio personality, all about how the Disney movie was basically just an evil liberal plot to brainwash precious innocent children into rethinking women in the military:

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.

Yeah, see? Women can't be in the military because that would mean expecting men to control their boners and not rape anyone, and women cannot be expected to not swoon over and fall in love with big strong military men! And also it could make them all adulterous and shit, probably. And why didn't Disney make a movie about women being molested at Tailhook???

Of course, while Hua Mulan is a legendary character, women have been involved in warfare since pretty much the dawn of time, both as "wartime crossdressers" and otherwise. Joan of Arc, she is one! Does he not know who Joan of Arc was? He can buy a shirt of Hillary as her right here! Not to mention a personal favorite of mine, Mary Read, of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, served in the British military prior to becoming a super awesome and bad ass lady pirate. In America, among others, we had Deborah Sampson in the American Revolution, and Cathay Williams in the Civil War. And those are just the ones I know off the top of my head! There were a bunch of others. Then there were the Tru'ng Sisters in Vietnam, who did not crossdress but did lead the first rebellion against the Chinese occupation of their country, and also Lady Hao, and several other Chinese military leaders who were women.

I could actually go on about this for an inappropriately long amount of time! I could totally bore you to death with story after story of women who have been involved in the military, disguised as men and otherwise. I can even, it turns out, still recite at least two of Joan of Arc's monologues from the George Bernard Shaw play.

But suffice it to say, that even though war is stupid, there are lots of women who are good at it, and they are not all fictional.


Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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