Mike Pence, Indiana governor and running mate to Donald Trump, thinks letting women serve in the military is a bad idea, and he has evidence: the 1999 animated Disney movie, Mulan.
Buzzfeed unearthed a post by Pence during his radio days, apparently composed just after he'd taken his "all-American Hoosier" family to a screening of the film, which, as Buzzfeed pointed out, is based on the Chinese poem "Ballad of Mulan," dating back to the 6th century C.E. Pence theorized that Mulan taught youngsters exactly the wrong idea about women and their combat capabilities:
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 father's 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."
Pence blames "some mischievous liberal" looking to institute change in the hearts and minds of the next generation, instilling in these malleable children the misguided notion that women are fit to occupy the ranks of the armed forces. Certainly, he writes, they're not fit to occupy the same barracks as men — not when both are at "the height of their physical and sexual potential."
"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," Pence concluded, apparently having forgotten that Mulan disguised herself as a man, which is the only reason she occupied the same quarters as men (let alone found her way into the army) in the first place.
Granted, it's possible — if improbable, considering Pence's views on women — that the governor has changed his mind in the intervening years. Either way, Pence doesn't have to worry too much. In December, a federal mandate required the U.S. military to open its doors to women. However, the Marine Corps — which was most adamantly opposed to female enlistment — has put in place new physical standards that largely prevent women from joining up.
Pence can go back to worrying about women's menstrual cycles, apparently a prominent preoccupation of his.