There was a segment by the fearless thought leaders on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, impressively delivered by all with a straight face, that claimed that the success of hit Disney animated film Frozen, a film about the love between sisters and a snowman who loves the beach, is a dire threat to masculinity as we know it.
Yo, I get it. I’m a man. And as a man I know there’s nothing more manly than being afraid of a Disney Princess.
In a timely segment airing 14 months after Frozen hit theaters, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy wonders whether a film like Frozen is problematic, as it is “empowering girls but turning our men into fools and villains?”
This is truly alarming. Worse, after hearing Doocy speak, I fear that’s already too late. It’s happened. The Fools and Villains Sickness has already spread. It’s an epidemic at Fox News. Oh no.
Doocy then introduces a clip where Frozen’s Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) jokes about guys picking their noses and Hans (Santino Fontana) reveals his climactic dastardly plan. “So what kind of message is that sendin’ to our kids and to all of us?” he asks.
You may think that the message is that kids like bodily humor and plots need an antagonist in order for a movie to make sense. But oh no, in his conversation with Penny Young Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, Doocy reveals that the message is far more terrifying than that. They even have a name for it: “The Frozen Effect.”
According to Nance, this movie is just not good for boys to see. Sure, the entire world celebrated Frozen as a turning point for impressionable young girls because of its groundbreaking and subversive portrayal of women, for the very first time, as headstrong heroes and not damsels in distress looking for a man to save them.
But Nance and Doocy are all like, yeah, but what happens when those girls need to be saved. I mean, they’re girls. They’re gonna need to be saved at some point, right? If little boys watch Frozen, how will they know they’re supposed to save them?
And guys—it’s not Disney. “It’s Hollywood, in general,” Nance says. “It’s often sent the message that men are superfluous, they’re stupid, they get in the way, and if they contribute anything to a family it’s a paycheck.”
Preach, girl. Because if anyone knows anything about Hollywood it’s that it is NOTORIOUS for giving us nuanced, complicated, shaded portraits of female characters and nothing but underdeveloped, oversimplistic stock characters of men. I mean, if I see one more thinkpiece about how Hollywood is too kind to women and not respectful enough to the male population I just don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll look for a job at Fox News. It’s the only safe space.
“It’s not good social science,” Nance says, unaware of the irony. “When we bring our daughters to see Frozen or whatever the movie is we often have our little boys sitting there. Is this message helpful? We want them to know that they’re essential. We want to raise heroes. We want to raise real men.”
Duh. Real men don’t watch Frozen.
She then talks about a man—a true hero, without jest—in Aurora, Colorado, who, during the shooting there, threw his body over his girlfriend to protect her from bullets. “We want to encourage masculinity and not villainize masculinity,” she says, putting the button on that totally-not-applicable anecdote.
The leap that’s taken here is just so rich. It’s almost disturbing. To begin with, rather than simply praise a heroic act by this man, Nance is surmising and speculating that his girlfriend was incapable of saving herself. And furthermore, if Hollywood creates movies that empower women, then in moments of real danger men will lose their instinct to protect their loved ones.
It’s tempting to brush off anything coming out the mouths of the buffoon circus that is Fox & Friends. But this is all just so out of its goddamned mind that we really can’t just let it go. (Get it?) Even though we should.
The clowns never bothered us anyway.