After not being able to finish reading Ms. Skaggs’ blog over on “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman” regarding the “gay agenda” that is apparently the underlying theme of Disney’s “Frozen,” i don’t think that this is an issue that can really be let go. Needless to say, this woman read a little to far into the film and was not able to walk away without being blinded by bigotry and hatred. As her blog would not let me post my response (as it is double the character limit), I figured, why not use my own blog and Facebook to respond!
If you can stomach it, try reading her original blog post here.
Here is the response I came up with (I started last night when I was bored during tech):
Disclaimer: I am a liberal Jew who works in theatre in Salt Lake City. I am a straight ally. The following are my thoughts and opinions, take them how you will, but given the expansive conservative paranoia of this post, I would guess you will take this as an attack. That’s ok, you just attacked a Disney movie…..
Normally I wouldn’t stop by random blogs and post comments, except for the fact that I probably will contribute to the viral negativity that this post is receiving on Facebook. So why stop by? Because it is really sad and painful that this is where our society has fallen to. Had you written this post 60 years ago, I would guess that you would read that Elsa was representing the “colored agenda…”
I should also mention that I could not finish reading your post mostly due to the length and repetitive, bigoted, offensive nature of it.
I really enjoy the contradictory sidebar that you so elegantly placed in the middle of your post:
“Let me be very clear about one thing, I am not anti-gay nor am I here to judge homosexuals not worthy of their rightful and respectful place among society. However, I draw the line at the idea of redefining traditional marriage to include homosexual relationships, as equal. Meaning, that as a Christian, I believe that acting on same-sex attraction is contrary to God’s will, and therefore SSM should not be legalized.”
How do you reconcile being not anti-gay, but you don’t support the fact that gay people deserve the same basic rights under the law as the rest of society? You can believe what you want, you can teach your children what you want, how other people live their lives and who they marry shouldn’t affect that unless your beliefs aren’t really that strong, and/or you are just not a good teacher….
Then we should move on to the term “Gay Agenda.” Ummm…. Yeah, so this is a term made up by the right-wing conservatives. Why do you think that such a thing even exists? There are no gay people who want to change the way you live your life. There are no gay people who want to take over your home. Gay people don’t want you do do anything except recognize them as people who deserve equal rights and representation in society. Use of such a term just makes you look like an uneducated sheep. Just following the heard.
With all that said, aside from possibly the sauna clip, there is nothing overtly gay about the movie “Frozen.” It is a very classic adventure story with classic construction. It is based on a much darker story by Hans Christian Anderson. As other commenters have mentioned, it is a story about the struggle for personal enlightenment, and it could represent this struggle in any form. Ironically, I think the fact that you choose to identify it with the struggle that the gay community faces every day shows that YOU know that there is legitimate truth in what they seek.
Let’s just pick apart some of your comments though. This movie really provides some wonderful teachable moments for parents and children. Maybe you should look at those as opposed to trying to find non-existent hidden meaning…. (blog excerpts in quotes):
“Elsa has a great power that she has been taught by her parents, from the time she was a child, is not publicly acceptable and that she must fear its expression, at all cost, thus hide it from people, even her own sister who could be hurt by it – even killed. Shame is at the core of Elsa’s feelings about her magical powers.”
Actually, this (and the following paragraph in the blog) is not 100% accurate. Elsa’s parents aren’t afraid of her or force her to hide her power until she hurts her sister. This is really not that important though. The point is, here we have a child who needs love and attention (we learn at the end of the movie that love and confidence is what is needed to control her power). Yet, instead of trying to help their child, Elsa’s parents shut her away, tell her that she has to learn how to control herself, and offer her no help or human contact.
Interestingly enough, this seems to be a fairly big tenant of Mormon culture. The idea that you can just compartmentalize, turn off, or hide the undesirable aspects of yourself. If you do it well enough and long enough, these undesirable traits will just go away (because no one sees them). I am fairly certain most psychologists will tell you this is not true, and probably detrimental to a person’s mental health.
Of course it also begs the question, if you have a child who has any kind of special needs, are you going to shut them away and they to pretend they don’t exist, or are you going to help them learn to embrace who they are and how to function in the world? If anyone answers the former, then there is no hope for us as a society.
“The parents are killed in an accident while traveling abroad (expendable and best out of the way for progression – represent authority), which means that Elsa must take her rightful position among her people, as queen. To do so, she faces great fear in going out publicly for her coronation, worrying that her powers might show because she has no control over them.”
Well, this is just classic Disney, and basically the template for any hero/heroine fantasy adventure story ever. Frankly I thought it was nice that Elsa and Ana had two parents at all, many Disney heroes and Princesses have only one or have none. There would be no story if the parent’s hadn’t been killed as there would have been no struggle to grow up and learn on their own.
As far as fear of public at the coronation, refer back to my previous statement. Had Elsa’s parents helped her as a child, she would have had nothing to fear.
“After only a brief interaction, Anna and Hans decide to marry. Elsa is freaked out that her sister wants to marry someone she only just met.”
Again, since the LDS church basically tells women that they should bag the first RM they meet as soon as they are eligible, I can see why you might have an issue with this idea. However, the rest of the world agrees with the movie, it is a little crazy to marry someone you just met.
I don’t feel much need to continue picking apart this post, paragraph by paragraph. In reality, it kinda starts to fall apart after that last point anyway. As other commenters and I have said, one could really read this to be any personal struggle.
So, I have some questions for you.
•Why do you care (if you are as you say, “not anti-gay”)?
•How does the so-called “gay agenda” actually affect you?
•Why do you feel that you have to expend any effort to read this far into a beautiful children’s adventure story that is very empowering to women?
•How is it that coming from an extremely patriarchal religion/society, you don’t have a problem with the fact that all the men in the movie are basically portrayed as bad guys, and there is only one who has any good intentions? That the women have to take care of themselves and not be supported by men?
—> You are not allowed to answer these questions with any reference to religious or political beliefs. Everyone has different religious and political views, therefore such an answer is invalid.
I have to imagine that you consider yourself to be strong of faith. I believe the Mormons would say that you have a strong testimony. If this is the case, and if you are a good teacher to your children, then a movie like this, should not be able to shake your beliefs or the beliefs you teach your children. From my perspective, the fact that you have to write a post like this to warm people away from seeing a great movie shows the exact opposite. You are the one questioning, you are the one seeking to re-affirm (or maybe dis-avow) that which you believe.
I will admit that Ms. Skaggs did get one thing right: Frozen was definitely written with going to Broadway in mind. I could tell that five minutes in. When they open it, it will be as big as The Lion King or Wicked. It will probably cost $200+ for tickets, and I would pay that for them!