EDITOR’S NOTE: “Window on The Week” acts as our weekly, quick-and-punchy, “between-the-issues” survey of some of the hot topics of the day. “Window on The Week” gives you a sense of what “The Week” – a popular feature that appears fortnightly in National Review – looks like.
‐Being the new kid on the block is never easy, especially when you arrive after nine months of struggle over marketing, femininity, and political correctness. That was the genesis of Abby Cadabby. She is the first female lead character on Sesame Street, making her debut this month. It was, apparently, exceedingly difficult to create a Muppet who would embrace femininity but avoid the deficiencies of the fairer sex. “If Cookie Monster was a female character,” explained the executive producer, “she’d be accused of being anorexic or bulimic.” Quoth another expert: “It would be hard to have a female character with Elmo’s whimsy who didn’t also seem ditzy.” How about Oscar the Grouch, with his constant anger and tendency to wallow in his own filth? How about Kermit the Frog, an alpha male with a preening God complex? Taken together, the cast of Sesame Street is a who’s who of mental disorders, social pathologies, and deviant lifestyles. Or maybe — just maybe — Sesame Street is a show for children, and should not be subject to the scrutiny of hyper-sensitive adults.