The Corner

Culture

Agreement on a Better Culture for Kids?

( David Pereiras Villagrá/Dreamstime)

As a mother of young kids, I’m glad to see Walmart take Cosmopolitan out of the checkout aisle. Cosmo long ago morphed from a women’s lifestyle magazine to one with a niche as a sex how-to guide, which it declares in bold-faced headlines on its cover, encouraging awkward questions from young readers.

Walmart credits the #MeToo movement for encouraging this change, as a part of a larger effort to de-sexualize our common culture. That’s a great direction for this movement to focus. There are plenty of difficult gray areas that surround the issues of sexual harassment, including expectations for dating, sexual relationships, and particularly interactions that occur in a work environment. Yet this isn’t one of those gray areas. It’s common sense that the public should do what it can to prevent exposing young children to explicit materials. And the good news is that companies like Walmart are responding to the public demand for better policies.

Of course, common sense still eludes some. A Planned Parenthood branch recently tweeted — and then retracted — a call for “a Disney princess who’s had an abortion. We need a Disney princess who’s pro-choice. We need a Disney princess who’s an undocumented immigrant. We need a Disney princess who’s actually a union worker. We need a Disney princess who’s trans.”

Anyone who thinks that delving into abortion politics is appropriate for a Disney princess movie is deeply out of touch with childhood culture and Disney’s audience, and is likely disturbed. Disney princesses cater to girls age eight and under, who mercifully typically aren’t yet familiar with the birds and the bees, much less abortions. Disney has made efforts over the years to diversify the princesses — not only in terms of race, but also so that not every story ends with marriage as the princess characters live happily ever after. For the most part at least, this has sent some positive messages about the different roles and versions of happiness that are available to everyone.

Fortunately, it looks like even Planned Parenthood — in retracting their tweet — heard enough blow-back from the public that it came to recognize this call for a post-abortive Disney princesses was in poor taste. That’s another hopeful sign — however small — that there is at least a little consensus out there about the culture we want surrounding our kids.

Carrie Lukas is the president of the Independent Women’s Forum.

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The White Ghetto

Editor's Note: In celebration of Kevin D. Williamson’s newest book, The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics, National Review is republishing some of our favorites of his from the past ten years. This article originally appeared in the December 16, 2013, issue of National ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More