Today, in Obvious: Fox News has a problem with women — even animated women. Penny Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women For America, appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss "The Frozen Effect." This ominous term alludes to the blockbuster film's message of female empowerment and independence, and how that's a very, very dangerous concept.
"They depict men as evil and cold and bunglers," said host Steve Doocy. "What kind of message does that send to our kids?" Nance replies that it's not just Disney, but in fact all of Hollywood demonizes men in order to uplift female characters, saying that, "men are superfluous, that they're stupid, that they're in the way." OMG, totally, I can't believe I never noticed that men are so devalued, when they star in every major action film, romance, historical drama, etc.
"When we bring our daughters to see Frozen, we often have our little boys sitting there," notes Nance. "We want them to know that they're essential. We want to raise heroes. We want to raise real men that will stick in their families and be great dads, be great providers and great husbands."
Setting aside Nance's assumption of what a "real man" is, Frozen is not exactly the misandrist fantasy she's looking for. Sure, there's the duplicitous Hans who turns out to be a bad guy. But, what about the princesses' caring father? What about the funny, selfless Olaf (a snowman, thank you very much)? Kristoff is perhaps the most dynamic male character in a Disney animated feature. He's goofy and smart and not a total alpha-jerk. He's a big win for many little boys out there — just not the ones Nance is concerned with ("We want to encourage masculinity!").
Doocy — who indicates that he's never actually seen Frozen — interrupts her to add that, "It would be nice for Hollywood to have more male figures in those kind of movies as heroes." Well, to be fair, maybe he just hasn't seen any movies, ever.
Nance concludes, "We don't have to empower women at the cost of tearing down men." We sure don't, Nance. And, in this case, we're not.