The organization known as Sociologists for Women in Society, is a group advocating a feminist agenda, according to their own website. I have not scoured their entire site, but I suspect (in complete fairness) that scattered around within their various initiatives, there may be a few things that are helpful to women’s causes in a very general sense. And to the extent that is true, I applaud their efforts.
However, some of the topics they deal with in their journal “Gender & Society,” are informative (to me, at least) as to what is probably their larger motivation with respect to the feminist movement. From their website in support of the journal, I found the following:
“Just some of the relevant, timely, and important topics covered in recent issues include: Queer Parenting, Sexuality, and Transgenderism.”
With this in mind, it comes as no particular surprise when I read that research published by the Sociologists for Women in Society “blames” Disney and other producers of G-Rated films for creating what they call “heteronormativity.” Isn’t that a great word? Researchers who are affiliated with the University of Michigan studied the highest-grossing children’s films during the period 1990-2005. From these films, they conclude that:
Children’s films “construct heterosexuality” through “depictions of hetero-romantic love as exceptional, powerful, transformative, and magical,” and “depictions of interactions between gendered bodies in which the sexiness of feminine characters is subjected to the gaze of masculine characters.”
“Characters in love are surrounded by music, flowers, candles, magic, fire, balloons, fancy dresses, dim lights, dancing and elaborate dinners.” “Fireflies, butterflies, sunsets, wind and the beauty and power of nature often provide the setting for – and a link to the naturalness of hetero-romantic love.”
Really, the naturalness of hetero-romantic love. Imagine that. Romantic love between members of the opposite sex. I wonder who originally thought THAT up? I would have never guessed that it was the people at Disney?
“Both ordinary and exceptional constructions of heterosexuality work to normalize its status because it becomes difficult to imagine anything other than this form of social relationship or anyone outside of these bonds.”
“These films provide powerful portraits of a multifaceted and pervasive heterosexuality that likely facilitates the reproduction of heteronormativity.”
On some level, this research suggests that the naturalness, or normative quality of heterosexuality is something that has been creatio ex nehilo (created out of nothing) by the imaginations of the creators and producers of these family films. Furthermore, it almost appears that absent these films, there would be no natural or normal opposite-sex attraction that is rooted deep in the souls of the young people who watch the films. Apart from the influence of these films, would sexual orientation just be some sort of free-for-all?
I know it would be perhaps too much to ask, but rather than “blaming” Disney and others, the researchers should go to the source of sexuality and find out what the original, natural, and normative design was. That is where the credit is due. No blame is necessary. Granted, the model was later corrupted by sin, but it remains the original, natural and normative model nonetheless. As a hint to the researchers from the University of Michigan, it can be found in Genesis 1: 26 through Genesis 2: 25. (That’s in the front of the Bible, by the way.)
As an aside, I wonder how much of OUR money was used through federal grants to conduct this crazy research?
HT: Tim Challies