We've already covered how the Media Research Center melted down (in your mouth, not in your hand?) over the M&M candy characters getting a design update that resulted in the female M&M being made less stereotypically female. Over at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Crystal Renaud Day -- operator of something called SheRecovery, "a community devoted to helping women recover from pornography and sexual addiction" -- used a Feb. 21 column to melt down over not only that but a Disney promotion with designer Stella McCartney that put Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit for a promotion:
Women are being erased by the very people and companies that claim to support women’s rights. Disney has changed Minnie Mouse’s outfit from a red polka dot dress and heels to a blue pantsuit with flats and M&Ms has de-feminized its green and brown commercial characters. Those are just the tip of the iceberg of how our culture is erasing women today.
It may seem silly when cartoons and candy characters in advertisements cannot be represented as distinctly feminine, but real life is worse. Women are not allowed fair competition, are not allowed to complain when a man walks into their& locker room, are pressured or coerced into aborting their daughters, and are vilified if they dare to use or define the word “woman.”For generations before us, women have been fighting for the right to be seen, to vote, to play, to equal pay, to be a voice, to preach from the pulpit. And now, all in the name of being “evolved” or “woke” or “relevant,” women are being erased and our uniqueness slowly diminished.
From the beginning of time, the very creation of women has been under attack because the enemy of our souls hates us. He was jealous of Eve for she was uniquely made and beautiful. Women were sought out from the beginning to be destroyed because Eve meant life for humanity instead of death (Genesis 3:20). It was not a coincidence that the serpent chose the woman to tempt first. Yet God created women on purpose. In scripture, with all the men ignoring or belittling the women, Jesus made a place for them, comforted them, and healed them (Mark 5). Women were created with great intentionality. Women were given the ability to pray, empathize, instruct, and use their voices — the first people Jesus appeared to as the Risen King were women (Luke 24). Even on our most molecular level, women are uniquely designed and made in the image of God.
Interestingly, the example she supplied of purported outrage over defining the word "woman" was of a Dr. Phil appearance by notorious homophobe Matt Walsh.
Day went on to recount her struggle to break what she claimed was an addiction to pornography -- but she said nothing about the hypersexualized stereotypes of women depicted in pornography (which may or may not include skirts or go-go boots), or even how women are depicted in TV advertising. Day's protestations to the contrary, Minnie Mouse is no less female because she's wearing a pantsuit, and the green M&M is no less female because she's wearing sneakers instead of go-go boots.
Day then blows up her own argument by admitting that she does not dress like Minnie Mouse or the green M&M in real life:
I do not wear makeup most days, I never wear dresses, I prefer my hair in a messy bun, and I have not worn heels since high school show choir. I cannot relate to the Green M&M with her heels and long lashes. Those things do not make me female - God did. I am proud to be a woman and as a woman, I want to see other women achieve their dreams, have careers, become mothers. As a counselor, I want to see other women heal, thrive, and fulfill their purpose. While she does not have to do it all in heels and pearls, we must let women be women and empower them in whatever position they are in. If we let men, companies, and supposed women’s rights groups lead this cultural charge to tear away everything that makes us unique as women, soon we will have nothing left to call our own. We must stop allowing ourselves to be erased and instead write out our own futures in pen.
It could also be argued that men, not God, made Minnie wear a dress and the green M&M wear go-go boots. They have not been erased as female characters because they're not wearing stereotypical female clothing -- just as Day is no less female for not wearing a dress or heels. She's wearing what feels comfortable to her, and there's nothing wrong with that for any real or fictional character.