Will S. finds an article claiming that Disney princess movies have been softening up children for gay marriage with their “impossible desire” plotlines. If species is a bigger deal than sex, and Ariel and Belle can fall in love with men of other species, then surely it wouldn’t be far-fetched for them to marry each other instead, right? The Atlantic article quotes cite lots of examples, none of which would seem to have anything to do with homosexuality to anyone not already obsessed with the topic. (If socially forbidden love is always implicitly gay, then a whole genre going back to the Middle Ages stands condemned.) I stand by my position that Disney has done a pretty good job of preserving gendered archetypes in the face of feminist pressure, and warming children to the idea of monarchy to boot. But there are bigger issues at stake here.
Of course, interspecies romance has always been with us. If you are a hero, you must expect that sooner or later, a fairy, wood nymph, mermaid, Martian princess, Olympian goddess, or elf maiden is going to fall in love with you. Should this happen to you in real life, you don’t have to marry the girl, but for heaven’s sake have care for her feelings and don’t act shocked or disgusted. Should you encounter it in fiction, don’t be scandalized. The author is most likely not trying to win you over to a gay or gender-bending agenda. And even if he is, you still needn’t worry, because his tools betray him. Maybe Hans Christian Anderson wrote The Little Mermaid as part of a secret hundred-year plot to normalize sodomy. I doubt it, but it wouldn’t matter if he did. Hollywood being what it is, no doubt most of the teams who worked on the Disney movies that have appeared in my lifetime have “gotten with the program” on the gay agenda. That also doesn’t matter, because what makes The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and other stories with similar premises work dramatically is the intuition that sex is actually more fundamental than species. To use them to deconstruct “gender” is to destroy them.
To explain this, I turn to a true expert on interspecies romance: Captain James T. Kirk.