Why Conservatives Will Lose The ‘Grooming’ Debate

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Two strategies can be used by conservatives in America to oppose LGBT+ messages aimed at children. Both strategies are doomed for failure.

The first strategy is to continue doing what we have been doing: denounce queer messages aimed at children as “grooming” and (in polite company) “indoctrination.”

The problem with the original strategy is that it creates a double standard. Consider Disney’s “Buzz Lightyear”, which was boycotted for featuring a lesbian kiss.

The progressives wanted to understand the cause of all this outrage, which was understandable. The brief, chaste kiss was short. Bo Peep’s flirtation with Woody in “Toy Story” films was far more sexually suggestive. The great-grandparents of the children who saw the prince kiss Snow White while they were watching the space rangers smooch are also being “groomed”.

It is a solid rebuttal. It’s hard to argue that children shouldn’t be exposed to any romantic pairings.

Disney executives have been discussing their “not-so secret gay agenda” to increase LGBT+ representation. What’s the problem with this? In our society, openly gay people are common. The party who supports their exclusion naturally bears the burden of proof in any debate about whether they should be included in children’s entertainment.

What about the assertion that gay and trans characters could confuse or influence young viewers? It is easy to predict what will happen to this:

What’s so confusing about seeing the same-sex couple? “Daddy, why did the little guy have two mommies?” “Well, son. Some families have two mothers and they are just as valid as families with one mommy and one daddy.” Simple. Simple. He might. “So what?”

These objections don’t go far enough. Accepting the presuppositions of your opponents — that sex is more about self-expression than procreation and that consent is the only determinant sexual morality, and that personal fulfillment is the purpose for human life — is a sure sign that you have already lost.

This brings us to the second strategy. You could simply respond, “I have a dual standard because heterosexual relationships can be good and homosexuality and transgenderism can be deviant and wrong.”

This won’t take you very far.

Opposition to homosexuality is a loser strategy. According to a June 2022 poll, 71% of Americans support gay marriage. Twelve Republican senators voted in favor of enshrining it in federal law a few months later. The question of same-sex relationships is increasingly seen as a matter of subjective morality and not as an issue of objective morality. Instead, it is seen as a group zealots trying to impose their religion on everyone else.

Although the second strategy is less appealing than the first, it exposes the true nature of the argument. It is possible to look back at the roots of modernity and challenge the assumptions that lead to gay Pixar films. Although it is unlikely to be successful, such an effort can provide a solid foundation and help us achieve a lasting victory. This strategy may be more appealing. This strategy might be more appealing, at least for the short-term. It will eventually give way, and make concession after concession in an endless retreat.

You have two options if you don’t like Gonzo the Muppet’s nonbinary status. One is an incoherent argument, and one is unpopular. Both have little chance of success.