Mike Pence Shared Some Thoughts About 'Mulan' in the '90s

July 18th 2016

Taylor Bell

For most people, the 1998 Disney animated film "Mulan" told the story of a self-sacrificing heroine who takes her father's place in the military. But to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's pick for vice president, the Disney classic was a bunch of liberal propaganda.

mike pence

In a piece for BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski described how Pence argued in a 1999 op-ed that the Disney classic was an attempt "to influence the debate about women in combat."

In the op-ed, which was written for Pence's former radio show and was discovered by BuzzFeed News, Pence attacked the movie for promoting women joining the military.

“Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,” Pence wrote. “Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.”

As Kaczynski pointed out, the movie is based on the sixth-century "Ballad of Mulan," a Chinese legend about a woman who joins the military to help defeat her country's rival at a time when women were not allowed to do so.


The character of Mulan develops romantic feelings for her commanding officer, something that Pence claims is part of the reason why women should not participate in the military.

“It is instructive that even in the Disney film, young Ms. Mulan falls in love with her superior officer! Me thinks the politically correct Disney types completely missed the irony of this part of the story,” Pence wrote. “They likely added it because it added realism with which the viewer could identify with the characters."

He continued: "You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually. Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.”

In 2015, the U.S.government lifted its ban against women in all combat roles, according to The New York Times.