Pirates, a traditionally oppressed and misunderstood group in America, will surely take comfort in the news that Disney’s popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride will be getting a politically correct makeover in 2018. Despite its popularity with tourists, the bride auction scene (in which a pirate auctioneer is offering up a lusty redhead to the highest bidder) has been deemed “sexist” and will be revamped. Following a remodel, the scene will depict an auction of goods, not women, and the popular redhead will be transformed into a female pirate.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 1, 2017
This will no doubt be seen as an important step forward in repairing relations between pirates and nonfictional people. Of course, as with any strides forward in the inclusion of members of an historically maligned subset of genre fiction, there is still much to be done. And the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is an excellent place to start, given its accepted status as an accurate and well-researched depiction of pirate culture.
Members of the Pirate Inclusion League of Landlubbers and Gender Equality (PILLAGE), a group I just made up, comment that changing the redheaded bride into a swashbuckling female pirate is an excellent idea since, even though it’s totally unrealistic, it’s less demeaning to women, which is always more important than truth.
— CNN (@CNN) July 1, 2017
Not to mention the fact that casting pirates in a negative light implies that they’re dastardly, drunken, conniving knaves. Which, of course, they are. But they shouldn’t be depicted that way, because then someone might get confused and think that bad guys doing bad things implies that those bad things are actually bad. Which would be bad … for some reason.
The ride has come under fire for sexism before (which is so strange, given that it’s a ride about pirates) and Disney has already made some changes. For example, a scene which used to depict men chasing women now depicts men chasing women who are holding food. This is so much better because instead of implying that men are only after women for their bodies, it now implies that they’re only after their food.
PILLAGE hopes Disney won’t stop there. For example, they’ve pointed out that the phrase “yo ho” might be considered derogatory by some and have suggested it be replaced with “greetings sex worker.” This doesn’t particularly scan in the song, but at least no one would be offended by a ride whose characters proclaim that they “kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.”
There has also been some concern over the animated skeletal remains of dead pirates in the ride. The lithe and, let’s face it, bony body structure of these skeletons might be seen as body shaming some of the other pirates with fuller, more robust figures. PILLAGE hopes these skeletons will be replaced by obese, disabled lesbians in order to incorporate as many minorities as possible.
Finally, it seems that in this day and age the use of guns, swords, and other weapons is triggering to many people. PILLAGE suggests cutting out all reference to pirates’ interest in looting, raping, pillaging, and other violent traditional pirate activities and, instead, suggests that the ride focus on the lesser-known piratical pursuits such as … well, they’re still working on that.
Maybe the pirates should shoot candy at each other instead of bullets. Maybe they should smile more, that always makes people feel better. Ooh, maybe they could wear little name tags so they seem more approachable. And the women could wear pants. And the men could cry. And they could all sit around and talk about their feelings. Oh! And there could be support groups for recovering alcoholic pirates. And a scene where a lady pirate adopts a poor, orphan baby pirate and then marries a caring older male pirate who doesn’t care that she already has a baby. And all the pirates would be so happy!
And, that way, the ride would show bad guys doing good things so that we would know that it’s actually bad to do good things since all these bad guys are doing them. And then we could all extrapolate that all the bad things the pirates used to do are actually things that good people should do. And we should do them. Yeah! I’m sure that’s what Disney would want.
Miss the good old days of Disney? Follow me on Facebook @DisneyPrincessAddict. Or follow me on Twitter @FaithKMoore.