On Cross-Dressing Cartoon Characters: 7 Quick Takes XXI

by | Jul 19, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Catholic Mom Movie Review, Parenting, Pop Culture | 11 comments

I was so sorry to read Dwija’s sad news that they lost baby Nicholas at 21 weeks along.

I have felt so identified with her struggles since I am also 21 weeks pregnant. It’s been such a joy to witness how she dealt with the challenges of this pregnancy with such hope and joy. I can’t imagine the sorrow she and her family are going through now, but I am confident that through God’s grace they will find comfort. There are so many people praying for them right now.

since there is no good way to make an appropriate segue here, I’m just not going to try.

Hey, remember when I told you I was cool with nudity in movies? Well, today I’d like to defend cross-dressing in movies.

That’s right. Hooray for cross-dressing (sometimes).

Cross-dressing is funny to kids because of how ridiculous it is. If it wasn’t ridiculous, we wouldn’t laugh at it. A friend told me that her family won’t be going to see Despicable Me 2 because it features a cross-dressing minion and, at the time, I wasn’t sure what to think about it. 

I have not seen Despicable Me 2, so I can’t comment on how it’s handled in that movie in particular, but now that I’ve had some time to consider, my take on it in general is: Boy characters in movies and in cartoons have been dressing up as girls for comedic effect since the dawn of the medium and I do not choose to turn it into something that it’s not for my children. 

It isn’t supposed to be a sexually deviant thing when Bugs Bunny or Tom or Dale or Pumbaa or Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon dress up as women. Rather, it highlights the feminism (in the actual sense of that word) of real women by showing us how silly it looks when a man tries to do it.

And in the case of the minions in the first Despicable Me (which I did just watch, see below) I’m pretty sure those guys are asexual lab-created beings anyway (which is an ethical issue of its own I guess), but the cross-dressing in that movie was a disguise not a sexual identity issue.

Despite what California lawmakers would like us to believe, transgender identification is not an issue that affects anything close to a statistically significant number of people in this country. It’s just not a discussion I need to have with my kids. And I’m not going to let the struggles of a few rob my children of comedy gems like this:

C’mon, that’s hilarious!

I did not see Despicable Me when it came out in theaters, and I hadn’t seen it since then either. But the kids’ swim team was planning to watch it tonight . . . starting at 8:30pm (!) as a “team building activity.” My kiddos do NOT need to be up that late to watch a movie. So the husband came up with a compromise: we could watch it the afternoon as a Team Tierney team building activity (and the kids could go have dinner with their swim team and then come home to go to bed).

As with Wreck It Ralph, this is a movie I had preconceived notions about. They turned out to be right . . . and wrong.

Overall, I found it funny, creative, and well-acted. There is a charming scene of the three little girls saying their prayers before bed. And the overarching storyline is that fatherhood changes one’s priorities for the better. I agree with that.

BUT . . .

my fear was that there would be a lot of crude humor. And boy was there. Fart jokes, toilet jokes, operating a keyboard with your behind jokes, etc. it has them in spades.

So, this is one that I would say is fine for one-time viewing or on an airplane, but isn’t going into the rotation at my house. My boys don’t need that kind of inspiration, they’re good.

While at a waterpark that was rockin’ the hits of the eighties, nineties, and today, I heard the following two songs:

(If you enjoy smoke machines and dramatic snapping, I cannot recommend highly enough the first 30 seconds of the above video.)

Here’s a little lyrical comparison (don’t trip over all the production value):

It got me wondering, what if the thing Hall and Oats can’t go for and the thing
Meat Loaf won’t do . . . are the same thing? Wikipedia doesn’t know, so
I’m going to call it officially unknowable.

And here are some things you missed if you aren’t on Facebook (or you are on Facebook, but you just don’t “like” Catholic All Year). . .

This song has been driving my inner grammar
lover CRAZY for almost two decades. Thank you Rachael and Eliza Hurwitz
for finally fixing it:

Catholic All Year strongly supports Brandon Vogt’s Free the Word campaign:

I’ll bet you can spare the two minutes to watch this:

From the good news/bad news department . . .

My bloggy friend Marquette featured one of my LESS successful project attempts from Anita’s owl party on her hilarious crafting fail blog: Pinstrosity. So check it out, but only if you don’t scare easy. 

And, as one of the commenters summed it up: <sigh>

The Darcy Effect: Why Two Centuries Later, Mr. Darcy Is Still The Man

Good news, I finally wrote some posts (here and here) that many people wanted to read and NO ONE was mad about. Hooray! (It can’t last, next week I’ll end up writing something like “As Catholics, We Have a Responsibility to Hate Puppies” and ruin all my good mojo (can Catholics say mojo? probably not. see, I’ve done it already).

ANYWAY, in the comments section of one of the posts, Colleen got me thinking about kids and self-esteem. In case you missed it, here’s what I said:

I certainly wouldn’t advocate
someone giving responsibilities to their children that they don’t
believe that the children are ready for.

But that being said,
with my own children, I think long and hard before I tell them they are
not capable of doing something. I want my children’s self-esteem to be
based on actual responsibility and actual usefulness (not some
everyone’s a winner, trophies for everyone, fake self-esteem). In order
for them to develop that I have to be willing to trust them in real

Obviously, I have assessed my children individually and taken the precautions that I feel are necessary to minimize the risks.

My seven year old son makes an excellent fried egg. He’s the only one of them who can flip it without breaking the yoke.


I never would have known if I hadn’t been brave/foolhardy/morning sick enough to let him try.

And finally, in this week’s installment of “Things Christina posted on my Facebook timeline,” I give you:

It’s a funny (in both senses of that word) thing to be on BuzzFeed.

Here’s how *I* thought they did . . .

I am TOTALLY not down with #4, if I like #10 you’re not going to get me to admit it on the internet, #18: blech no tartar sauce – ever, not familiar with #24 (I’ll have to look it up), actually not into #26 personally, or #32. But I DO love all the other stuff to varying degrees and, hey, #38 was new information, and I have two daughters who are not currently betrothed, so, ya know, it could come in handy.

And is it just me or do we totally beat the Jewish girls on this one?

Oh, one more thing: The only way I could figure out to get my comments on other people’s blogs to link to my email address was to quit Google+ and go back to using a Blogger profile. It doesn’t matter to me any, since I never, ever used Google+, but I think it does mean my posts won’t be linked up there anymore. So if that’s how you were following . . . I’m sorry, but there’s always Facebook or Bloglovin’ or Feedly or Google Friend Connect or email, right?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Kris

    My kids are ADDICTED to that Bugs Bunny cartoon you posted. Why did they ever take that off the TV? The "old" cartoons are SO much better than the newer stuff that is out there. We have a DVD with a bunch of Looney Tunes episodes and they watch is over and over and laugh hysterically. I love to hear it!

  2. Ashley Sue

    I liked both of the Despicable Me movies. I thought the second one was much better. I am always interested in what other people do or do not allow in their homes because I always learn something new. For instance, I am not a Barbie movie fan at all. However, a good friend of mine loves them so, I was able to view several ones and discuss them with her and why she allowed them.

    I still do not allow them at our house but I feel like I was able to make a better argument for my no. BTW I am so glad that someone else keeps bedtimes! I catch so much grief over that. Unless its seriously important my chickadees are in bed by 8. (My oldest has anxiety and sensory issues that dictate a schedule with little to no change).

    A parenting question: how do avoid the middle child syndrome? My oldest (4) is high needs and the baby is only 7 months, so my 3 yo gets lost sometimes (read more than I would like) and she has an iron will . I basically feel like I drop the ball with her.

    • Kendra


      Great question. And basically I would say, that different kids have different needs for attention. Some of my kids need more attention, and they're really good at getting it. Others need less and just aren't as demanding. I do try to make sure each kid gets at least a tiny bit of individual attention each day, like a story or a few minutes of snuggling. And as they get older I make sure to have an individual outing with each kid occasionally (like once a year). But mostly I'd say not to worry too much about it. She's probably getting what she needs or she'd let you know.

  3. RAnn

    The camp talent show at the daycamp at my daughter's Catholic school ended with beauty pageant where the teenaged boy counsellors competed for the Miss____ crown, wearing prom dresses. Of course it was funny. Another mom said "unfortunately one day they'll be doing this seriously, not as a joke".

  4. Kristen Bright

    They got me at Sister Act and Notre Dame, but mostly, Matt Maher!! Everyone should know about him! The best music ever! (so the list was kinda true…)

  5. Anonymous

    I would love to hear about which homeschool curriculum you use. Also, do you have a home altar/prayer corner? If so how did you set it up etc?
    (homeschool Mom w/Divine Mercy)
    Sorry, I don't have a blog account.

    • Kendra

      We use Mother of Divine Grace and like it a lot.

      We do have a little altar table. You can see a picture of it here. It holds our holy cards and some little statues the kids have particular devotions to. I don't do a whole lot with it. But it gets decorated for the major liturgical seasons and it's where we say our morning and bedtime prayers.

  6. Anna

    I appreciated Colleen's comment. My 5 year old is probably 'behind' in the motor skills department (I've suspected for a while). Certain things he really 'can't' do right now, like strap himself into a carseat, buckle his belt, snap his pants shut ect. Several people have told me how their children have been doing these things forever now and so he probably can too. I imagine they are trying to be helpful but here's the thing: I would like to be able to accept that he will learn these things at his own pace, with gently prodding from a parent. You can't force these things, and I know because I've tried. It seems that there are people who suggest, especially when it comes to chores, that if your child is at a certain age and not doing certain things it's because he's not motivated or that the parent has low expectations. This is a lot of pressure and I think telling your child over and over again that he CAN do something when he just CAN'T right now is damaging also. It makes it seem as though it's not okay that he can't buckle up by himself, as though there's something wrong with him when really it shouldn't be a big deal if he learns these things a year later then the other kids do.

    Maybe these are separate issues. My kids are still young so trust and responsibilty really only apply in very small matters, like I can trust my oldest to wipe his own bottom and wash his hands. I certainly agree that often kids are capable of a lot more then we allow, but sometimes I feel like I don't have permission to just be patient and let it alone for a time, what with all the emphasis on responsibility.

    • Kendra

      I absolutely agree with you the parents are the best judges of what their kids are capable of. And even between my own kids, they have mastered different skills at very different ages. But often if they are less capable in some areas, they are more capable in others. I do try to find the things that they can do one their own, and not push in the areas that they can't.

      But you're right, I think the distinction here is finding things my kids are capable of BOTH physically, as you point out, AND emotionally like Colleen was saying.

  7. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Man, there is a whole world of stuff that I have to make decisions about as my kids get older: movies, music, hang outs. A little overwhelming. I'm glad they are still itty bitties right now!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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