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Home/Rod Dreher/The Wiggles Of Weimar

The Wiggles Of Weimar

'Hi, I'm Shirley Shawn, the Non-Binary Unicorn, and I'm here to colonize your child's mind' (The Wiggles screenshot)

My kids were all little in the 2000s, and grew up in part on The Wiggles, the Australian musical group for kids. They were huge back in the day, though I lost track of them when my kids outgrew them. Well, The Wiggles are now woke. Take a look at this recent sketch, which I’ve cued to the right spot:

In the clip, the character Captain Feathersword addresses the Shirley Shawn unicorn character using “they/them” pronouns. On Twitter, someone asked about it — and one of the Wiggles responded:

I found out about this via an Australian reader, who wrote:

I don’t know if the Wiggles are a big thing in the US, but in Australia, they’re synonymous with children’s entertainment.

Recently they’ve added four new members in the name of inclusion and diversity, and it turns out that one of the occasional characters – Shirley Shawn the Unicorn – now presents as non-binary.  This was stated by one of the chief Wiggles – Anthony Field – on Twitter on April 14

On the fandom page, you can see how they’re applying ‘their’ they/them pronouns

For decades, the Wiggles have been so clean-cut that parents of all political and religious persuasions have been comfortable letting their kids be entertained by them. And even now, given that the latest news seems to have caused not so much as a ripple, I suspect many parents won’t even know that their kids are now being indoctrinated by Australia’s most famous children’s entertainers.

Here’s a screenshot from the fandom page:

What is the point of this? Why can’t kids just be kids? Why do the sick, twisted elites of Anglophone culture have to force their obsessions onto little ones? Not even the Wiggles are allowed to escape the totalitarian sexual revolution. As I write in Live Not By Lies, totalitarianism is

a form of government that combines political authoritarianism with an ideology that seeks to control all aspects of life. This totalitarianism won’t look like the USSR’s. It’s not establishing itself through “hard” means like armed revolution, or enforcing itself with gulags. Rather, it exercises control, at least initially, in soft forms. This totalitarianism is therapeutic. It masks its hatred of dissenters from its utopian ideology in the guise of helping and healing.

To grasp the threat of totalitarianism, it’s important to understand the difference between it and simple authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is what you have when the state monopolizes political control. That is mere dictatorship—bad, certainly, but totalitarianism is much worse. According to Hannah Arendt, the foremost scholar of totalitarianism, a totalitarian society is one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal of bringing all aspects of society under control of that ideology. A totalitarian state is one that aspires to nothing less than defining and controlling reality. Truth is whatever the rulers decide it is. As Arendt has written, wherever totalitarianism has ruled, “[I]t has begun to destroy the essence of man.”

What you are seeing here is another manifestation of soft totalitarianism. I know what some of you are saying: there he goes again, that right-wing nut, getting bent out of shape over a kid’s show. Sorry, but this is a big deal. They are trying to colonize the minds of pre-school age children with this gender-ideology lie, which seeks to destroy the essence of man. It’s disgusting. They really are coming for our children. Do not be fooled. This is culture war at its purest: to conquer the minds of kids so small they don’t even know that they are being indoctrinated.

(I would just like to stop here and applaud the government of Hungary for caring enough about protecting its children that it passed a law forcing these creepy propagandists to keep their hands off the kids.)

Along those lines, another reader wrote:

My wife and I just had our first child 9 months ago. We used a pregnancy tracking app that’s very chic right now–Ovia. We really loved it and–in tandem with her wonderful doctor–it helped us understand how and why my wife’s pregnancy went the way it did. It has a week-by-week explanation of the unborn baby’s health and the mother’s health.
We got pregnant again (praise God) and we’re using same app. But I’ve noticed in the week-by-week updates, we are no longer told about pregnant mothers, but about “pregnant folks.” I know this is classic crotchety old man stuff, but geez. I wonder if we have a term that describes folk who get pregnant. This jargon all happened in the last 6-9 months since our son was born. You talk about acceleration? The hard and hasty approach of this stuff? It’s happening. Even pregnancy is politicized
Of course, I know I have to just tune out the language control so I can focus on my wife and children. But a time is coming when I can’t just tune it out. There will be trouble for those who publicly don’t fall in line.
And this makes sense, right? If you want to reshape a society, you have to reshape its center. Family is just about as close as you can get to the center of a normal society (a truly healthy society has God at the center). So if you want to change society, eliminate that center–destroy it. Redefine it.
I’m younger (25). I grew up in a conservative church body–still a member, becoming a pastor in it. It’s insane to think that all that stuff the crochety old people said in my church was true. Redefine marriage and you lose your world. They were right.
Why wasn’t it credible to 10-16 year old me? Because they didn’t have any personal holiness. We had nothing to grab onto. I think having “cells” of resistance is a good idea. But I feel like the only thing I have to work from is personal holiness right now.
We are living through a great unveiling. You can only live in denial for so long about the rottenness. Nobody can be neutral going forward. You must choose. Refusing to choose is a choice.

UPDATE: This letter from a woman who studies at an elite college that sends many students to government, finance, and policy. The emphases are in the original letter:

Please warn your readers because everyone who’s a sane parent, Christian or not, needs to hear this.
There is a certain type of parent who thinks, “Well, I’ll just stop my kids from watching The Wiggles.” Do not make the mistake of thinking that this gender ideology is going to evade you or your kids if only you cut out The Wiggles. It is everywhere, and the elites in charge either want it to be everywhere or will spread it everywhere because they’re indifferent about it because tradition has been wiped away. Gender ideology has overtaken our elite institutions, and I know this because I go to one. I have seen the types of people who are going into education and education policy and who want to teach as an act of social justice (as opposed to the standard reasons). These are smart individuals who are going to be influential down the line, and who have a high degree of educational pedigree. Gender ideology is what they care about teaching, and it is what they care about, period.
They know that children are malleable and they want to take on the mantle of shaping children, especially with regards to gender, sexuality, and racial grievance. They want your kids to play around with their pronouns: I have heard many people say they believe that more people would choose to not be “cisgender” if they were introduced to gender theory. If your kids are not white (as my future children will not be), they will tell them that white people hate them and thus that your kids should hate white people. If your kids are white, they will call your kids oppressors and make them confess without absolution. (I have heard alumni talking about their teaching careers, and they really sow in racial grievances. It is abhorrent.) They want your kids to learn in school about how polyamory is great, what BDSM is, pornography, how masturbation is a “great way to get to know yourself,” and about “safe ways to practice kinky sex,” and no, I am not exaggerating: these are things I have seen from groups on my campus and on other campuses dedicated to “sexual education,” and much of their work is in creating propaganda for children and future child educators. They want your kids to spend their time and energy on “figuring out my gender” constantly which is why they believe sexual education should be taught from kindergarten onwards, and they don’t believe in, or care about, innocence: sex and pleasure are what matter. They also don’t care about parental rights, because kids don’t get to choose parents—if a parent thinks that there are two genders, and that little Sally can’t become little Harry, the parent is wrong and the teacher supersedes (especially since many of these teachers see themselves as quasi-parents). You, the parent, will never, ever win against that logic, and the schools will enable little Sally in becoming little Harry while calling you a horrible person, both to your child’s face and to yours. (I have seen this happen in high school, and that was four years ago. Things have only gotten worse since.)
In short, they want your kids. I cannot emphasize this enough: they want your kids, they want your kids, they want your kids.They think all this stuff is good and moral because this is their religion. The people who want to influence your children are effectively cult members, and the point of all cults is to make more cult members. They run their institutions the way their cult wants them to.
These are our elites and our future elites, the broken people who are running or are going to be running our institutions in the future. They hate your guts and I know this because I go to class with them, and they talk about how much they hate Christians and conservatives and white people and about how there are no differences between the sexes. They introduce themselves with pronouns. Every other day, some woman or some little girl I know changes her pronouns to she/they or they/them, goes on testosterone, gets surgery, etc. So many beautiful women—you’d mistake some of them for models and actresses—suddenly cutting off all their hair, dyeing it blue or pink or jet black, putting on breast binders, changing their names, and deepening their voices with weekly shots. So many vulnerable people flocking to gender ideology because they believe in nothing else and it offers them temporary comfort. The social currency of the day is oppression, and if you want to be involved in the mainstream, the only way you can speak is if you are oppressed in some way: so people take on mantles of oppression—gender is one of the ways you can be oppressed and (therefore) be able to speak, and it is one way you can find a community (because there is a big community of people there). It is all they talk about. It is all they think about. It is all the movement wants them to think about. They believe it is all they are, firing neurons, and it shows. The only thing that’s fundamental for them is race, and again, they want your kids believing that, too.
Do not trust secular schools, public or private. If your kids go to one, that’s fine (I went to public schools myself all my life), but make sure you talk with them. Help them find better ways to engage with the world, guide them to God, join a church and make sure they have a community of like minded people, engage with their lives, don’t force your views on them, but talk with them about why you don’t believe in gender ideology. Teach them a higher morality than this, a higher truth, some respect for tradition. Otherwise, they might be unable to resist the purpose and the community gender ideology offers them: this is what people miss. It’s not gender dysphoria but friendship and communal support that’s often making people change their whole gender identities. This is especially true for if you have daughters, and even more true for if you have smart daughters, because gender ideology offers them intellectual engagement and something to think about (maybe an alternative is helping your smart daughters read the classics, or to take math classes outside of school). There is an entire indoctrination machine working against you, the parents, and you need to counter that with kindness, love, and patience (Rome wasn’t built in a day). You might not be able to stop it, but you need to acknowledge reality and find ways of communicating about gender ideology with your kids. Do not underestimate any of this. It is evil.

There are probably sane parents who read your blog and who think you are a doomsayer: you are not. You understand this ideology and how bad it is. You are not exaggerating. In high school I’d read about the Benedict Option and thought that it seemed ridiculous. I don’t think that anymore, because I have now gone to college with the people who are going to be making decisions for many years down the line. They will only lose their political power and influence when things really collapse, which will be a problem in and of itself: My prediction is that gender ideology will blow up in the next decade or so, mostly because there are going to be medical malpractice lawsuits from women who’ve had their breasts lopped off at the age of 16 by psychotic plastic surgeons and whose lives will have been permanently altered as a result of this gender ideology. But until the lawsuits start coming, it will get worse and worse, and there are going to be people who are left devastated by all of this.

One final note: Remember that the perpetrators of this are often its victims, too. They’re easy to mock and easy to get angry with, but they deserve our love and compassion because they are people, and because they are so sad. I know so many people who’ve changed their gender presentation and identity and not one of them looks genuinely happy. They are miserable. If you are friends with anyone who’s a victim of this, if you know people who are victims of this, please treat them well. Don’t hate them. Hate is bad for your soul, it is bad for theirs, and they will see a caricature of opposition, instead of realizing that they are worth so much more than gender ideology would have them believe.

Lord have mercy on us all.
UPDATE.2:

Meanwhile, in Canadian schools:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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