Trump’s Likely Pick to Empower Women Is Mad That Disney Movies Don’t Feature Enough Strong Male Leads

You read that right.

Penny Nance with Concerned Women for America speaks during a meeting held by Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex on May 25, 2017. Andrew Harnik/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

It’s hard to imagine a more ironic choice for America’s next ambassador-at-large for women’s issues.

The position is tasked with overseeing State Department programs to end gender-based violence and empower women and girls around the world. So, naturally, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering Penny Young Nance, a far-right Christian activist who opposed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act; recently cheered on an attempt to block a pregnant teen immigrant from an abortion; and has called on Hollywood to write more scripts featuring strong male leads.

Nance is the CEO and president of Concerned Women for America. The group’s agenda, according to its website, includes “protecting and supporting the Biblical design of marriage,” “protecting the sanctity of human life,” “ending sexual exploitation by fighting all forms of pornography, obscenity, prostitution, and sex trafficking,” and “defending religious liberty.”

Speaking on Fox & Friends, Nance put it this way: “We’re the women’s group who love men.”

At the CWA, Nance has called to defund Planned Parenthood and promoted the false idea that abortion is linked with breast cancer. Her organization argued that transgender kids shouldn’t have the right to use school bathrooms matching their gender identity, and it opposed a federal bill that would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Nance has even taken aim at the Disney mega-hit Frozen, which featured two strong female princesses. Nance went on television to criticize the film’s portrayal of men. “Hollywood in general has often sent the message that men are superfluous, that they’re stupid, that they’re in the way,” she said on Fox & Friends.

Congressional aides told Politico last week that the Trump administration was considering Nance for the envoy position, but it’s not clear whether she would be able to get confirmed. Democrats are expected to push hard against the appointment and she recently criticized Republican Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake for their decisions to retire from Congress—both senators sit on the Foreign Relations Committee, which approves or rejects ambassador nominees.

When Flake, a vocal Trump critic, announced his retirement by saying “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate,” Nance tweeted that he “sounded like a middle school girl.”

Republicans have only a narrow majority on the Foreign Relations Committee, so if either Corker or Flake joins Democrats in opposing Nance, her bid for the job will fail.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate