There’s something about kids: their wide-eyed innocence, their unimpeachable earnestness, their progressive ideas about gender politics. After all, as everyone knows, elementary school students are the foremost political thinkers the internet has to offer. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, it’s a well-known fact of the web. Twitter has revealed so many elementary school philosophers that the trope has its own meme page.
According to Chelsea Clinton, 8-year-olds are concerned about paying for college. (Clinton herself said she left the Baptist Church at the age of 6 because of their pro-life teachings.) One father had to comfort his 4-year-old, who had apparently seen a picture of Donald Trump and asked, “Why is that man so afraid, Daddy?”
Now some of those anecdotes are more plausible than others, but what they all have in common is an overwrought adult thrilled to find a child who has the exact same political preference they do. It’s amazingly convenient.
Nevertheless, parents persist in posting earnest examples of their progressive children, and Sunday night, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins dropped the motherlode of woke kids stories by sharing a Tumblr post from a user called “Hot Latino Space Rebel.”
Here’s the original tweet:
I work in a kindergarten and this is a collection of cute Wonder Woman related thing that happened with a week of the movie being released.
- On Monday, a boy who was obsessed with Iron Man, told me he had asked his parents for a new Wonder Woman lunchbox.
- A little girl said “When I grow up I want to speak hundreds of languages like Diana”
- This girl had her parents revamp her Beauty and the Beast birthday party in THREE DAYS because she simply had to have a Wonder Woman party.
- Seven girls playing together during recess on Tuesday, saying that since they all wanted to be Wonder Woman they had agreed to be Amazons and not fight but work together to defeat evil.
- There is this one girl that refuses to listen to you unless you address her as Wonder Woman.
- Another girl very seriously asked the teacher if she could ditch her uniform for the Wonder Woman armor bc she “wanted to be ready if she needed to save the world”. The teacher laughed and said it was okay, and the next day the girl came dressed as Wonder Woman and not a single kid batted an eye.
- They are making a wrap-up dance show, and they asked the teacher if they could come as superheroes, they are going to sing a song about bunnies.
- This kid got angry and threw a plastic car over his head and a girl gasped “LIKE IN THE MOVIE”
- A boy threw his candy wrapping in the floor and a 5-year-old girl screamed “DON’T POLLUTE YOU IDIOT, THAT IS WHY THERE ARE NO MEN IN TEMYSCIRA”
- On Wednesday, a girl came with a printed list of every single female superhero and her powers, to avoid any trouble when deciding roles at recess.
- I was talking to one of the girls that hadn’t seen the movie, and the next day she came and very seriously told me “you were right, Wonder Woman was way better than Frozen.”
Consider this your friendly reminder that if this movie completely changed the way these girls and boys thought about themselves and the world in a
, imagine what the next generation will achieve if we give them more movies like Wonder Woman.
With each event, I grew more astonished that anyone could possibly believe that 5-year-old children had said any of these things. Five-year-olds don’t actually talk like this: They are the least politically aware creatures on the face of the planet, and they don’t speak in expedient sound bites. It’s self-evidently absurd.
Because I was sure that no one else was taking this seriously, I sarcastically tweeted about this must have been an unusually progressive classroom. To my astonishment, people began retweeting my tweet entirely in earnest, and it even appeared in the Twitter Moments tab before being quietly vanished. Meanwhile, Jenkins’ original tweet has continued to gather steam. The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan and the Independent have shared the feel-good story, and Jenkins’ tweet has been retweeted 29,000 times.
The story is ridiculous to anyone with any real-world experience with 5-year-olds. It should be ridiculous to anyone, period, because Wonder Woman is rated PG-13 and what are the odds that a classroom filled with kindergartners all would have been taken to see it by their parents on opening?
(Confronted with this, “Hot Latino Space Rebel” came up with an even more implausible answer, writing, “not all the kids in the kindergarten have seen the movie. What makes the impact of Wonder Woman so amazing is that even without these children actually watching the movie, it has changed the way [they] play games, the way their view superheroes, the way they interact with each other.” Right.)
But none of this matters, because the kindergarten Wonder Woman fans fit The Narrative. All of these stories do.
As my 8-year-old told me the other day, “Gee, I wish people would be less gullible on the internet.” At least, I’m sure she would have, if I had an 8 eight-year-old, instead of an imaginary friend who always agrees with me.