PIRATES OF THE CARAPEAN – The Magic Kingdom gets a slight makeover:

At Disneyland, pirates can still drink, pillage and fight.

But the swashbuckling tradition of abducting and exploiting women is being sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Call it a sign of the times.

The park plans to revamp a section of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that depicts a parade of women being put on the auction block — under a decidedly un-PC banner that reads “Auction, Take a wench for a bride.”

The auction will be replaced next year by a less offensive scene of pirates forcing the local townsfolk to give up their valuables. After all, who can be offended by a little pirate pilfering?

I’m quite surprised that something like a “wench auction” display actually ever existed at Disneyland in the first place, considering its family-friendly credentials (hence perhaps, in a nod to respectability, “…for a bride”, as opposed for a simple sex slave).

There are additional ironies here. Pirates were arguably the body of seafarers least interested and involved in slave-owning and slave-trading of all their north and central Atlantic contemporaries throughout the 16th, the 17th and 18th centuries. Secondly, while pirates could get as rapey as any other body of armed men in that era, and of course the image of a pirate carousing with rum-soaked whores at a Port Royale brothel is a staple of buccaneering iconography, it is nowadays virtually forgotten how prevalent – and accepted – homosexuality and pederasty were amongst the pirates of the Caribbean and elsewhere, on and off-board.

So while removing a wench auction might not actually be all that PC considering the context of the display, I don’t expect Disney Corp to introduce the certainly more PC and historically accurate images of pirates buggering cabin boys or engaging in some man-on-man (or man’o’war-on-man’o’war?) action with their fellow, ahem, seamen.

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