Some people read fairy tales to put children to sleep, others to stay woke:
A mum has called for the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty to be banned from her son’s school, as she claims it promotes an “inappropriate sexual message”.
Sarah Hall from North Sheilds, in England, has argued that the story promotes unacceptable behaviour from a young age by normalising women being kissed while they are sleep and unable to give consent.
Ms Hall, 40, said she first realised the fairytale was sending an inappropriate message to children when she was reading the schoolbook to her son, aged six…
The mum expressed her concerns about the book on Twitter along with the MeToo hashtag, which is used by social media users to campaign against sexual assault in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Ms Hall also left a comment in the book and requested that the school remove all books with this narrative out of circulation for the younger classes, according to The Metro.
“In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate — my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation,” she said.
“I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent. These are indicative of how ingrained that kind of behaviour is in society.”
So the Prince takes advantage of Sleeping Beauty’s incapacitation and inability to consent, and performs a sexual act on her, or really sexually assaults her. This sounds like something out of a college dormitory where the rape culture is virtually institutionalised today. And the “sleeping spell” sound suspiciously like the effects of rohypnol.
But why stop at Sleeping Beauty? Parents, be aware of the fact that all the famous fairy tales are teaching your children that unacceptable behaviour is quite OK.
Little Red Riding Hood encourages and glorifies violence against trans and non-binary beings. The wolf clearly identifies as a grandmother and engages in transvestitism. “Eating” first the grandmother and then Little Red Riding Hood is how the specie-normative narrative negatively portrays the brave wolf’s attempt to embrace the femininity of both a young girl and of a mature woman. The story ends with the trans-wolf being brutally murdered by a violent male enamoured in gun culture.
Hansel and Gretel encourages violence against “the other”, in this case a “witch”, i.e. a wise woman who chooses to live outside of the oppressive institutions of the patriarchy, a woman who privileges feminine wisdom over phallocentric logic. The “witch” is burned alive by the children, representing the patriarchy’s desire to punish transgressive women. She is also described as “old”, embodying the discriminatory attitude against women who are considered no longer useful on the account of being past the child-bearing age.
In Rapunzel, the tower in which the young woman is imprisoned is a metaphor for a penis, and in general the patriarchal power structures that oppress and imprison women. The focus on Rapunzel’s hair teaches children to reduce to and objectify women by reference to their appearance and body parts. The prince gains sexual access to Rapunzel by climbing up her hair, which signifies violently pulling on woman’s hair and normalises rape.
Cinderella teaches young women that the only way to escape the oppression and exploitation inherent in the capitalist system is not by challenging the system itself but by making oneself sexually available to a high-status male. The story also fetishizes female footwear, which provides a useful way for the patriarchy to distract women from contesting their subordinate role in the gender hierarchy.
The Frog Prince teaches males it is permissible to blackmail a woman in desperate need by offering help in exchange for sexual access. The “frog” is a metaphor for an unattractive male who is socially valourised for gaining control over a more attractive female by subterfuge.
In Snow White, young women are taught that regardless of their socio-economic background, they are to serve men, however inferior. The fairy tale also normalises necrophilia, showing that even death is not the end of the objectification of women as the foci of male voyeuristic desire, signified by a glass coffin.
Grimms’ fairy tales? More like grim fairy tales; grim with sexism and discrimination.
P.S. Also note that “fairy” is a term of disparagement for a queer male, and as such should be avoided.