May 31, 2011

Fairy Tale Heroines by Katherine Langrish

Katherine Langrish published an interesting article on the blog Seven Miles of  Steel Thistles. She brilliantly suggests, as anyone reading fairy tales knows, that women are not passive victims. 

Excerpted from her article: 

"...There’s a widespread notion that fairytales present a very passive picture of women and are dreadful role-models for little girls. This is due to ignorance. Many people who do not actually read fairytales, or have not read any since childhood, vaguely associate them with a picture of a Barbie-blonde lady wearing a pink silk dress and diamonds, lying on a bed in a tower, awaiting rescue from a prince on a white horse, and ‘love’s first kiss’. Like this illustration by Rene Cloke from ‘My First Book of Fairy Tales’, which I was given as a child..."

“…The heroines in these tales know their own minds and make their own decisions. They are wise, prudent, determined, wily and brave. They are so far from the stereotype of the fairytale princess that one has to ask how it arose, and to wonder whether late 19th/early 20th century editorial bias--to say nothing of rewriting--had anything to do with choosing more ‘properly behaved’ heroines for children’s anthologies?” ~Katherine Langrish

Read her article on Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

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