I rather enjoyed the original fairy-tales. They were pretty gruesome – scary in fact. Imagine the courage of caged, abandoned children waiting to be eaten in the Hansel and Gretel story, sticking a chicken bone through the bars so the witch could feel how skinny and unappetising they would be should she choose to eat them that day.
And, oh, the fear that the hunter would rip out Snow White’s heart for the terrifyingly jealous Wicked Stepmother! And Snow White’s kindness to seven men dwarves, chiding them to be neat, clean and orderly.
And the dreadful conditions of poor Cinderella in grubby clothes sitting amongst the cold ashes and living with cruel sisters – a reflection of the condition of poverty stricken children and young people of that time long ago. And the desire for her situation betterment.
The real fairy tales told of love, hate, jealousy, envy, greed, ingenuity, loss, fear, loneliness, hope, kindness and survival – and history once upon a time, a long time ago. That’s what I thought. Teaching stories, they were. Teaching us through our own emotional responses.
But Feminists are very anti fairy-tails, saying they were written to groom girls into submission by cis males bent on dominance. I don’t think this is true. The old fairy-tales were about lessons in behaviour, not only for girls, but for boys too.
Fairy-tales now days are different. I agree with Feminists about how they are presented to children now.
In fairy-tales, the girl wins the Prince. Well, in Disney fairy-tales, which are slick, superficial re-tellings of the real stories, they do. Girls attract the Prince by looking pretty, feminine and wearing beautiful clothes. And the Prince is captured by their beauty and the two of them fall instantly in love.
Just about every girl, and some boys too, even in remote countries, have ‘Princess Dolls’, manufactured with bodies, hair and faces that capture the Princess ‘look’ that is wildly unachievable by any young person – comic characters really.
Drag queens strive to achieve it, and do, very cleverly.
But despite any protests by feminists, the fairy-tale, is still the most popular situation for women. Women marry ‘up’ – called Hypergamy – quote –
However, even in relatively gender-equal societies it is generally accepted that young women will often partner with powerful older men; while the general rule is that older men have had more time to gather wealth and status than younger men and they are on average wealthier and of higher status.
Studies of heterosexual mate selection in dozens of countries around the world have found men and women report prioritizing different traits when it comes to choosing a mate, with men tending to prefer women who are young and attractive and women tending to prefer men who are rich, well-educated, ambitious, and attractive.
Many women, even Feminists, still long for their own fairy-tale.