Hating on Fairy Tales: A Not-So-Serious Take on a Ridiculous Article

As much as I’d like to pretend that people don’t write pieces titled: “Five Reasons to Stop Reading Your Children Fairy Tales Now” this is a genuine title of a genuine article. I came across this gem while I was researching for my last piece and being a monkey I just couldn’t resist having my way with it. Rather than deconstructing all their ridiculous claims, I thought it would be far more fun to mock it *ahem* rewrite this piece for them in as honest a way as possible 😉 So *WARNING: INCOMING SATIRE and ALL THE SARCASM*. (If you’re looking for serious reasons I don’t agree with the article, maybe check out yesterday’s post 😉 ) Okay, with that out of the way, I’m heading each paragraph with their reasons to stop reading fairy tales and then I’m gonna respond- brace yourselves! 

monkey typewriter
Let’s get down to some (monkey) business…
  1. “Women are passive damsels that can only be saved by men”

swoon

Well firstly, it’s really important to note for the sake of all the following arguments CONTEXT DOESN’T MATTER. Okay, now that we’ve got that covered, I think it’s really important to ignore all attempts Cinderella makes to save herself- because when in doubt erase women’s agency in a story. Also, Rapunzel no longer stands up to the witch, Snow White doesn’t make it to the forest and Gretel watches as Hansel is roasted… This last one is really important, because as the article states, violence is always bad. This leaves us with the comfortable conclusion that female characters are weak if they run away (presumably cos all male characters in the history of ever have stood their ground- although a young/inexperienced male character running away is a trope… but ahh who cares about that right?) or they’re too violent if they fight back (aka like men). My favourite example of passivity of course is Belle from Beauty and the Beast- since sacrificing herself for her father and inspiring a change in her foe aren’t heroic in the slightest… hang on a minute… Err maybe we should move on?

  1. “Marriage is the ultimate reward”

marriage mawwiage

Never mind that Cinderella got status and power from her new role AND that she escaped her abusive relatives. Let’s also forget the fact that this is basically the equivalent of winning the lottery in Perrault’s days, cos context doesn’t matter and we want to teach people to be ignorant of the past. Also, let’s pretend that the Little Mermaid doesn’t die (*coughs* cos apparently the original version no longer exists *cough cough*) which is nice.  I’m so glad we cleared up that the symbolic representation for future life is *e-v-i-l*.

  1. “Lack of racial/physical/sexual diversity”

Because there’s no such thing as a fairy tale or folklore from the non-Western world. Gosh, I am so progressive… Oh wait. I forgot- other cultures exist- silly old me. But let’s just pretend that’s not a thing and criticise Europeans for being historically European- cos context can eat it. Also this is my favourite bit of the article: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that Disney princesses are beautiful, slim and more often than not, white”- cos it just goes to show that I think reading entails watching a movie. Take that book club!

throw books

  1. “Female characters are either bound to the home…”

All female character should strap swords to their backs and go off to their certain death- cos *context* doesn’t exist. But also fighting is toxic so the female characters can’t do that- which leaves me at a loss as to what would be an acceptable story? By the metric of the article, women can’t stay at home, but they can’t leave it to have “manly” adventures, they can’t get married (and we’re gonna cover a bunch of other stuff they can’t do in #5). So basically, are we saying that it’s probably better to just write about men cos then at least we won’t be able to criticise it into oblivion? Or are stories just bad in general? I get the feeling there isn’t an acceptable answer here.

it feels like a trap

  1. “Or they’re evil step mothers/sisters/witches- or fairy godmothers.

maleficent laughing

The point being that it’s not okay to portray women as good or bad. Pff- who needs complexity? I don’t think it’s okay to portray women as a binary- cos then people might get this crazy idea that women can be either good or bad. Then we might get something other than a Mary Sue for a main character- and no one wants that. We don’t want equality- only men should have the possibility to be either Prince Charming or the Wolf of the story- what we want, as women, is to be seen as the Angel (out of the house). What we want is flawless female characters that stroll into the story, take down all the men and then kick all the ass- is that so much to ask?

Also, moving on from the article, thanks to a few recent remarks by celebrities, I now know not to take food from strangers- OBVIOUSLY Snow White was subliminally telling me to take apples from people I don’t know, even if it kills me. Also, I do not consent to magical true loves kiss- never mind that this is fantasy and it kinda reminds me of mouth to mouth resuscitation- LALALA NOT LISTENING!!

Alrighty then- I think I might have offended enough people for one day- see you all in the next post 😉

92 thoughts on “Hating on Fairy Tales: A Not-So-Serious Take on a Ridiculous Article

  1. Wow. I should be surprised that that is an article title, but I’m not.

    But, honestly, when people hate on fairy tales, I’m not even sure what they’re talking about anymore. I guess they mean very classic Disney movies like Cinderella and Snow White? (Or the book versions of these?) Because a lot of “original” fairy tales are not as bright and happy with nice endings, as these people seem to think. And a lot of modern takes on fairy tales are, in fact, diverse or have strong women or whatever. So what is it we’re even hating on here???

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Also, yeah, people should think back to their own childhoods. Did they really watch Cinderella and think women are useless? I didn’t. Especially today when children can get all sorts of media. I watched a lot of Sailor Moon in elementary school, so lots of superhero teen girls. That means I was getting a variety of messages about what women can do, not just watching Cinderella and getting one message.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. hehe I definitely agree with that point!! I also thought characters like Cinderella were admirable- she stood up for herself and didn’t stop being a good person despite her circumstances. And yeah for sure- I was a bit young for it, but I was also super into Buffy. Also my two favourite Disney movies were Mulan and Belle- so I’m not exactly buying this whole “no female role models” thing. And my favourite fairy tales were always Hans Christian Anderson- and say what you like about them, they don’t exactly fit into this mould of “damsel marries prince and lives happily ever after” (though it also shows how I liked gloomy stories even back then 😂)

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I know right! I wish I was surprised!

      Yeah EXACTLY- I can tell immediately that they mean the Disney movies (this one specifically referenced the movies and didn’t refer to a single *actual book*- despite the title). And yes, for sure. So AGREE!

      Like

  2. Hahahaa I love this!! And gosh YES every single point!!! are they serious would be so mad right now at the article if you weren’t saving it with sarcastic replies :’) I am northern european, my skin is as pale as they come, I can retell plenty of norse myths– but I also grew up with fairy tales from different parts of Africa. Why? Because my mum simply bought a book to us on african fairy tales. Yes, european fairy tales are much more ‘common’ but you have EVERY possibility as a consumer to get books and movies on fairy tales from other parts of the world. This article proved in itself there to be ignorant. They could have just given recommendations on non-european fairy tales instead on basing the entire article on the Brothers Grimm’s. Don’t stop reading fairy tales, find some others goddammit

    And on the note of ‘the little mermaid’, my mum told me she was sooo mad at disney for ruining her favourite story of all time because they didn’t have the most important aspects of the story; a young woman experiencing first love and rejection, and just how strong impact it has. Like, if you’ve ever been rejected by a person you truely love lemme tell you – it aint some “So what?” of P!nk you’ll listen to. I’m so tired of the ‘strong independent woman’ trope, stop trying to belittle women who just want happiness from comfort and love, instead of slaying a dragon. People don’t need to work hard to be worthy of happiness, just be kind like Cinderella and that’s it.

    Okay strike that I AM mad hahahhahah

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! haha that was completely my response- I was fuming when I read this article the first time. Like you, I also grew up with folklore from around the world (I literally had a book called “fairy tales from around the world” and had a copy of 1001 nights knocking around as well) Exactly! I really agree- it actually does a disservice to so many of these incredible tales from around the world to pretend like they don’t exist!! I really agree there!

      I completely agree with your mum! Oh my goodness I couldn’t agree more. I’m bored of this whole idea that women have to be (perfect) asskicking heroines all the time (usually without emotions). I personally find it impossible to live upto. It’s not that I hate it all the time- I grew up loving Buffy- but like you, I’d like it if there was an alternative. So agree! That’s why I love Cinderella so much 🙂

      Haha no worries! Thank you so much for your awesome response!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I loved the tale of the bird (cant remember which bird species hahahh) and the turtles in 1001 nights! I remember it really stuck with me and it has such a clear message — don’t demand people to change, clip their wings and discard their freedom for you. But hey, fairy tales don’t teach kids good morales 😂

        The best thing ever is to mention disneys the little mermaid in close proximity to her, she’ll go nuts hahha but yeah I love me a kick-ass woman, as long as the story doesn’t ridicule other women for choosing another path. Power team: Cinderella and Buffy to save the day! Fun fact is that my name is Ella, yet my family refered to me as Cruella instead of Cinderella😂😂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I did enjoy this! I can imagine the article in question, but don’t need to raise my blood pressure this evening by reading it. I am unimpressed to see it had pinched Jane Austen though…her genius should in no way be connected with such tripe 😉 Never stop being sarcastic, you are so good at it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Oh I really agree with you- pinching that line was the worst part of the article for me too- cos it not only showed a great deal of ignorance (aka watching disney films doesn’t count as reading!!) but was also absolute butchery of Austen’s genius!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG how is this still a thing… I know Tolkien was originally underappreciated by the “true” critics, but it was a thousand years ago or so… it reminds me of my lit teacher who insisted it’s “better to read even a Harlequin romance than the any comic”…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wow, the “Have Fun the Right Way” Police are on the ball!

    I’m surprised people who write articles like this can even continue living. What kind of world are they living in their little empty heads? It must be a very sad, boring and lonely place in there…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 🙌. Brilliant!! Oh my gosh you have written what I want to say every time I see one of those insipid articles. I’m not trying to belittle some of the valid claims but articles like this one just take the easy interpretation and throw no kind of research or context behind it. And yeah… I totally went out and took candy and snacks from strangers after watching Snow White… oh wait… wasn’t that Halloween 🤔🎃😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! Yes I really agree with you- it’s not that I think there’s never any criticism to level at fairy tales (or things I like in general) but these ridiculous articles always take things to such a bonkers degree and never do proper research (I mean, in the entire article the only author/work they directly referred to was Disney- no shade to Disney, buuuut that’s not a book! So why are they talking about reading?) hahahaha 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hahaha this is one of your best posts! I honestly don’t understand their hatred of fairytales. The whole thing about marriage and women being damsels – I think they forget the time period these fairytales were set in and the lack of power women had then. The fact that Cinderella escaped abuse is a no small feat. I think the author expected the women to behave like white knights racing off to slay dragons. Heaven forbid, we ever make friends with the beasts!

    The author needs to read more fairytales from other cultures, by the way. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. aw thank you so much!! 😀 YES! I really agree with you!! I don’t think it does anyone any favours to ignore context. EXACTLY! I don’t think it makes sense to act like a woman, especially in context, is weak, when they actually do something incredibly brave. So true!

      hahaha I really agree with you lol! 😂 I really wish their editor had just tossed a copy of 1001 Nights at them (for instance) when they handed this article in 😉 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the laugh, good response to a silly article. It really should have been titled “I hate Disney Princesses and I’m a Crybaby About it” which was really the point they were making. IDK I think fairytales are great simples stories that grew out of oral traditions and are so open and self-insertable that culture and personal authors are able to always shape and mold them as what seems fit and part of the fun is seeing what variations are birthed from these authors and cultures.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for reading and your response! hehehe yup, seems to me they were making that point 😉 (they didn’t actually any books in the article, sooo I’m not sure why they used “read” in the title 😉 ) I really agree with you there! Fairy tales are so much more complex than this author gave them credit for and I don’t think it’s this easy to dismiss them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your reply is aces! You should see if they would publish a rebuttal. Honestly anything featuring the words stop reading to your children is where they lose me. Read all the fairy tales and then encourage them to seek out more from other cultures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes for sure!! If I see the words “don’t read…” it instantly gets my hackles up (especially cos even if you think it’s bad, it can be really important and educational to read to understand where the problem is). Absolutely!

      Like

  10. I’m confused. If they think fairy tales don’t feature women with agency and are not diverse, they haven’t read very many fairy tales. “Cinderella” and “Snow White” aren’t the only ones. What about ones where the women go on journeys to save the men? Or where they aid the men with their magic and/or intelligence? What about fairy tales from, you know, all over the world? You can’t watch a few Disney films and then write an article about “all” fairy tales.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know- it’s really surprising to me that they didn’t even bother to *read* fairy tales for this article (they only mention Disney in the article- not any actual books- which could be fine… if they weren’t talking about reading) Exactly! There are so many different types of fairy tales and, like you said, ones that exist in all different cultures (that part of the article was staggering to me). Actually, very little of the article made sense to me tbh 😉 Couldn’t agree more!

      Like

  11. PERFECTION, as always.

    I was particularly frustrated at how that article equated fairy tales with Disney movies. Which was especially infuriating as they hadn’t seemed to have actually WATCHED one. I’m just gonna throw out there that pretty much all of the Disney princesses take an active hand at their destinies, except maybe Aurora… And I know plenty of feminists who love Disney princesess. What this article is really saying is “My version of womanhood where the woman has a career is the only acceptable one.”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. *gasp* how DARE women in fairy tales that inspired many of the stories we tell today fall into archetypes that I, a very smart person, think are BAD! And how dare women want mawwiage – er, marriage, a way of gaining power and status in an otherwise restrictive society!
    Your response to this ridiculous article made me giggle 😊 You were right on the nose.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Apparently the person who wrote this article has never read a fairy tale. I can think of SO many heroines in fairy tales that are positive role models for girls. Beauty and the Beast, The Snow Queen, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, The Six Swans, and many more all feature a female character who acts heroically and saves the male character(s).

    I also think that the way we look at characters is important. Yes, you CAN see Cinderella as a passive character who waits around for a prince to save her. But you can also look at her as someone who works hard every day in an abusive environment and doesn’t lose her characteristic good nature. Instead of perpetuating the cycle of abuse (as many do) she’s kind to the lowliest of beings including the mice in her house. She doesn’t ask for a prince. She asks for a night off and the chance to go to a party. Or look at the Little Mermaid. Yes you CAN say she gives up her voice and changes who she is to land a guy. Or you can see her as someone fascinated by another species and decides to live among them at great sacrifice to herself.

    As for the notion that there’s no diversity in fairy tales, again that’s pure ignorance. Let’s leave aside the vast wealth of folklore that every culture in the world has. Let’s just look at the stories that we know via Disney and the Western canon. We have diverse characters from Ali Baba, Aladdin, to the Emperor in The Nightingale. Actually I’d say the assumption that ONLY the Western fairy tale canon exists is pretty ethnocentric on the part of the writer.

    I love your responses by the way!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah well they never actually talk about reading, just watching Disney, so I think that’s a fair assumption to make 😉 (although even then their conclusions are deeply flawed). I know!!!

      I really, really agree with you about Cinderella!! I actually think it’s a very empowering story about a young girl who learns to stand up for herself- what could be better than that? And that’s such a great point and interpretation of little mermaid- I love it!!

      And yes- that frustrated me *so much* (at the same time I did laugh at how ironic it was that they were trying to be progressive there tbh 😉 ) Exactly!!

      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I. Love. You. And. This. Post. So. Much. ❤️

    First of all, can I just say how you’ve done a marvelous job talking about this topic in such an entertaining way? Haha! I agree with every point you make! I’m honestly surprised that the author of this article wrote some of these sentences! Especially the one regarding all fairy tales originating from Europe. There are SO MANY wonderful fairy tales from other cultures; the author would have to be a little blind not to see that. Lol. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. In your last post you mentioned Bluebeard and it’s a story that’s driven by a young woman who is neither passive nor a wicked stepmother, and arguably she’s not tied to the home. Although she’s assisted by her brothers in the end she really saves herself. She’s curious, outgoing, and refuses to do as she’s told. Although she’s too late to save the lives of Bluebeard’s previous victims she exposes his crimes, providing closure for their families.
    In Perrault’s telling she’s also unnamed which offers young women the chance to put themselves in the role.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love this post!
    I really don’t agree with the points in this article, but I know there are people who do, which is why this article exists. All I can say is that maybe not all fairy tales have the best characters or the most profound lessons or whatever, but I think it’s really up to the reader to separate the good from the bad. We can choose to see these fairy tales in a negative or positive way and take what we need from them.
    And if the writer wants to see more diversity, maybe they should read Asian folklore or something 😀
    Very entertaining post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!
      Yeah unfortunately I know people that agree with this (blindly) too. I don’t think they’re ill-intentioned, but they are ill-informed (by articles like these). And then cos they think like this, these articles keep coming out (it’s like a neverending cycle 😉 ) Yes for sure!
      haha so true!!!
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh my! I think I’m too late for the party so let me just say how I looove this post!!! 😄💕 And what assh…. to write such an article about a subject they didn’t even care to do the tiniest bit of research on! I’m symbolically throwing ashes on their heads because they will be too stupid to know about it and do it themselves. 😉
    And yes! Cinderella so rocks! Really loved it so much as a kid – hey! Wait – I still do!! 😄 And Belle too of course! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe no worries! Thanks so much for reading and your awesome comment!! hehehe I know right!! LOL! Yes!!!
      She really does- there’s a reason I’m always drawn to retellings of Cinderella- she’s such a fantastic character that grows so much and learns to stand up for herself! Yes!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. The more articles I read that are anti-fairy-tale the more convinced I am that these people have never cracked open a book in their lives.

    Oh yes, the old “women can’t be evil” argument. Because it’s not like we’re people with different values or opinions or anything. And it’s not like there have been very power-hungry women throughout history who have committed terrible acts in the name of achieving a higher station. We’re all virtuous beings at our core.

    This Independent article is such a snooze-fest as it only reiterates feminist talking-points that have already been published time and time again, without offering anything new to the discussion. Not to mention it makes no sense as she says you should stop READING your children fairy-tales but then continuously sites DISNEY as a source in spite of the fact that Disney is a VISUAL MEDIA COMPANY and most fairy-tale movies vary substantially from their original source material.

    Also, as you mentioned, if you’re so bent out of shape that most European fairy-tales feature (gasp) Europeans, why not just buy a book on fairy-tales from other cultures? There’s no law against it and they aren’t difficult to find either.

    I apologize for my rambling. Great post! Your use of gifs was beautiful and inspiring as usual. I’m glad to hear someone else thinks this war on fairy-tales is utter tripe 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha couldn’t agree more!! (I mean they literally don’t talk about actual books in this article- which is hilarious, since they put reading in the title 😉 )

      hahahaha I know right- that’s why I love being a woman- I can literally do no wrong 😉

      And yeah for sure!! I’ve seen these arguments before, but it was funny to see them all collated in one handy piece 😉

      haha I know right- shocking to think that there might be fairy tales from other cultures- who’d have thunk it 😉

      No worries! And thank you so much for your awesome comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you thank you thank you.

    (Also, regarding Cinderella, I have lived a part of the world where being Cinderella – that is, a poor relation living basically as a servant in the home of wealthier relatives – is still a real live problem. All the behavior that is denigrated as “passive” (putting up with the relatives’ poor treatment, continuing to work hard without complaining, etc.) is a LOT harder than it looks and would probably be beyond, say, my capabilities. If the Cinderellas can do this for several years and finish school, they can get to a better life, even if it’s not marrying royalty.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gosh yes, I completely agree with your point about Cinderella!! I actually think she’s an admirable character, who shows strength through her ability to endure her circumstance- and come out on the other side. Really like how you put that.
      And thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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