Feminist Interpretation of Fairy Tales

These fairy tales show a girl and a boy fall in love and live “happily ever after”....
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Feminist Interpretation of Fairy Tales ..

It might come as a surprise that these ideals and standards are embedded and have been for centuries in the beloved fairy tales we enjoyed reading as kids.

My dad would also read and tell my sister and me bedtime stories that were fairytales.
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Fairy Tales and Feminism New Approaches PDF - Scribd

Something has never felt right for me with fairy tales. Even before I knew what feminism was, I knew there were aspects of fairy tales that made me uncomfortable. By fairy tales, I mean stories that originated in oral tradition and were written down by folk collectors such as . As I have grown older, I have realised what was making me uncomfortable; I felt that fairy tales were sexist. Or as Marina Warner put it in her , fairy tales “aren’t... always on the side of women.” So what are the issues with fairy tales and feminism?

I would love to know more about fairy tales and the authors who wrote them....
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But few fairytales in the Western tradition indeed fail to have a beautiful, passive maiden rescued by a vibrant man, usually her superior in either social rank or in moral standing.

Ashliman's , a library of folktales, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.Revised June 1, 2011.
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Feminism and fairy tales | Request PDF - ResearchGate

So is there an issue with fairy tales and their depiction of women? Fairy tales can be viewed as powerful transmitters of cultural ideas and could be regarded as playing a key role in advocating traditional gender roles. It could definitely be said that fairy tales put forth the idea of women being beautiful, young and weak. However, how many children have really been influenced by fairy tales? Aren't they just stories? I do think it's unlikely that fairy tales will affect someone’s perception of women and gender roles to a huge extent -- by which I mean I don't think fairy tales will make somebody sexist. But I think that every time we hear these stories, there is an impact on the way we view women, and that should not be underestimated.

Feminist Fairy Tales & FolkTales - Feminist science fiction

Age also crops up many times in fairytales. In most versions of Little Red Riding Hood, the aged grandmother gets eaten. But the child, Little Red Riding Hood survives. Another example of youth triumphing where age falters is in Snow White, because as soon as Snow White is born, her mother dies and the daughter takes her place. Throughout traditional fairy tales, older women are depicted as hags, witches and evil step- mothers, such as the Step- Mother in Snow White. However, one point that can be made is that there are a few positive depictions of older women in fairy tales, an example being the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella who aides the heroine.

Feminist Fairy Tales & FolkTales

However, Oscar Wilde’s takeoff of his enterprise and, his shaping of his characteristic style of works could be both considered originating from his fairy tales....

Feminism in Fairy Tales – a critical analysis

Amazons—fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world—were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons. But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons—Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.Driven by a detective’s curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.