Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Claire C on 05/25/2012

The Problem With Fairy Tales

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 Charles Perrault. 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 Daily Telegraph article, fairy tales “aren’t… always on the side of women.” So what are the issues with fairy tales and feminism?

Let’s examine the way fairy tales emphasize feminine physical beauty. Notice how many times the heroine is described as being beautiful, whilst the (usually female) villain’s lack …

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