Fairy Tales are Sexist

Cover of "Fairy Tales (Kingfisher Mini Tr...

Cover of Fairy Tales (Kingfisher Mini Treasury)

Most of us, if not all of us, grew up with a knowledge of fairy tales. From Snow White, to Hansel and Gretel, to Cinderella, we have been subjected to these stories from infancy to early childhood. Fairy tales are seen as a means of entertaining our young ones, and at the same time, imparting good moral values to them.

I myself love fairy tales. I remember when I was young, I never grew tired of listening to these stories, and they inspired me to learn how to read, because, in my eagerness for more fairy tales, I wanted to be able to read so I could start reading these stories by myself and not wait around for my parents to read them to me.

As an adult, I have, of course, graduated on to more mature level of books. But once in a while, I do go back to my beloved fairy tales. While they still hold a special place in my heart, I have come to realize that fairy tales are awfully sexist.

In particular, I am referring to the way the evil stepmothers are always villainized – while the fathers get off scot-free. Yes, those evil stepmothers are really cruel and they deserve the punishments they got at the end. But how come nobody ever asks what in the world those fathers were doing while their family was being mistreated by their evil wives? Or better yet, why did they LET their wife do those awful things to their family? And might I ask also how come men in fairy tales seem to have such poor taste in women, in that they always pick the worst ones?

Fairy tales featuring evil stepmothers don’t just have one villain – they have TWO. While the evil stepmother is the obvious villain, there’s another villain lurking: the man who has forsaken his beliefs, his morals, and his family for the sake of the evil woman.. or any person for that matter. There is no person worth sacrificing our family for – our family, who has been there for us our whole life. Any person, be they male or female, who forsakes their family, is the biggest fool and the worst villain of all.

The Truth of the Matter Is…

Everyone’s superficial. It’s just that we have varying degrees of superficiality. There are some people who are over-the-top superficial – those who won’t even give the time of day to someone who doesn’t have the perfect hair, the perfect face, the perfect body, the perfect clothes, the perfect car.. that’s the top of the superficial meter. For most human beings, we are somewhere in the middle-rung of the superficial ladder – we try not to judge people by their looks, but we still have certain standards for looks, especially in looking for our potential partner.

Don’t you just hate it when someone brands you as superficial because you turned down “this nice man” who you’re not really attracted to? That you’re a mean person because you should only look at the personality, at what’s  inside – never mind what’s on the outside. Yes, I agree that a person’s personality, beliefs, principles, heart are what’s most important. But looks also matter – to what extent, it depends on you. Different strokes for different folks. I daresay that anyone who tells me they’re 0% superficial is either a saint or a liar.

So, who’s superficial? I am. We all are. Admit it.

Just a thought…

I found my perfect guy – tall, handsome, good with kids, family-oriented, successful, and has the same faith as I do- he’s perfect… Well, almost. He has one tiny “flaw” – he’s not interested in me. Sigh.. Why is it so hard to find love? I feel like every guy that I’ve liked only sees me as a friend. On the other hand, every guy who has shown interest in me, I just can’t bring myself to be attracted to and interested in them. Is it too  much to ask that I meet a man whose looks and personality I like – and who also likes my looks and personality? For the moment, I’d say the answer is – yes, it is too much to ask. But I still hope…