Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

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inari replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

Fairy tales and Disney annoy me greatly. When I was a kid, I actually had a copy of the original Brothers Grimm stories and thought that the Disney stuff was just 'sanitised for childrens audiences). I grew up in a single parent family and was very much a tomboy...I got given a Barbie and pink Barbie motorcycle for Christmas one year and proceeded to cut the Barbies hair off and used a texta to colour the bike black.

As a parent now though, I absolutely refuse to have some Disney movies in the house. 'The Little Mermaid' for example...what the heck kind of story tells girls that all she needs is to not be able to talk and have fabulous legs to get they guy? I still have my old Grimm story book though and have read some of it...along with Aesops Fables, to my boys, and realised how gory they were. I've put those books aside for a little longer, I'm sure there will come a time when the boys WANT gory.

Not quite on the fairy tales point of view, but on cartoons, my mum loaned us the first series of 'The Jetsons' on DVD a few months ago, and I watched some with the boys and then just couldn't let them watch any more. I didn't really remember the show from my childhood, but the women in the show, especially the wife, were portrayed as empty-headed, incapable of doing things for themselves...and only interested in shopping. Frankly it disgusted me. Occasionally after that my older boy would say that I couldn't do such-and-such because I was a woman, and I was like 'What a bunch of baloney!' and would go do it.

Grrr. All fired up now...
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Icarus replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

I got given a Barbie and pink Barbie motorcycle for Christmas one year and proceeded to cut the Barbies hair off and used a texta to colour the bike black.


Awww.... we could have had awesome playdates! I was given a Barbie by someone at some point. It had a red and white dress with hearts all over it. I used to stuff it in the Jabba's Palace thing I had and then pretend that it was eaten by the Rancor. :P

'The Little Mermaid' for example...what the heck kind of story tells girls that all she needs is to not be able to talk and have fabulous legs to get they guy?


Yep. That's the one that I was thinking of when I said that there was a "worst" fairy tale. More than what you said, Ariel also is incapable of saving her own self. Look, the Prince has to kill the evil witch (a woman unfettered) and then only when her FATHER comes and blesses the marriage with the rainbow can Ariel be happy. Stupid mermaids. :P
And... and... the Prince has two women that he is courting, and that isn't even seen as a problem??? Come on! Instead, Ariel is supposed to just 'win' her heart's desire... and she has to do this by getting him to kiss her. Ok, so, basically, you sell your body out to get what you want. Right...

I kind of liked the Hans Christian Anderson version, myself. In that one, Ariel does not get the Prince. She has to go be a water sprite for a long time to pay penance. Ah yes.... sweet justice for stupidity.

My daughter told me that Snow White was the worst one ever. She explained that Snow White was an idiot that went to live with seven tiny men...cooked for them, cleaned for them, and rubbed their heads.... and they "allowed" her to live there. Otherwise, she was out on the streets, doing god-knows-what to survive. So, then, she eats a poisoned apple (like the seven men didn't give her enough food there?) and dies. Some wonderful prince comes along and kisses her dead body (that never decomposes, btw.) and they ride off into the sunset.

She soooooooooo hates that story. Which other one was it? Oh, she hates Cinderella too. She said that that story tells girls that they are to cook and clean and do what they are told, be subservient until you get a pretty dress to put on...go dance with yet another prince, and then run home by midnight....then the prince will come and find you eventually...you know, after he goes through the town trying shoes on every other woman.

Maybe this is why so many women are obsessed with shoes?

Ok, so, now that I have insulted the construct of so many little girls' childhoods. I will say that I like some Disney flicks. The Lion King was great. (The original, that is.) I even liked Peter Pan. Although Wendy was an idiot. I always liked Hansel and Gretel when I was a kid.


Kol,

When you said this:

Sleeping Beauty for example.
Released around 1959.  Disney at it's crest of 'animation as main stream entertainment' at the cinema.  Evil queen/witch decides to have SB killed so she can be the 'fairest in the land'.  Instead, SB is allowed to live and hides in the woods with seven dwarves.  Witch Queen finds out and slips SB the poison apple.  Prince Charming comes along and kisses her and ... happily ever after.  (Witch is done with somewhere in there too...)


Isn't that Snow White?

Sleeping Beauty is about a princess raised by fairies in the woods after her life was cursed by an evil witch that wasn't invited to a party when Aurora was first born. The curse comes to pass when Aurora pricks her finger on a spinning wheel and falls into a deep sleep. The fairies then cast a spell over the entire kingdom to let them all sleep so that no one is sad. Then, naturally... the wonderful betrothed prince charming comes along and saves the day.

Yuck.

And what is with this prince charming? God, you guys have so much to live up to. Ladies, have you ever known anyone that even came near this Prince? Guys, have you ever known anyone that came near to meeting this Princess type? Oh wait... I have. Many times, in fact. They are the type of people you just have to shake your head at in wonder and hope that the next Prince Charming they find won't beat them quite so horribly.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

I stand corrected.
All those 'princesses in distress' sort of blur together after a decade or two.   :P

And you both bring the point up...
The women are shown 'doing' as the culture of the time figured a 'woman should do' to survive.   Sad that they haven't been updated in the last ??? two - three hundred years.

Jetsons (and Flintstones).
The Flintstones was an evening show (1960-1966) produced by Hanna/Barbera -- a 'stone age' version of the live "The Honeymooners" with Jackie Gleason.   The Jetsons (1962-1963) (seen Sunday nights) were the 'futuristic' version of the same idea -- produced once the Flintstones were doing so well.    Both produced in the early - mid 60's when woman were still of the 1940-1960 stamp of "Donna Reed" (always dressed with a string of pearls --- stay at home while husband works, 2.5 children (all well groomed and behaved), etc.       

So, cartoons 'out of time' -- good for historical reference but not so great for 'how to grow up and live' these days.

(( By the way, the original "Johnny Quest" shows were also evening 'cartoon drama' shows.  Considered a little more adult than a 'cartoon'.  ))

DISNEY  ::screamed with a Captain Kirk 'Khan' melodrama::
Disney still denies it -- but the Lion King is a TOTAL rip-off of the ORIGINAL Japanese animation series "Kimba, the White Lion".    I could go on a well documented rant on that one.....   ::grumbles loudly::

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Well - I was definately brought-up on all the gender socializations of the typical type.  I was taught dancing, how to dress pretty, how to behave pretty - and I still love to sew and cook.  I just love that role.  It's fun.

That said - I never liked playing with dolls - but for Raggedy Ann - but my brother loved them.   We tended to swap gifts the moment we got them - and my parents didn't mind.

College was when reality hit.  It was the early 80's - and I had some good work under my belt even going-in - but once I attended classes it was assumed I was there to get my Bachellor In Marriage.

My all-male professors flirted and offered to let me stay behind to do special work.  It was assumed I had an "A" going into classes.  Frankly - that and realizing I needed to make more money to get-through college made me leave "College Campus" for night school and a day job.

My brother - on the other hand did quite well.  He and I are very close and we had a wonderful time taking classes together and hanging-out.  But - even he could "see" how uncomfortable I was.

Now, despite my very "girly" upbringing I am the owner of some pilot shops.  My brother?  He is a flight attendant for a major carrier and Japanese translator.

We are who we are despite our "covers".  I grew-up knowing this - but the books and the stereotypes are more harmful for society at large than individuals?

***I confess - I am glad I had ballet, cooking, sewing and all the girlie things because I loved them.  The other things that weren't so girlie I managed for myself....

I think it's often how it goes....?

...ooops!...meant to mention this is an incredible discussion!!!





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Icarus replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

That said - I never liked playing with dolls - but for Raggedy Ann - but my brother loved them.   We tended to swap gifts the moment we got them - and my parents didn't mind.


I had forgotten about this, but since you mentioned the doll thing...

When I was about eight or so, a girl from down the street came to play with me. She pulled a wagon full of dolls with her and asked if I wanted to play dolls with her. Well, I said that I would... So, I grabbed her doll and threw it up in the air, then let it land in the dirt. Then I pretended that it was a casualty in a battle and my "soldiers" (Luke Skywalker action figures) had to go in and save her.... That girl was not happy!


Anyways...

Now, despite my very "girly" upbringing I am the owner of some pilot shops.  My brother?  He is a flight attendant for a major carrier and Japanese translator.



That's funny.

Well - I was definately brought-up on all the gender socializations of the typical type.  I was taught dancing, how to dress pretty, how to behave pretty - and I still love to sew and cook.  I just love that role.  It's fun.


Why is it fun? Seriously, I don't understand why that sort of thing is fun. I'd like to understand it. To me, the idea of getting dressed up and having to act well.... ladylike is scary and I feel like I can't breathe. I think I may have worn too many corsets in my past lives. :P

***I confess - I am glad I had ballet, cooking, sewing and all the girlie things because I loved them.  The other things that weren't so girlie I managed for myself....


Those things always confused me to be honest. Now, I was never presented with these types of things, and I never missed them, but now I wonder if I would have turned out differently if I had taken dance and learned to sew, etc. Actually, I was in dance... for about three weeks. The teacher told us that we were going to be on television, so I walked out and never went back. To be honest, I felt silly and uncoordinated even then.

Which brings up a question, Asta. Do you feel that you are fragile, delicate, and/or graceful today?



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Well - people think I am girly, possibly graceful and delicate - until they see me heft 60 pound boxes on my shoulder to haul into the stores one armed.  Right now I do primarily warehouse work/hauling/delivery and I wear jeans...etc...but still try to look "nice".

Do I feel delicate or graceful today?  Sometimes.  Fragile?  NEVER! lol!!!

I'm short and I'm small genetically.  (That is an aspect we can't forget...some of us just aren't going to be very good in situation where you need size.)  But being small isn't being weak.  I just don't have much reach or muscular heft.   

I was brought up to look "pretty" no matter what I did.  Yes.  I am 44 and probably one of the last of an era.  But I've never married and only once been temped...LOL...kids?  I love kids, love being around them...but no thank you...never had that need.

Oh Icarus!  You've appreciated some never had girlie-fun???  That's kind of a bummer!  I mean you've never sat around with the girls talking clothes, decorating, cooking, dance-moves, and all that when a young girl?  Maybe doing hairstyles on eachother?  (Let's not leave out talking guys of course!)  Just being silly?   

I suppose it's individual.  I just love making things pretty and nice for people.  I love seeing them smile, relax and enjoy...because of food, the environment, or just a pleasant time.  I think quite a few men do too.

Icarus - I'll bet you do more girlie stuff and enjoy it than you think...?
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Beral Khan replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

I suppose I outta show you all me www.wichitarocky.org/albert.jpg

Me at 30.  yes, it's a BIT outdated.  My wife did my makeup and made the jacket, as she does.  I LOVE THOSE BOOTS!  You should see the shiny ones. ;)

I used to trust my force of Will.
Now I trust in the will of the Force.

Jedi Communication? Well its removing assumptions, questioning the absolutes, and asking for clarity of statements.
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

That sounds absolutely terrifying!  AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

See, this is the problem with labeling things 'girlie'.  Anyone that doesn't like that sort of stuff, yet is female, where does that leave them?  (apparently typing horrible sentences lol)

Plus, what about this aspect.  How many times do people do something because they are expected to, think they like it, but really just enjoy that everyone else is happy with their conforming?  It happens to a lot of people who aren't as self aware as others.  They don't even realize that they are unhappy because they've been so out of touch with their desires since childhood.  This is the biggest danger.  I believe this is many times the reason why people are in their 40's and getting a divorce because they realize they are actually gay.  But when you ask most of those people, they had ideas much much earlier, but societal pressure kept it hidden in the dark recesses of the mind.  I know this is a discussion about gender, but our gender roles are strongly linked to sexuality (note, I did not say gender.  Gender and sexuality are independent of each other)  

This is what I'd like everyone to consider.  Power.  True power, which people prefer to refer to as empowerment (because we've made power such a bad thing) empowers everyone.  When someone attempts to use 'power' to disempower someone else, they are also disempowered.  it is not real power.  It is completely dependent upon the other individual yielding their power and granting it to the person demanding it.  Gender roles and expectations disempower people as they separate people from who they really are.  This adds to the disconnection between the person and the soul.  I believe our society as a whole is pretty disempowered.  

My hope for everyone is that they are empowered.  Whether that means a girl wants to wear pink, that's perfectly fine if that's what they truly like.  If a boy wants to wear pink that should be ok too.  Freedom.  We are all freedom seeking beings, and much of our unhappiness comes from reaching for what we're told to like rather than what we like.  That is not empowering.  Empower yourself.  Empower others.  I see no greater purpose for the Jedi than this.  
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Icarus replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

I mean you've never sat around with the girls talking clothes, decorating, cooking, dance-moves, and all that when a young girl?  Maybe doing hairstyles on eachother? 



Well... this may not be the place to say this, but... the closest that I can come to this is when I was fifteen, my friend and I went into training to become strippers.  :o I was actually pretty good at that. Then, I was a belly dancer for a while.... that was when I was in much better shape though. :P

My sister gave me dred locks once.

I only discussed the clothes stuff when it was Halloween or when we were doing something crazy. Fashion is something that has always been out of my reach. My usual attire is jeans, a t-shirt and boots/barefeet.

As far as the decorating goes, I have a good eye for that sort of thing, but I've never had money enough to do things correctly. I didn't even know how to cook when I got married. I had to learn that the hard way. Poor Hachelen...  :rofl:

I'll see if I can find a picture of me from way back when. That should be sufficient to scare all of you off. Though... Jax has seen a few that really made her laugh.

Icarus - I'll bet you do more girlie stuff and enjoy it than you think...?


I don't think so. I mean, I'm the mom that helps the dads. I help people move things, I get dirty, I like to hang with the guys and talk trash... Do I talk about men? Of course! I love them! Other than that, though... I guess I am kind of in the middle of the gender roles thing. I can, believe it or not, pull off the dress and makeup thing if it is absolutely necessary. I just hate it.


Beral,

I absolutely love that picture!

Jax,

Wow!

My hope for everyone is that they are empowered.  Whether that means a girl wants to wear pink, that's perfectly fine if that's what they truly like.  If a boy wants to wear pink that should be ok too.  Freedom.  We are all freedom seeking beings, and much of our unhappiness comes from reaching for what we're told to like rather than what we like.  That is not empowering.  Empower yourself.  Empower others.  I see no greater purpose for the Jedi than this. 


And that is why I think so much of you!
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inari replied the topic: Re: Gender Roles and Fairy Tales

Power? POWER MUHAHAHAH. Sorry all the times Jax used the word 'power' in her post has sent me off into a power trip (grins evily).

Sometimes I wonder if I'm 'disempowered'. I cook, but not because I like cooking. I cook because I like eating nice food. If someone else wants to cook nice food, I'm happy to let them. I clean the house, not because I think it's my lifes goal, but because I don't like to live in a mess. Sometimes I look at the whole 'mum' and 'wife' roles and say to my hubby, 'lets swap, I'll be the husband and you be the wife'. I think he thinks I'm kidding.  :P

I went to a country school, where everyone, boy and girl, had to do Home Economics and everyone had to do wood and metal work, at least up to a certain level. The guys learned to run a sewing machine and the girls learned to run a sander (I was scared of the sander though, heard too many urban legends of people getting their hair caught in them and I had a waist-length braid in those days). I liked the fact that there was no gender segregation in those activities though, then and now. Unfortunately, the gender seperation occured later on, when I found myself the only girl doing physics and maths and other 'university entry' topics. This seemed to be something the girls decided for themselves, they were too 'dumb' to do that work, which was a load of baloney. Perhaps girls are their own worst enemies sometimes.

I'd like to see our students here encouraged to do work that is uncomfortable for them, gender wise. Get those girls doing self-defense. Get those guys doing counselling! Viva no difference!
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