We are and have been living in times where political correctness makes you feel like you are walking in a mine field. Perhaps it is just me but I am fed up having to weigh every word I say to not accidentally offend anyone. In an earlier blog (31. July MY LABLE-FREE UTOPIA) I wrote about how counterproductive it is to give everyone and everything a lable. I stand by all I wrote but due to this labling that we are doing we have to find more and more complicated ways to address people or things to ensure we do not step on anyones toes.
My attention was brought to a post on Instagram, which is a great example for the absurdity of todays political correctness, overthinking and over analyzing.
This post was about the fact that we shouldn’t read classical fairy tales to children anymore, because they give the children a wrong world view. Fairy tales were presented as harmful and shameful in this post.
The Author claims that “we are feeding toxic beliefs to children with the bedtime stories we read to them and indoctrinating an understanding of the world which proves to be problematic when they grow up.” The writer of this post apparently underestimates children, obviously believing that they do not know the difference between creative, beautiful fantasy and reality, stating: “Most of the fairy tails you know are riddled with sexist and racist representations and we meed to actively undo or alter these stories before any more damage is done.” So, censorship has reached fairy tales… I wonder what’s next…
The author of this article takes the example of Sleeping Beauty, the damsel in distress, to emphasize how harmful fairy tales are for children. After all, Sleeping beauty did not give her consent to be kissed by the prince : “Kissing a girl in sleep is unacceptable. Sleeping Beauty is woken from slumber by a strangers kiss without her consent but it all ends well, for they fall in love at first sight and get married.” – should she have sued for sexual harassment? Has anyone heard of a sexual predator use, having been read the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty too often in his childhood, in his defence? Is it just me that sees the absurdity in this?
This post simply flabberghasted me because I was read fairy tales a lot as a child and it never crossed my mind to abandon my children in a forest when times got rough, as in Hansel and Gretel – which I read a lot. I also never even considered cannibalism or witch burning. Following the example of this hiddeous post we would also need to ban or rewrite Harry Potter and all other fantastic stories for children as well. Imagine how harmful it would be if the children grab a broom and try to fly off a roof to play Quiddich…
I have always loved fairy tales and stories – and still do – and read them to my children when they were small and they loved them. I read them the old classics as well as modern ones. I see them as entertaining and not as educating. Fairy tales stimulate the fantasy and increase creativity and there is certainly not enough of that in our world. Children are confronted with the harsh reality of life much too soon anyway so why not let them enjoy the world of fantasy, dreams and happy endings as long as possible. Reality kicks in soon enough.
We all love a dream world once in a while, taking a break from our every day lives. Isn’t that what fairy tales – classic or modern – are essentially for?