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Failings of Females in Fairytales.....or, what little boys do if given the pen

I've always known that Fairytales were, for the most part, male-centric. Most were written, or recorded, by male scholars and writers---the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson.... even the fabled "Mother" Goose dealt a severely biased blow toward the girls in her rhymes: Jill tumbling after Jack, Little Bo Peep losing her sheep, Peter Peter Pumpkin-Eater and the "keeping of his wife".....

I know that strong females do exist in some fairytales, Gretel springs to mind as one, but their stories are so out-numbered by the weaker female tales as to make them seem flukes, even mistakes, that perhaps it really was Hansel that pushed the witch into the oven and he just let his sister take the credit.

It's no wonder most girls grow up with a diminished sense of self-worth....always needing the strong hero to step in and save them or the fairy-godmother to cast a spell for them.

And it probably explains my fixation with the male 'stars' in these tales.... I had a fondness for Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers, even Jack and his Beanstalk. I knew the Rapunzels, the Cinderellas, the Snow Whites, but I paid no attention to their stories. I wanted the hero's tales because they were the ones actually 'doing' something.

I didn't want Barbie dolls, I wanted G.I Joe action figures.

I know, over the years, female lead characters have been introduced to the superhero world, but, they're fighting against centuries of male-dominated societies. I know there is no way to rewrite the histories of our story-telling past. And, even with the strong females that are present in many of today's stories, there is still a tendency for me to lean toward the male lead role. Years of conditioning makes rewiring the brain quite difficult.

But, it does make me wonder :  What tales would have been written if the scholars of old had been learned women???


  1. Well judging by my experience with life the reason that there are not as many woman in roles of leadership is simply because we have been to busy leading. I think men have a much easier time showing themselves to be heroes where woman just see it as get the job done and move on.

  2. Ha! Good Point! I never thought of it that way, but, you're absolutely right!

    We're too busy getting the jobs done to toot our horns!


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