Saturday, 18 March 2017

Inappropriate Fairy Tales For Young Girls

Every so often there's a news story that catches your eye, and you feel almost compelled to talk about it. Write about it too in my case. I caught sight of one such story yesterday morning; with regards to a new book of fairy tales that had been successfully crowd funded.

I'm a big fan of fairy tales. They're a fascinating insight into the mindset of our ancestors, even if a little dark in tone. This new book though, I find to be far more insidious than even the grimmest of the tales that precluded it.

The new book is called, "Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls", and features the stories of inspirational women from all around the world told in the style of modern fairy tales. Nothing insidious there you may think, but when you drill down beneath the surface; you soon strike oil. Both dark and clasping.

I was skeptical about the intent of this book immediately upon having it described in the opening of the interview with the authors on BBC News. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for women having an equal status in society. I'm just not convinced that's what the authors want, or what this book is really about. Indeed with what I took away from watching that interview, I feel quite confident in saying that they don't care at all about the plight of women who are disadvantaged, but rather the money that they can make off the back of their suffering; and your guilt about it.

Why such a conclusion?

Well, in the interview the authors were asked if they'd be writing a book for boys. Their response to that? "There are already plenty of books for boys", and "boys should read this book".

Now let's tackle the first statement, "there are already plenty of books of books for boys". Well, they're not wrong; but I would argue that there aren't many books specifically aimed at younger boys with a similar message (which as you can probably guess, I think is a good thing; given how blinkered I find their world view).

Then there's the second statement that came in response to the question, "boys should read this book". Why!? The authors argued that it was so that boys could learn about strong female leadership.. Which would be admirable if that's what this book was about. But it's not. The way I see it, it's a jaded cash cow built on fear!

Fear & Money

In my opinion, that's all this book is about. Feel free to disagree with me, but I think there is some compelling evidence to support this conclusion.

In terms of fear, I believe this book and its authors are playing on the fear of speaking out against something that seems like both a good and politically correct cause. I am after all a male speaking out against two women trying to further the sisterhood aren't I? Which must mean that I'm a bigot, and a chauvinist right?

That's certainly one point of view a person could take from my preceding comments, and if that's what you believe my speaking out amounts to; I'm not going to argue with you. You're entitled to your opinion, no matter how odious or hurtful I may find it. Which is kind of the point.

Believing in equality, I believe you're entitled to say and do as you please, whether I agree with it or not. Telling everyone that they should get on-board with your view is not promoting equality. It's promoting tyranny!

To put it another way, can you imagine if I wrote a similar book on the religious figures in a particular faith? Saints for example. I then go on national TV to plug my book (on a channel that's not supposed to allow advertisements by the way), and I'm asked "will you be writing books about the prominent religious figures in other world religions?"; and give the responses "there are already plenty of books about religious figures from other faiths", and "everyone should read our book about saints".

Can you imagine the uproar, and backlash!?

But because it's feminism, and people feel uncomfortable challenging comparatively extreme views when it comes to gender politics stuff like this is allowed to pass. It's just not right!

What makes it worse is that the target audience for this book is children. Isn't it beyond the pale to feed young girls this propaganda, just so you can make a few quid? Where is the line, because I'm pretty sure they've crossed it!

This brings us to money, which let's face it; based on the evidence at hand is the only reason this book was ever written.

Unfortunately something like this is always going to make money, but what are the authors doing with it? Maybe they're going to build a few wells in villages, so that women in the developing nations have access to a clean water supply; saving them both the risk of infection from contaminated supplies, and the back-breaking labor of carrying heavy containers full water for several hours everyday? Perhaps they're building schools so that women can learn in parts of the world where it is believed that women do not need an education? Potentially even shelters for victims of domestic violence? All good causes.

It appears not. Based upon the information on their kickstarter page, they'll be donating a few copies of their book to a charity; and they'll be flying to Africa for a week, where they'll be leading workshops on female leadership. That's all, from a successful kickstarter campaign that raised over half a million dollars!

Surely I'm not the only one that finds stuff like that hard to swallow!?

End on a positive

This post has been largely negative, but I would like to end on a positive; and to simply say that regardless of gender, in order to find a positive role model, you only need to look around you. Your family, people in your local community, the world is full of people doing good things for the right reasons. You don't need people to sign post great people for you, or to tell you what's a worthwhile accomplishment. You already know!

Just remember, we're all different; but we're all equal.

No comments:

Post a Comment