I am currently reading a collection of feminist fairy tales and that has got me thinking. I have always considered myself a feminist, but yet, I read a lot of fairy tale collections and consider myself a big fan of people like the Grimms' Brothers, who wrote collections of stories that were not necessarily very flattering to females. Fairy tales have often followed a very strict pattern when it comes to the characters. If there is a male character, there is always a female character that is in distress of some kind and the male character has to come to their rescue. If there is a step-mother or step-sisters, they are always evil and the father, who more often than not dies, is always portrayed as a kind, yet gentle, sort.
Fairy tales are being rewritten all the time. Times have changed (we hope) and the need is there to make fairy tales make more sense for the times we are living in. This means that female characters are not 'betting on the prince' anymore and are actually being the heroine instead of the damsel in distress. I have read a couple collections of what could be called fairy tales for the R.I.P. Challenge, and with the rewriting it is very obvious that women are coming into their own in regards to the genre. The current book I am reading is a collection of short stories by several different authors. I will write a full review of it soon, but it just has me thinking about what my favourite classic fairy tales are, whether it is a good idea to mess with them so entirely, and are we moving away from reading our children stories by the Grimms' Brothers and more towards stories of a new generation where women and girls play a stronger role? And, is this a good or a bad thing? I read the 'old' fairy tales and I still believe that girls are capable of anything, but does everyone think like that? With our need to make the children the best they can be, and the changes we have made in society as to what that means, is it limiting for children to read the old stories of people like Snow White and Cinderella?
Anyone have any thoughts on this? What are your favourite fairy tales?