Gender stereotypes in fairytales essay

But in fact we use the stories that we tell children, and especially those that we tell over and over, to instill messages, to teach cultural norms, to establish the roots of what we hope will be proper behavior as the children grow up.

Fairy Tales and Gender Roles - Essay Example

However, it is important to note as Bacchilega herself does that the Snow White tale has hundreds of oral versions collected from Asia Minor, Africa and the Americas as well as from across Europe. They begin with "once upon a time.

One of the great questions for contemporary feminist scholars has always been, if women do not want to live in a sexist world, then why do they not raise their sons differently? The heroine has a wondrous origin, she is innocent, she is persecuted at the hands of a jealous older woman, she is apparently killed or dies and she is then resurrected Bacchilega,p.

But few fairytales in the Western tradition indeed fail to have a beautiful, passive maiden rescued by a vibrant man, usually her superior in either social rank or in moral standing. Fairytales are a form of propaganda. Indeed, it is precisely the passivity of the women in fairy tales that has led so many progressive parents to wonder whether their children should be exposed to them.

Many fairytales omit these essential words. Of course, this is not actually the case. The traditional fairytale almost always reflects and therefore works to reproduce the power relations of patriarchy; its rigid sexual patterns teach that fear and masochism are tenets of femininity and all of the symbolic inversions that occur are not chances to upset the standard patriarchal hierarchy but are instead ways of maintaining it Bacchilega,pp.

Each version of "Snow White," no matter how different the surface details, shares several factors in common that are central to the way gender is described and used in so many Western fairytales: We tell stories to our children to entertain and amuse them, to help lure them into sleep at the end of the day, to drive away boredom and crankiness.

Precisely because of this potential power that women have as mother to change the gender relationships by the way they raise children, there is a great deal of emphasis on teaching children proper gender roles from very early on. The most striking of these elements is female jealousy, because while it is certainly not essential to the plot, it is a ubiquitous element of these stories.

Fairytales, like other commonly performed cultural texts, must be seen in some sense as methods of instruction. Bacchilegachapter 2 chooses "Snow White" as a nearly pure form of gender archetype in the fairytale. Given that women are in almost all cases the primary caretakers of both sons and daughters, surely a determined generation of mothers could raise up an entire generation of sons who would behave very differently than their fathers had done in terms of treating women as equal partners.

The stepmother or sometimes the mother herself attacks Snow White in a variety of different ways, and the maiden is forced to take refuge with a number of different kinds of unlikely protectors robbers, assassins, giants, and fairies as well as those adorable Disney dwarves Bacchilega,p.

These tales of course vary in the details: To return for a moment to "Snow White," the fact that women are presented so often as the oppressors of other women or girls is an essential aspect of fairytales, for it is an essential aspect of any patriarchal culture.Encouragement of Gender Roles Through Fairy Tales Female characters in many fairy tales are the perfect epitome of women following traditional female roles and possessing qualities of worthiness.

Name Professor Course Date Fairy tales and Gender roles in the Disney show ‘Snow White’ Introduction Fairy tales are short stories which involve fantasy characters that are shown to have certain characteristics or roles that relate to modern society. Gender Roles in Shakespeare It is a peculiar feature of Shakespeare's plays that they both participate in and reflect the ideas of gender roles in 1, Words | 8 Pages Circuit of Cultural Analysis - Portrayals and Effects of Gender Roles in Today’s Culture/5(1).

Gender Issues within Fairy Tales Essay Words | 5 Pages. Gender Issues within Fairy Tales Why is it that in a time when women were considered an inferior gender, they would become the main characters in fairy tales?

One reason could be that fairy tales are one of the few genres created by women. The Breaking of Gender Stereotypes in Angela Carter’s The Lady of the House of Love and Nancy Kress’ Summer Wind as Rewritings of Sleeping Beauty.

Fairy Tales & Gender Roles

Fairy Tales Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm are famous for their renditions of some of the most beloved children's fairy tales. Among the hundreds is the well known (Schneewittchen) Snow-drop. This fairy tale is in many aspects common, imperfect, and vulgar, as are most of the fairy tale translations of the Grimm Brothers.

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Gender stereotypes in fairytales essay
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