Mum Wants Sleeping Beauty Banned From Schools Because She ‘Doesn’t Consent’
Sleeping Beauty being awoken from her enchanted sleep by a handsome prince has been an iconic fairytale moment for generations.
The fearless prince, battling through the thorns to get to the sleeping princess – still young after a century lying in her cobwebbed castle – has long been viewed as heroic and romantic. The evil within the story simply melting away once his lips meet hers.
However, could it be this story is a little weird when looked at from contemporary perspective? This is the view of one concerned mother who’s requested her son’s school remove the story from their curriculum entirely.
Sarah Hall, 40, from Tyneside has sparked debate after suggesting the classic story normalises unacceptable behaviour, giving children a confusing message about consent.
Speaking with the Newcastle Chronicle, Sarah argued how Sleeping Beauty gives the message how it’s acceptable to kiss a woman while she’s asleep.
According to the mother of two, she was inspired to speak up following the recent sexual harassment controversy in Hollywood:
In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate – my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation.
I don’t think taking Sleeping Beauty books out of circulation completely would be right. I actually think it would be a great resource for older children, you could have a conversation around it, you could talk about consent, and how the Princess might feel.
But I’m really concerned about it for younger children, would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material.
Plenty of high profile celebrities have spoken out about how they read old fashioned tales to their children, while making sure they understand modern morals.
Speaking with Parents, The Good Place actor, Kristen Bell, explained how she takes the time to discuss the similarly unsolicited kiss in Snow White with her kids.
Bell, who voiced the cheery and determined Princess Anna in Frozen, explained how she always makes sure to ask her daughters:
Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!
Of course, as with any piece of literature, you have to take into consideration the time period Sleeping Beauty was written in.
Luckily for parents who are a little worried about some of the strange goings on in fairytales, there are plenty of modern stories of princes and princesses to choose from, with no sleep kissing whatsoever.
One of my own favourite books as a child was The Karate Princess by Jeremy Strong. Here, Princess Belinda is born without the beautiful good looks of her sisters, but finds her way in the world after being tutored in karate and fighting bog monsters.
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