“My feminist consciousness emerged slowly,” said Ng, describing how, as she increasingly began to write books for children, she realized that feminist literature in Indonesia was nonexistent. Many of the sexist tropes found in the fairy tales of ye olden times have… MENU. I wanted to talk about bodies, sexuality, and the grotesque; I didn’t want to talk about the erotic.”, She said she wanted to write about “bodies that are demonized—blood, slime, not the erotic, romantic, sexy body. <>/ExtGState<>/XObject<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI] >>/MediaBox[ 0 0 595.32 841.92] /Contents 4 0 R/Group<>/Tabs/S/StructParents 0>> Similarly to the proud beauty, the evil stepmother and her sister, the evil … Those who find it feminist point out that her beauty, and thus her appeal to him, is because he gave her the power to make her own choice and this acknowledges the usually-unrecognized powers of women. A number of children books, movies, and fairy tales contain examples of feminist critiicism. The original versions of "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty" contain overt sexual violence. Clara Ng, who writes novels, short stories, and children’s books that include a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, said that when she was studying in the United States, she encountered a book that would change her outlook forever because it got her thinking about gender pronouns—the Indonesian language doesn’t differentiate between male and female for personal pronouns. We need to revive their legacy. Some accuse me of talking about LGBT [themes]. Tags: authors, children's books, Indonesia, London Book Fair, Market Focus Indonesia, storytelling, UK, women in publishing. As author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says in the TED Talk "We Should All Be Feminists," "We raise girls to see each other as competitors — not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men." They don't have mothers. She’s also not the ideal medieval model of a married woman, because she has no children. endobj Kirsty Logan’s ‘The Gloaming,’ left, and her forthcoming ‘Things We Say in the Dark’. 3 0 obj Melissa Ashley. ... probably going viral—for example… Sign up to get our FREE email edition, Monday to Friday! How does she, as a character, assess women's role in life and in marriage? She talks about the many books of the time, which depict women as manipulative and depict marriage as especially dangerous for men who want to be scholars. endobj While feminism has long mined fables and folk tales for both archetypes and answers, filmmakers have done the same to create arresting heroines and villains, along … From left, panelists in the London Book Fair’s ‘Feminist Fairy Tales’ session were Catherine Taylor, Kirsty Logan, Clara Ng, and Intan Paramaditha. She cites Mrs. Doubtfire and The Man Without a Face; additionally, I also noticed the trope of the dead mother driving the plot in the recent horror film Crimson Peak. 4 0 obj x��Z[o�6~7����t�i� '�:�@�x�C�/q� �ӥ����/R$KJ4�j �E��|�~���������@V���᰽���%���÷O�Ϳ�vˏۻ���p��_^����~�mow�EA������Q���5@QNQ���@'�����_�~>;��g�K ����|�2�;M�"�Ij4�|�Eo�����%w�Φ����� y�l~��.�s��g���k ��K����p���3Y[9pY��`�|� “I’m branded in Indonesia as a writer who doesn’t believe in morality for children, [even if] it’s not true. Instead, female fairy tale characters are in competition, whether for things like the prince in "Cinderella" or the title of "fairest of them all" in "Snow White." Whatever the reason, this plot line gives off the impression that a mother's role in a child's life is unworthy of mention. “It’s about female feminist fears and it’s quite horrible.”. <> “There’s a growing understanding among men that patriarchy is damaging for them as well. She sees sex as a positive experience and says that she would not want to be a virgin — one of the models of ideal femininity taught by her culture and the church of that time. Critics debate whether this is an anti-feminist or feminist conclusion. <>/ExtGState<>/XObject<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI] >>/MediaBox[ 0 0 594.96 842.04] /Contents 4 0 R/Group<>/Tabs/S/StructParents 0>> Feminist Criticism examples. Appearing with Taylor were Sydney-based Indonesian author Intan Paramaditha; Indonesian writer Clara Ng, who lives in Jakarta; and Glasgow-based novelist Kirsty Logan. Life. Her thesis was on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. endobj Was the Wife of Bath in the "Canterbury Tales" a feminist character? One problematic aspect of fairy tales that's frequently discussed is their focus on a woman's longing to be rescued from her lonely life by a man. The first fairytales were feminist critiques of patriarchy. 4 0 obj The tale, set in the time of the Round Table and King Arthur, has as its main character a man (a knight). He gives her the choice, instead of taking it himself. She also makes the assertion that in marriage, there should be equality and says each should “obey each other.” Within her marriages, she describes how she was also able to have some control, even though men were supposed to be dominant, through her wit. They tried to ban my work.”, Logan said she was surprised at how many of her readers are men. It would be nice if it grew faster but it is growing.”, Her forthcoming book is a collection of horror stories called Things we Say in the Dark. %PDF-1.5 Also, she takes on the reality that violence towards women was common and considered acceptable. Most are for girls, on how to behave well and be good to their parents and teachers. �#;��D����. Updated June 28, 2019. As Anne Thériault points out in The Toast, it's likely that a lot of fairy tale publishers got their inspiration from folklore related by women. And it's easy for tales to get twisted over time and glorify things that were initially presented in a negative light. Those who find it anti-feminist note that ultimately, the woman accepts control by her husband. One of her collections of short stories published in English by the Lontar Foundation and translated by Pamela Allen and Jörn-Holger Spröde is called All Women Have Affairs & Other Stories. Fairytales and Feminism: “I Don’t Wanna be Like Cinderella” Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast – all classic fairytales which have been around for generations, and have appeared in many different retellings. <> March 21, 2016. And as Sarah Boxer points out in The Atlantic, many non-fairy-tale-based movies also employ the trope of the "gone or useless" mother. If one were to combine fairy tales and feminism, what would the outcome be? 3 0 obj '�ehv�m�t����U����d���2�#�l� Q �]f��>�}D�p���\Y�#'D��8?;�H%�N���P̝�b�*wF�"�qgWD9�L�(���D}�G��3����dF0s�OJ]!I��";��ǂ. Sep 24, 2014 Photo: Courtesy of the publisher. How does her experience of marriage and men, expressed in the book's prologue, get reflected in the tale itself? The Motherless Girl. Ng rewrote a traditional tale for children about a deer, for example, in which in the original version the deer is male. It’s a source of fear and disgust.”, Ng said there’s “tension” coming from her audience and that she’s seen as an activist. These "feminist" tales, which have been handed down in the oral tradition with no known author, had been submerged in patriarchal society. The main characters of fairy tales are often not only without mothers, but also without supportive women to turn to, period. Kirsty Logan, who writes in a fantastical way about women and her experiences as a woman, recounted how as a child the stories she read were wide-ranging—from fairy tales to Egyptian myths and biblical stories. <> What if Fairy Tales Were Feminist? She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School. The book was the late American author Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, in which the tree is female.