I’m going to be writing a paper today for a teaching conference in Brighton. My focus is on how to teach one of Angela Carter’s gothic fairytales, ‘The Lady of the House of Love’, by tapping into student’s prior knowledge of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. As part of my presentation I’m going to be showing a clip from a short film called ‘Dysenchanted’, which is about a fairytale princess support group. It is really quite amusing, and is a great jumping off place for discussions about postmodernism, feminism and textual variation. Whenever I watch it, however, it reminds me that fairytale heroines are, perhaps, not the most positive role models for our daughters. I think that as a culture, we have improved at providing female role models in fiction aimed at 8 year olds and above. For little girls, though, I think we could be doing better. It seems to me that society is set on promoting a pink passivity for girls in their formative years, which has very little to do with the women they need to become in order to succeed in the 21st century; assertiveness, compassion and accountability for one’s own actions, rather than passivity, dependence and deference, should be the order of the day!

Anyway, enjoy the film (it’s only 8 minutes), and if you can prove me wrong on the girl’s literature front, please do!


August 24, 2007. Inspiration.


  1. Robin replied:

    I enjoyed the film very much! And your points are well taken about our little girls and the lack of positive role models during their formative years. Lots to think about in this post.

  2. amypalko replied:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the film, Robin! It’s one of those films which bears re-watching too. I was so happy when I came across it as it ties in so well with some of the very complex theories I need to approach with my students. It’ll be interesting to see what the delegates at the conference make of it.

  3. Baby Gifts « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] aside, they don’t seem to have the mindset that they do in Britain that baby girls should be dressed solely in pale pink! The bootees on the left in the photo, I just finished last night. Keeping in mind my goal to enjoy […]

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