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!