Fairy tales and feminism

Fairy Tales, Feminism, and CHOICE

I remember the way my dad used to read me bedtime stories when I was a little girl. I looked forward to climbing out of the steaming hot bathtub, slipping into my flannel pajamas- the ones we called the "pink panther pjs" because in being washed with a red sock, my white pj's had turned pink and I loved the pink panther cartoon so would imagine myself just like the rascally panther. I would scramble up on his lap and my Dad would sit in his big lazyboy chair and read to me. Favorite stories included one called "The Duchess Bakes a Cake" and the Curious George series. I never fell asleep while he was reading because the story would hold me wide awake, wanting to know what next? Occasionally, (almost always at a really good part) Dad would pause and say, "oh, you're too tired to keep going, we should stop"... of course, this would make me protest loudly that I was wide awake. It was one of his ways of building suspense and I do it now whenever I read bedtime stories to my kids. After the story was done, he would carry me to bed and I would lie there, replaying bits of the story in my head while sleep crept up slowly.

My all time favorite bedtime stories were fairy tales. Dad would do the voices differently for me and I memorized bits of dialogue to read with him. The books we used depended- our family believed firmly in library cards, so we would check out dozens of our favorites every time we went to the library. Some would have pictures, which I would gaze at, memorizing details. Some would just be words- but usually, the cover art would hold me just as fascinated. But the stories were what I loved most of all- princesses and witches, unicorns and dragons, curses and poison- all of these things were magic and I couldn't wait to hear what would be next.

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