Monday, January 7, 2008

a sorry bunch indeed

I know it's hard to see this cartoon so click here.

I got this just a few days after reading Barbara Ehrenreich's op-ed in The Nation, in which she laments how little girls are so obsessed with princesses:

"Disney likes to think of the Princesses as role models, but what a sorry bunch of wusses they are. Typically, they spend much of their time in captivity or a coma, waking up only when a Prince comes along and kisses them. . . . [T]he Princesses have no ambitions and no marketable skills, although both Snow White and Cinderella are good at housecleaning."

So right on. We published a book---Kill the Princess---that got mostly negative review attention for proposing these ideas among others. People want to believe that little girls' love of the Disney princesses is harmless. And I dunno, I'm not one for ruining little girls' playtime with long diatribes about things they're too young to understand. It would be good to kill off the princesses, though, to replace them with a group of women who are doing way cooler things---who aren't saddled with taking care of seven dwarfs or being punished for being too beautiful. But Disney's beaten us to the punch by making little girls love these silly princesses. It'd probably be too hard to kill them off now---and maybe hypocritical, like killing them off just because they're useless. And so these are lessons, I suppose, that are meant to be learned at a later age.


1 comment:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I worked very hard to shelter my daughter from the whole princess thing -- for the same reasons you state. She's got some stuff, and she watches the movies, but I make sure she also sees and meets women who are strong, tough, and independent -- and hears about why that's a much better way to be.

I don't know if it's sinking in; she's only five. I guess time will tell.

It's nice to see someone else with my same mind-set out there.