"It can happen to you if you're young at heart," sang Frank Sinatra BUT not according to a supposedly "I want to be politically correct" mother who wants her six-year-old son's school to ban Sleeping Beauty because the prince kissing the princess when she is asleep sends an inappropriate sexual message.
Wow! So here we go looking at the world of fairy tales and maybe the end of that genre forever.
CINDERELLA — It's hard to know where to start with this outrageously sexist tale. First, why is Cinders expected to do the kitchen chores? Were there no men in the house who could be asked to do their share of the domestic work? Second, the "ugly stepsisters"? No, no. Such body-shaming is not acceptable. Children must not be brought up to think it's never appropriate to refer adversely to a person's looks. Right-thinking parents will be uncomfortable with the casual stereotyping of "Prince Charming", who may in fact simply be an over-privileged member of an outdated hierarchical and patriarchal regime. The prince's pursuit of Cinders looks dangerously close to stalking — did she ask him to search the kingdom with her lost shoe?
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK — Regulations are there for a reason, Jack, and you must wear a hard-hat and compliant harness gear when climbing to the heights that you did. The beanstalk may also need to be surrounded by scaffolding and appropriate safety signage displayed near and around the site. There is also the concern that the statement made by the giant needs to be changed from the "Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman" as today's society is multicultural and many Britons identify themselves as English. Consideration must also be given to the selling of a cow in a public arena as there are health and agricultural statutes that need to be met.
SNOW WHITE — Living with seven men? What type of establishment is this and how come one is always Grumpy? At least there is a Doc on the premises in case of concerns from the present living arrangements. And her name? Is this not discrimination against Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities?
There is also the agricultural concern of poisoned apples and this will spread fear amongst children and especially those trying to keep the doctor away. And as for the Queen who gives Snow White the apple. Another stereotyping of step-parents and in today's world of blended families this is a reality that has to be considered. Finally, are not the seven of "alternative stature"?
ROBIN HOOD — Fairy tale or factual tale? The redistribution of wealth will certainly be encouraging to some advocates of a certain political persuasion and for those who don't have any but, for Robin, other priorities have to be met. Does he have a licence for the longbow and has he done the appropriate training? Living in a forest will also concern local authorities in that city taxes are not being paid and livestock is being taken from landowners to feed the "merry men".
Must Maid Marian swoon at the sight of him or is this just the sort of male chauvinism that the feminists have warned us about? And the constant teasing of Friar Tuck for being overweight is body shaming! Obesity is no laughing matter — note the rise in type-2 diabetes — and this type of behaviour only encourages bullying.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD — Parental responsibility is lacking in this story when a young girl is allowed to travel alone along a dangerous woodland path. Children's Aid organisations would need to look at re-writing such a story. And, are we ignoring a certain gender bias here? When the wolf dresses up in Granny's nightgown might he not be considering a new gender?
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS — Issue after issue in this story, including breaking and entering, trespass, vandalism, theft and the overtone of bestiality. And consider the gender stereotyping! Why should Daddy Bear get the biggest bed and the biggest chair and the biggest portions? Why should we assume that Mummy Bear isn't the primary earner and entitled to the bed of her choice?
Baby bear has to be concerned with all the sugar in his porridge and dental welfare should be addressed here, but even more concerning — who is this girl who goes bed-hopping? Today's young generation does NOT need this type of example being shown to them at school!
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS — Selfish! Surely the three could live together rather than depriving two hard-working families of a house. And who does this "huffer-puffer" think he is, taking down houses? Does he have the appropriate government forms to allow for this to happen and did he give each of the pigs at least 30 days' notice and the right to appeal such decisions? This is a typical example of a bureaucrat taking the law into his own hands and he should be condemned for such actions.
HUMPTY DUMPTY — Was there a risk assessment done for such a wall to be sat upon and were there warning signs posted on the inherent dangers of climbing upon such a structure? What was Humpty thinking about when he climbed the wall and why, after he fell, was an ambulance not called? What good were the King's men (and the King's horses)? And in the world of today — would that not be a sexist assumption?
RAPUNZEL — You have to get rid of this one! Theft, child abduction, kidnap — and trespassing by a prince with a hair fetish. Pulling roughly on a woman's locks is no less than sexual violence, and imagine her terror when he just popped in through her window. Then there is the need to consider health and safety implications. A tower with neither door nor staircase? Was there a sprinkler system?
THE PIED PIPER — A grown man in a coloured nightshirt should have raised warning bells across Hamelin immediately. Why did the parents allow him to lead their children off to a mysterious cave? Did anyone think of checking with the local police about this man?
So many questions to be considered —
Is Snow White a floozy?
What of Belle falling in love with an animal?
Should women be allowed to go around kissing frogs?
Is eating peas in bed considered dangerous?
Can children be trusted to go up a hill with a pail?
But are these fairy tales any better than Donald and his three nephews living together, Mickey and Minnie being co-habitants, and the daily television fare that is offered up to young children?
Anyone can read into any story what they wish depending on their own prejudices and biases and in today's PC world, this is indeed the case. The most important factor and the one missing so often is the one we all have and frequently ignore. — COMMON SENSE!