Quandary

I realized the other day that the Hatchling’s awareness of standard fairy-tale tropes comes almost exclusively from the Shrek movies. Which, given the philosophical problems that I, as a post-millennial over-educated white feminist have with said tropes, is A-OK with me. Princess in need of rescuing? Fiona is a black belt in karate and does quite a bit of rescuing herself. Prince Charming? The Shrek version is a handsome, cultured, self-involved prat. All the Shrek movies nicely skewer the traditional folktales we grew up with, and if the humor is often sophomoric, well, certain members of our household consider that a bonus. Of course, I also grew up on and LOVE the traditional versions, philosophical problems notwithstanding. Which is all by way of saying: we watched Snow White* for the first time this week, and you know the scene where she cleans the dwarves’ cottage? You know, before they come home, so maybe they’ll let her stay? Because nothing makes this young girl happier than cooking and cleaning for a bunch of slovenly old men? Yeah … uh … so the Hatchling cleaned the entire living room during that scene. Like, picked up all her toys and put them away, picked up all the Sprout’s toys and put them away, and brought all the dirty dishes into the kitchen, all while singing a little song and doing a little dance. Just like Snow White.

FEMINIST QUANDARY, Y’ALL. I mean, fuck: the living room looked really nice!

*Which, can I just have a history geek-out moment here, because HOW COOL IS IT that I, in 2010, can sit on the sofa and watch the VERY FIRST EVER animated feature-length film with my daughters? I mean, that is cool! Sure, it looks dated, and yeah, the plot is totally dumbed down, but STILL. It was the very first of its kind, and I have it right in my living room. I dig that.

5 responses to “Quandary

  1. HA! I say, take it! Enjoy the result! đŸ™‚ (On another note: I cannot believe your 3 year old can watch Snow White. My 5-1/2 year old is still so terrified of the wicked queen that I had to hide away our BOOK version. Genevieve too of course.)

  2. Anything that gets a room picked up is a big plus in my book! LATER you can explain to her about the reification of the patriarchy. After she gets the vaccuuming done!

    I would totally try this on my boys if they weren’t too old for Snow White. Are there any cleaning scenes in Avatar, I wonder?

  3. Disney strikes again! Wait’ll she watches Peter Pan and starts flying out the window.

  4. So I wonder what she’ll do when you show her Puff the Magic Dragon…

  5. My girls watched and read all of them, and they are great feminists! You are 99% their role model, and those fairy tale characters are about .001% influence, so don’t sweat it.

    Actually, those fairy tales gave them plenty of imagination fuel!