Politically correct Liberals have had issues with fairy tales involving princesses for a while now: they are too thin and cause young girls to have impossibly high expectations for themselves. They are also too white, even with Asian and Middle Eastern representation in Disney, which inspired further diversity. But most importantly to feminists, they are all too dependent on their men; in one love story, a man went too far.
In the story of “Sleeping Beauty,” Princess Aurora is put under a sleeping spell and can only be awoken by true love’s kiss. Her prince finds her and saves Aurora from eternal sleep. Sarah Hall, a mother in Newcastle, England is demanding her son’s school ban the classic fairytale. She says it adds to our current “toxic sexual environment” surrounding assault and consent. Her concern is that the prince did not have consent to kiss Aurora and that the story tells children this is acceptable.
With all the famous sexual assaults and social media #metoo claims being circulated, this theme is on many women’s minds. Hall finds the timeless story inappropriate in today’s culture, but it may be a stretch. She adds that the story is not appropriate for her six-year-old’s classroom because that is too young to be discussing consent, though very young children do not understand romantic consent and will not make the parallel. Hall, however, says it can be used as a learning tool for older children, in prompting such a discussion.
While Hall got extremely upset so suddenly, this is not a new theme in fairy-tale love stories. In 1937, Snow White was awoken from the dead by her love’s kiss as well. Her prince did not have verbal consent either and their situation arguably walks a finer line considering necrophilia. The Disney version which is the most commonly circulated children’s story of Sleeping Beauty was released in 1959. Hall must have encountered the story at some point in her life, but forgot about it until she saw the illustrations in her son’s school book and an opportunity to apply it to today’s culture.
Hall contradicts herself by claiming that the story should not be in schools “for being no longer relevant in modern times.” If it isn’t relevant there shouldn’t be a problem here. Also, if a child cannot differentiate between real life and fairy-tale events, there is probably a different problem that needs addressing.
This mother is desperate to attack the technicalities of this story claiming it promotes rape culture, however, it does not apply today in the same way. We live in a different time where due to recent horrifying news stories, consent is something that warrants a discussion. Gone are the days of wooing a woman and acting off her body language.
Though of course, the situation in the story is slightly different because the prince only had the option to advance on the princess without verbal or nonverbal consent, as she could not communicate. Aurora would have stayed asleep forever had Prince Phillip not kissed her. In modern day times, even the most hardcore feminist with a desire to live would take a sleeping kiss from a man.
Her frolic in the forest with the prince where they walked “Once Upon a Dream,” is the best the audience is going to get as consent from a Disney movie. Aligning with it, Aurora did not seem object to the kiss or be traumatized by it afterward. After the prince kisses her, she returns the gesture and they live happily ever after. The consent debate here is very ambiguous unless one is really looking for the story to support an agenda.
Even other mothers and women on social media could not back up Hall’s insane claim and defended the fairy-tale’s legacy. Most parents do not appear to be as offended by the story as Hall is. It is an innocent children’s story which does not need to be sexualized. If the scene in question was as controversial as this mother is letting on, it would have undoubtedly been pulled from the media years ago with Princess Aurora as the princess who also said, “me too.”
You know that bears don't really eat porridge, right?
— Hera (@CopperBitch) November 23, 2017