A British mother has been criticized after calling for a ban on the fairytale ‘Sleeping Beauty’, arguing that it promotes “inappropriate” sexual behavior.
The London Telegraph reports that the woman, Sarah Hall, took to social media to complain about a book her six year old son brought home from school, depicting a modernized version of the classic story.
— Sarah Hall (@Hallmeister) November 19, 2017
Mrs Hall argued that the book should be immediately removed from the school curriculum for young children, tagging her tweet with the hashtags #MeToo #consent which have been used by others recently to relate their experiences of sexual harassment.
In a further statement to local press, Mrs Hall explained her concerns:
“In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate – my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation.”
“I don’t think taking Sleeping Beauty books out of circulation completely would be right. I actually think it would be a great resource for older children, you could have a conversation around it, you could talk about consent, and how the Princess might feel.”
“But I’m really concerned about it for younger children, [and]would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material.”
The tale dates back to the 16th century, and in its original form the princess is actually raped by king who discovers her in a state of slumber.
However, there are no traces of this facet of the tale in the modernized version, popularized by Walt Disney, and often told to children.
In the book Mrs Hall’s son brought home, the princess awakes after being kissed by her betrothed prince. A child character states that ‘everyone knows’ this is how to awaken a sleeping princess.
Mrs Hall argued that the tale is “Indicative of how ingrained that kind of behavior is in society. All these small things build up, and they make a difference.”
“I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behavior and consent. It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?” she added.
Readers overwhelmingly disagree with Mrs Hall, according to a poll within the article:
The responses on Twitter also seemed to indicate a lot of disagreement with her concerns:
Why dont you ban Snow White and sleeping beauty whilst youre at it? Next time i kiss the misses when i leave the house, ill be sure to wake her up and ask if its okay first, what a ridiculous post
— Jonny Molyneux (@jonnymolly) November 23, 2017
All books & films must be carefully checked before we watch them again !
— Judith hewitt (@Fluffysocks1993) November 23, 2017
Perhaps we also need a new language, I read a book about this, twas basically about a perfect society, name was maybe something like Orwell?
— Stopblockingmetweeps (@wouterverhaar) November 23, 2017
You know that bears don't really eat porridge, right?
— Hera (@CopperBitch) November 23, 2017
Haha! Let's just ban all Disney etc. I feel so sorry for her son, I would be mortified if she was my mum.
— Gemma Marshall (@Gemma_sparkle) November 23, 2017
If she is worried her son is going to read a book/watch a film & not know whats right & wrong that says a lot about the parenting to me!
— Sadioinho (@Sadioinho) November 23, 2017
Sorry what??? Sarah it is people like you making issues of situations like this that are the problem. Stop!!! You're making an issue out of something that was never an issue before!! Ridiculous! Let's wrap everyone up in cotton wool shall we?
— Iain Stirling (@IainStirling1) November 23, 2017
Yes exactly! How can we expect to be taken seriously when women like Sarah come out with ridiculous statements like this?? And piggybacking off the Me Too hashtag is just insulting.
— Lucy Pinkstone (@DeterminedDiner) November 23, 2017
Because she is projecting her fear of every man being a potential rapist onto her child
— Georgie (@diapowell1010) November 23, 2017
This is getting bloody ridiculous. I never once watched sleeping beauty and thought goodness this is giving the wrong message about consent. Let's ban Cinderella as well whilst we're on the matter; poor gender roles and all that.. ffs…
— Gemma Marshall (@Gemma_sparkle) November 23, 2017
Did the book or the film make you believe you could go around kissing anyone when you were a kid? Do you do that now because of the film? No? Then what is the problem!
— Little Spacey (@daviek28) November 23, 2017
Another so called concerned mum who wants to get in the news! I feel so sorry for the young children of today who are having adult perceptions forced on them. Let them be children!
— Lynne Ferguson (@Lynnieferg) November 23, 2017
I think that maybe you need to stop sexualising a fairytale. Your attitude to this is appalling. You are ridiculous.
— Nicolette Cook (@flygirl_22) November 23, 2017
Did I read your profile correctly, you are the OWNER of 2 boys? The horror! What message does that send in this age of personal freedom?!?
— Chris Esco (@chrisyulesesco) November 23, 2017
With all due respect, it's not the school job to educate your son; academically yes, it's the school job, but it's your responsibility to ensure he grows with a strong character and a clean conscience. It's your job to teach your son about sexual behaviours.
— Julio Afonso (@Julio_Afonso522) November 23, 2017