Magazine article Herizons

Feminist Fairy Tales

Magazine article Herizons

Feminist Fairy Tales

Article excerpt

FEMINIST FAIRY TALES

Feminist Fairy Tales is the newest book by feminist writer Barbara G. Walker, author of The women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets and The Skeptical Feminist: Discovering the Virgin, Mother and Crone, as well as many other books that center on goddess and mythical themes. In this newest book, walker takes on the task of re-writing some of the Western part of the world's most well-known English language fairy tales, without the patriarchal undertones. After all, how many feminists have cringed at the thought of reading Snow White or Cinderella to a daughter or son because of the implications?

In sharp contract to the passive women of well-known fairy tales, Walker's heroines are players in their own destinies who often encounter good witches and fairies who provide them with the resources to solve problems themselves. Women are not helpless and in need of a prince's rescue in these stories! While the ever-present theme of the "absent mother" is still somewhat present in a few of the stories, our heroine is often befriended by a mother-in-law or other woman (who often possesses magical powers). Walker re-writes the character of the wicked step-mother in Snow white, and makes her a strong, powerful and caring woman in Snow Night, whose ingenuity saves her daughter from a brutish, violent man. …

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