Snow White: The Development Of Gender Stereotypes

Superior Essays
During an individual’s childhood, everyone must have heard of numerous fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan and etc. A number of fairy tales have a particular message to the audience, such as Hansel and Gretel taught children not wander around, yet we listened to the stories we were told and never questioned them. As we got older and read the stories again, we can perceive that certain fairy tales can illustrate negative messages. One of the pessimistic influences of fairy tales is the portrayal of the women, particularly of the princesses. In this essay, I will examine the Brothers Grimm’s “Snow White and discuss the role of women and how they are portrayed in fairy tales.
Snow White is a classic example of a fairy
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The portrayal of women in fairy tales is educating children that women are frail and susceptible (Green). Do we want to teach young girls that only a man can help her get out of trouble? In the article, “The Development of Gender Stereotyping of Adult Occupations in Elementary School Children” an experiment was conducted asking a mixed group of female and males to write a list of jobs and traits for males and females. The experiment revealed, “most of the secretary, assistant, or housework was categorized under female while lawyers, CEOs, and higher-up positions were designated to males; and [the] same held true when testing for personality traits” (Green). We accept tales as they are and as we grow up, we learn from the books we read and the characters we admire, hence children are unable to recognize the social problems in fairy tales, such as sexism (Gusman). Although some stories have female characters with more capability potency and capability like “Mulan”, but everyone is more likely to recognize tales like “Cinderella” or “Sleeping Beauty” than “Mulan” (Green). These fairy tales can portray a sexist view of female characters by presenting women as weak individuals and that a woman cannot save herself from tribulations, a man has to save her. For example, in “Cinderella”, Cinderella …show more content…
Additionally, “they accept the tales as they are, though inherent in the tales are underlying social problems such as sexism” (Gusman). In short, female characters in fairy tales have been portrayed in a similar traditional way, as being a beautiful, timid and vulnerable princess, hence it is important for female characters to have different roles (Nanda 249). If the individuals of today want to change the gender portrayal of women, then the fairy tales about princesses needs alteration

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