Sunday, April 24, 2005

Girl Power
Young girls who enjoy classic romantic fairytales like Cinderella are more likely to become victims of domestic violence in later life, a controversial new report revealed yesterday.
Well, according to an interview of 67 women (ages 16-52), women 61 thought they could "change their partner through compassion, love and understanding". Psychotherapist Susan Darker-Smith had this to say about the results of the study, "They believe if their love is strong enough they can change their partner’s behaviour".
The study, of both parents of primary school children and women who have been involved in domestic abuse, claims that those who grew up reading the likes of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are likely to be more submissive as adults.
Women with this attitude are more likely to stay in an abusive relationship while waiting to be rescued, it is claimed.
Ms Darker-Smith said: "Look at the story of Rapunzel who waits to grow her hair for a prince to climb up. Why doesn’t she just kick the door down?"
"Parents should make sure their children are exposed to a variety of role models, not just a stream of submissive ones."
"Hermione from Harry Potter is a great example. Sometimes she rescues Harry and sometimes he rescues her. Young girls should realise they can rescue themselves."
The study, called The Tales We Tell Our Children - or over-conditioning of girls to expect partners to change, claims domestic violence victims fall into either the Cinderella category of wanting to be rescued or Beauty and Beast, believing they can change their partner.
Margaret Smith, who runs the Prevention of Domestic Abuse Centre, at the University of Derby, said: "We learn about ourselves and how we relate to others through stories in childhood.
"If we hold these beliefs deeply enough, and have submissive personalities as adults, it can be difficult to break away from destructive relationships

Kim Reynolds, professor of children’s literature at the University of Newcastle, said: "This isn’t a new theory. We have heard these arguments about fairytales since the 1970s, particularly from feminist critics".
"It is far too simplistic to say that girls who grow up reading fairytales with submissive characters will themselves become submissive."
Psychology professor Barry Jones, from Glasgow University, said: "The research seems to rely on the self-report of those being interviewed which can be dangerous because their memories will be highly selective".
To see the whole article, please go to Scotsman online.

So, let's hear it for one Hermione Granger, for helping to empower girls across the globe! :)

When I was just a little girl, My mama used to tuck me into bed, And she'd read me a story. It always was about a princess in distress And how a guy would save herAnd end up with the glory. I'd lie in bed And think about The person that I wanted to be then one day I realized The fairy tale life wasn’t for me. I don’t wanna be like Cinderella, Sitting in a dark, cold, dusty cellar,Waiting for somebody to come and set me free (Come and set me free)I don’t wanna be like someone waiting For a handsome prince to come and save me On a horse of white Unless somebody's on my side Don’t wanna be No, no, no one else. I’d rather rescue myself.
Cinderella, by Cheetah Girls. ;)

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