Reader Peter K. sends this depressing essay by a SWPL mom who clearly has a rich inner life. Excerpt:
I am also trying to imagine a similar story being proposed for a book about a boy, or one intended for a boy audience. This brings me to my favorite line of the Cinderella book. When Cinderella receives the ring, the book tells us that “for the rest of the day, she could think of nothing else but the Prince she loved so dearly.” Really? Nothing else? She’s not multitasking even a little bit? Distracted by the latest Facebook post about the castle down the road? Nothing? I try to imagine the Prince having a similar problem. And the only thing that comes to mind is not something I can pitch to Disney.
I realize that there are far more important threats to feminism than this book. I realize that Chris Brown performed at the Grammys, and that Nicholas Kristof has declared on NPR that “The greatest challenge of the 21st century is gender inequity in the developing countries.” I do not think my daughter is scarred by having read this book four times now (and listened to the accompanying CD.) I do not think she will even remember the story, probably because it is so astonishingly unmemorable. I know that not every children’s book needs to be an inspiration for how our children should lead their lives, what they should value and believe in.
And yet, I can’t help but be pissed off that this book exists. That somebody at Disney put resources into it, and somebody at Barnes & Noble gave it a privileged position in a display.
I can’t help but wonder if the stories we tell our children shouldn’t matter to us, just a little bit.
Amy Fox lives in Brooklyn. Has she not heard of the scarification threat from Israeli flat bread and gendered children’s millinery?!