unit 4db:

Folktales, especially the Western European fairy tales such as “Cinderella” and “Snow White,” have been criticized as having sexist stereotypes. In some ways, this criticism seems valid when one considers that folktale characters are stereotyped. However, the genre, rooted in an ancient oral tradition, reflects its origins: folktales echo the culture in which they arose. This presents an interesting dilemma. Are the stereotypes present in folktales—such as the beautiful, kind, and helpless princess—bad? Will they damage today’s children’s concepts of gender-appropriate behavior? Can one story be that powerful, or is it collections of stories that we have to consider? Discuss these questions as a class. As always, you need to write your original response and at least two replies to others.

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