Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Fairytales and Feminism...

With Snow White and the Huntsman soon slated for release and the awesomeness of Once Upon A Time well underway I thought we’d talk Fairytales. Or the various updated versions of same. Hands up if you’ve read Robin McKinley’s ‘Beauty’. If your hand is high then you can go to the top of the class. It’s a wonderful re-telling of the classic Beauty and the Beast by one of the best fantasy authors of all time. Or have you done Angela Carter’s dark and sensual ‘The Bloody Chamber’? She puts a masterful erotic spin on some familiar tales.

People have been re-telling fairy tales and tweaking them as they go for a mighty long time and now-a-days is no exception. Disney made a small fortune off their Snow White and Cinderella and so on, but I like the edgier versions. The fairytales that don’t mind getting down and dirty. After all, people died in gruesome fashions and kingdoms rose and fell based upon the outcomes of these adventures. The Grimm brothers weren’t short on carnage. It isn’t all singing bluebirds and whistling while you work. Or it needn’t be once you pass a certain age.

Let’s take a gander at the Snow White of new. In Snow White and the Huntsman, instead of merely letting the young beauty run free in the forest after deciding to forgo cutting out her heart, the Huntsman (Mmm, Chris Hemsworth.) teaches her the art of war. Snow gets armour. And a sword. How cool is that? In Once Upon a Time Snow is a very capable thief, going all Robin Hood on Prince Charming’s fine ass. The iconic blue and yellow frock is nowhere in sight and no one is staying home to decorate and dust for dwarves... so far.

How’s about Red Riding Hood? Ruby from OUAT is no wolf fearing weenie, that’s for sure. She’s channelling Amy Winehouse at her saucy best with her tiny outfits, her big black hair and her red, red lips. If anyone could run with wolves it would be her. Even Granny is a modern day business woman with her Inn and her Diner. No lackadaisical lying about in bed waiting for recalcitrant grand-daughters to show for her.

There seems to have been a definite shift into feminist fairytales here. Waiting to be rescued is no longer on. There more of a balance in power between hero and heroine. Charming rescues Snow from the Evil Queen's henchmen and Snow in turn rescues Charming from the Trolls. And she does it by sacrificing her best chance at defeating the Evil Queen. Don’t even get me started on the Queen, aka Mayor of Storybrooke. She’s so bad and her motivation so strong, you really have to wonder how Snow is going to get out of this one alive.

Can Princess Emma the bail bondsman save the day? Will Charming ever get his act together? Why is the Sherriff banging the dastardly Regina? Well, not so much that one. Classic case of a man being lead around by his penis, truly. And Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltsin is sheer genius. Sooo creepy. My daughter rants at the TV everytime someone makes a deal. Will they never learn?!

Anyway, enough from me. Got a fresh fairytale I should have mentioned? Have at it...

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