Sunday, March 10, 2013

Don't want a sleeping prince

I gather the authors mean well when they switch up genders of classic western fairy tales. One that I'm thinking of is switching up Sleeping Beauty, with a princess waking a sleeping prince. Is an unconscious man attractive? Do the new authors ever ask that? With the goal being raising up girls, the price of devaluing boys is not factored.
Seriously, what is the ideal man for a independent minded strong secure woman? A future hen-pecked husband? A supportive but do nothing partner who spends his waking hours on the X-box? Nice but really useless guys, boy-toys?
The modern examples I can think of is Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley of the Harry Potter books. She's strong and smart, and he can be the hero, the supportive man to Harry and Hermione when called for. He doesn't require much rescuing, no more than the main hero, and he has his own list of accomplishments. Another strong fictional female is Katniss Everdeen. When she bothers to think of the opposite sex her heart wavers between Peeta and Gale. Gale is her hunting buddy, the guy who taught her to improve her hunting. Peeta is the guy she has to pretend (she's not even sure on this point) to be in love with. He admires her survival instinct, and his doesn't need rescuing as much as he needs care. Katniss needed Peeta in order to get through the Games, their star-crossed lover story made the rules of the game change. For the rest of the trilogy Peeta is damaged goods, physically strong (despite losing a leg) but mentally, by Book 3, messed up due to the Capitol. Katniss also has some sort of PTSD. As two people who experienced the horrors of the Games, they understand each other and thus rescue each other. Chatting with the Help, who is the in house comics expert, Wonder Woman is now exploring dating her equals, instead of having to deal with her Lois Lane equivalent, Steve Trevor.
So what the sleeping prince stories seem to offer to girls is a future of romance where she'll have to settle for weak passive men, whereas the strong man, the daring man, the man worthy of admiration is left for the gals weaker than she. The better stories are where she shares the story with the guy, not as a lesser character, a weak woman but a co-hero.
The woman in Proverbs 31 is not passive. As I remember, she buys real estate, she has household servants, she's involved in trade. Her husband, no clue, but he's worthy enough to sit with the elders, so I gather he's respected.

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