Tuesday, November 08, 2005

feminist critique

from bitch magazine:

"[the researcher] Darker-Smith discovered a subtle but provocative correlation between fairy tales and violence. women who grew up reading such tales as cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, she found, internalize unrealistic attitudes about romance, namely by manifesting submissive behavior and holding fast to the belief that love conquers all--even violence. DS has her critics: author marina warner notes that DS misreads certain tales, such as Beauty and the Beast, in which the beast treats the heroine well, and the crux of the tale centers not on female thralldom, but on seeing past appearances."

except! who is the one seeing past appearances here? not the man who has been sentenced to imprisonment in the beastlike visage (exactly for NOT seeing past appearances, no?), but the woman who once again must bridge the gap for both the man and the woman to set the man free. would this not be again--love conquers all. even the bad traits of the male which are miraculously transformed by the 'work' of the female.

but i do like the ultimate critique of this and these studies:

"and deborah cameron, a language prof at Oxford University, declared that this is just another study that examines the psychology of victimized women rather than questioning why so many men think it's okay to beat their mates."



At 9:36 AM GMT-5, Blogger gtfhwzk said...

Perhaps I was raised in an old-fashioned household, but from an early age I got the impression that it is never okay to beat anyone and that it is especially not okay to beat your mate.

Am I alone in this?

Whenever I see a guy treating his wife or girlfriend badly, I wonder "Didn't their parent(s) teach them not to do this?"

At 9:57 AM GMT-5, Blogger catswym said...

"available studies indicate that between 20 and 50 percent of women in various populations around the world have experienced spouse abuse at some point in their lives (Heise et al. 1994; World Health Organization 2002)"

from, this site.

also, according to them, rates of spousal abuse overall seem to be going down in north america (altho other sites indicate this may not be true for especially poor households). so if you were raised to believe those things, it was quite a "new fashioned" household.

At 10:12 AM GMT-5, Blogger gtfhwzk said...

Funny, as I always thought of "don't hit your spouse" as a rather traditional value. But perhaps it is only traditional in Jewish households.

At 10:52 AM GMT-5, Blogger dlamming said...

Violence (or even yelling) has never appealed to me as a solution for problem solving in relationships- that's at least partially due to my upbringing, of course. sigh.

I've never understood why people find violence acceptable. Thank goodness it's at least trending down.

At 11:53 AM GMT-5, Blogger oomm said...

My question is what woman is letting what she read in a fairy tale tell her how her life should be lived?

Kinda makes me want to hit her.


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