According to Andrea Dworkin, fairy tales reflect and support a patriarchal ideology (refer to essay by Johnson in your text). They are a source of information of what our society wants us to know about who we are and what we are supposed to be. If fairy tales do indeed have the power to form and shape us and are a primary as well as a childhood source of information, then it would be a powerful and empowering action to envision and create new fairy tales that support a more humanist/feminist/egalitarian, non-patriarchal ideology. A feminist/humanist ideology would value what has been labeled “feminine” and hence devalued by society. For example, it would value relationships, communication, equal parenting, and practices of caring.
Please write or describe a fairy tale that does not support a patriarchal ideology, but instead supports an alternative, a feminist/humanist/egalitarian one. In other words, a non-patriarchal society is not founded on a hierarchical or stratified structure, racial and sexual hierarchies are also transformed, the female does not need rescuing, she is not the victim, and she is not objectified or passive (she reads…), not everyone is heterosexual or white, and conflicts are not solved through fighting or war, and so on.
You can approach this assignment in several different ways. For example,
• You can write or create your own fairy tale. Still need to include a 1 pg. analysis.
• You can take a fairy tale you are already familiar with and switch and/or gender bend the sex roles (however a direct opposite doesn‘t really change things, or does it?). Remember to include a 1 pg analysis.
• You can explain (point by point) what an alternative/non-patriarchal fairy tale would be like, how it would be different from a traditional one, and why this is important. Do a gender analysis!
If you choose to write a fairy tale, include a one page analysis or discussion of what makes your fairy tale an alternative to the status quo, the dominate thought, i.e. patriarchy, addressing the main issues and concepts we covered this semester. Be sure to include an intro and clear Road Map in your analysis. (My suggestion is: use your syllabus to make a list of the main topics from our semester. Then, be sure that your fairy tale and/or analysis addresses these main points.)