Feminist Fairy Tales/YMMV

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  • Anvilicious: A book cannot be subtle with a title like Feminist Fairy Tales. Apart from the obvious feminist agenda in the rewritten stories, Barbara Walker encourages women to worship and imitate "the Mother Goddess" (even as a self-proclaimed atheist) because she believes that such worship will make people behave better, stop fighting wars, become more moral, etc. Practically every story features either some reference to the benevolence, wisdom, power, etc. of the Mother Goddess or harsh criticism of those who do not worship or sufficiently appreciate this deity.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Almost every man is a He-Man Woman Hater, and almost every woman is Too Dumb to Live.
  • Designated Hero: Most of the protagonists are self-centered, smug, and preachy. You could count the number of likeable ones on one hand. Still, some manage to stand out. In "The Gargoyle", all of the gargoyles on Notre Dame Cathedral view a serial rapist-murderer's activities as an amusing pastime, even though it's completely within their power to stop him. The titular gargoyle is ostensibly in love with a girl named Marie, having stalked her since her childhood (!!!), but still does nothing to stop the rapist-murderer from attacking her until he's actually in her bedroom, with a knife to her throat. And this was after he saw the man stalk her for several days. Despite this, Marie and the story hold the gargoyle up as more worthy of reverence than God.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Numerous, with the ending of "Jill and the Beanroot" (where Jill learns that the subterranean people are planning to overthrow humans and does nothing about it because she got enough gems to help her family and be rich forever) and "Fairy Gold" (where an innocent man killed by a sentient female statue who basically brainwashed him into being completely devoted to her is described as having had a fitting end) being the worst examples.
    • "Little White Riding Hood" ends with White Riding Hood and her grandmother triumphing over the evil hunters... by the grandmother catching one in his own steel trap, splitting his head open with a hatchet, and feeding his remains to the wolves. White Riding Hood's final line, in which she innocently tells her mother that she "fed some wolves" when she visited her grandmother only adds to the feeling that this ought to have been the ending of a horror story.
  • Fair for Its Day: At its time of publication (mid-Nineties), a feminist-oriented revision of popular stories was an unusual, welcomed thing. Nowadays, some of the ideologies promulgated in the rewritten stories, like women being inherently nurturing, and the heroines being quite passive even by the standards of fairy tales, are seen as retrograde and not up to date to the current state of the Feminist movements.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The anthology is riddled with those. The most common ones: "Worship the Mother Goddess (while doing nothing else) and everything will turn okay!" and "Violence Really Is the Answer (when done by women)".
    • "The Oracle" and "The Empress's New Clothes" show it to be perfectly acceptable for women to con unsuspecting people out of their money. In the latter story, it's even suggested that the con artist sisters are actually secretly brilliant, having exposed the lies and hypocrisy of the masses.
    • Stories such as "Little White Riding Hood" and "The White God" treat animal lives as much more valuable than human lives. In the former, brutally murdering a huntsman is portrayed as a brave feat to protect adorable, fluffy wolves. In the latter, the three goddesses only show concern over the titular White God killing the animals of Africa, paying no attention at all to any issues plaguing the people.
  • Idiot Plot: Present in several, but the one in "The Weaver" (the alleged retelling of the Arachne myth) stands as one of the worst. To wit, in this one every mentioned character, named or not, has a chance to off the oppressive villain, but no one takes it, and so they keep suffering under his tyrannical rule.
    • "Snow Night" has Lord Huntsman flat-out telling the queen that she should hire him to murder Snow Night. The queen actually likes Snow Night and refuses to go along with the idea. Instead of simply ordering Lord Huntsman to be jailed for conspiring to murder the princess, she makes a deal with seven dwarfs to follow him around and not actually intervene until he's attempting to murder Snow.
  • Nausea Fuel: Cinder-Helle's pumpkin, mouse, etc. are transformed into coach and horse etc. by splashing her menstrual blood all over them. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, this ain't.
  • Unfortunate Implications: From the Westernization of traditionally non-Western fairy tales (i-.e. Aladdin to "Ala Dean"), to a character named Baron Wrathchild (probably a pun on the famous Baron Rothschild, but since Rothschild was a Jew the joke can be seen as anti-Semitic), to an aspiring witch wanting to learn the methods of an oracle she knows is fraudulent so she can con people better, the book is littered with those.
  • Values Dissonance: A lot of the feminist values in the anthology, particularly the repeated morals that women are special because they can give birth and have periods, were popular points in second wave feminism. This is seen as very exclusionary by modern standards, as it ignores women who are sterile, don't want children, are homosexual/bisexual, or are trans. It also comes across as very outdated -- and even reactionarily pre-feminist -- for suggesting that pregnancy and childbirth are the most important things a woman can do.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: many of the rewritten tales have open mention of sexual activities (most of those in a sexual abuse context) and there is a story about magical menstrual blood. None of these references are written in a child-friendly way. Also, many of the illustrations depicts detailed frontal female nudity, in a book that seems directed to children and young teens.