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gender stereotypes perpetuated in fairy tales

Do you think it is ok to allow children to read fairy tales, even though they perpetuate gender stereotypes through gendered language and illustrations?

what are your thoughts on fairy tales and the messages they provide to young children?
Original post by kendrahobley
Do you think it is ok to allow children to read fairy tales, even though they perpetuate gender stereotypes through gendered language and illustrations?

what are your thoughts on fairy tales and the messages they provide to young children?


Yes, ultimately the English language is based on and around men (not a supporter of the dominance theory but it does make sense). The English language is innately dominant to male language and female language is always the inferior term such as "waitress" "Cigarette" and also most of the time the marked term "female doctor" "female firefighter" - also the case for men in certain other occupations which are stereotypically female roles "male nurse" "male nanny". We can't really afford to limit young children's exposure to language because of its use of gendered language because there isn't much literature out there that doesn't use gendered language and illustration. I do think that we should broader children's exposure to language and different genres at a young age as it is proven (in many CLA studies) that children with a higher exposure to language will develop faster. I think a good mix of fairy tales and new stories written for the 21st century viewpoint are the perfect combination for young children. Also, gender is seen as a spectrum nowadays with less stereotypical genders rules that there once was (boys can like pink and dance, girls can like cars and football). Some of the key themes and messages from fairy tales teach important lessons on greed, anger, patience and many other important life goals. Therefore, I think children should still be allowed to read fairy tales. I mean they got me into reading.

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