School Considers Banning Sleeping Beauty Out of Fear It Promotes Rape Culture

Is the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty encouraging “rape culture”? One concerned parent at Northumberland Elementary School is arguing a sound yes in answer to this question!

A mother has demanded her six-year-old son’s school bans Sleeping Beauty because the princess does not give consent to be kissed.

Sarah Hall, from Northumberland Park, North Shields, claimed the fairytale promotes an ‘inappropriate sexual’ message to young children.

She argued the story is irresponsible because it teaches children it is acceptable to kiss women while they are asleep.

The mother of two said: ‘I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent.

‘It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?

Mrs. Hall has every right to feel the way she does, and to bring up her concerns with school facility in a calm and respectful manner. But, her main point doesn’t really hold in regards to how it pertains to her 6-year-old son.

She said: ‘In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate – my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t as if I can turn it into a constructive conversation.

It is not that difficult or overtly sexual to make a light offhand remark to your child as you’re reading that you should always wait and ask the princess first before you kiss her for the first time or something along those lines.

Besides if 6 is young enough to “encourage rape culture” it is young enough to start teaching values. I watched Sleeping Beauty with some of my nieces and nephews over the years and made off-hand remarks about how in real life you should always make sure to talk to the princess (or the prince) before kissing them. It wasn’t a big deal or a long lengthy topic. In fact, I’d almost all but forgotten till I saw this Tweet trending.

Children aren’t the ones overthinking this topic, or scared of being told not to walk up and kiss sleeping princess or expect the mirrors to talk back in human form.

This is a fact Mrs. Hall even concedes a little further down into her rant against Sleeping Beauty being read in elementary schools.

‘I don’t think taking Sleeping Beauty books out of circulation completely would be right. 

‘I actually think it would be a great resource for older children, you could have a conversation around it, you could talk about consent, and how the Princess might feel.

‘But I’m really concerned about it for younger children, would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material.’

But then she goes onto to call into question various other classic children’s stories and compare them to Harvey Weinstein level sexual predation.

Ms Hall said recent coverage of sexual abuse, including the social media ‘Me Too’ campaign, made her think about the messages being sent to youngsters. 

She said: ‘These are indicative of how ingrained that kind of behaviour is in society.

‘All these small things build up, and they make a difference.’

Ms Hall said there might be problems with other fairytales, but that the is mostly disturbed by the ‘non-consensual’ kissing in this story

Mrs. Hall was in for a surprise however when she went to read the overwhelmingly negative backlash on Twitter.

Continue to the next page to learn more about this debate and what the school board said to her request.

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