How Fairy-Tale Princesses Lost Their Groove
Did the Brothers Grimm slut-shame Rapunzel? The 19th-century duo edited many of Western culture’s most enduring stories, but academics suspect they deleted female perspectives and sexuality — from 17th-century flirting to premarital sex — while retaining plenty of gory violence. Hansel’s first words to his sister are “Quiet, Gretel,” and female characters were silenced in later Disney films like Aladdin, where Jasmine only speaks a tenth of the lines. In response, feminist writers are crafting a subversive spin on the fairy-tale genre, featuring princesses who hunt wolves rather than wait for frog princes.