1. R D Laird says:

    I think some people just want something to complain about. it’s a classic fairytale. You presented your argument very well.

  2. Mia Brech says:

    This is a clear, sensible analysis of Snow White that applies to fairy tales in general. Originally, they were short spoken stories that made their points quickly, hence through symbols. “Love at first sight” did not mean they fell in love because of their looks; it was a convention that the listeners to these tales understood to mean that they’d found true love.

  3. Terrific article! Thanks, Marian!

  4. Debating over the morality of a kiss like that can be an interesting topic, and it’s good for people to have those discussions. Where the problem tends to start, especially now days, is where people pick out a character behavior that REALLY offends them, and then use it as an excuse to attack the story, author, or anyone that disagrees with them(rather than having an actual open minded argument and debate). There’s a difference between debating and the desire to force a story/trope/whatever out of existence just because it’s upsetting.

    Some of it just comes down to what each person feels personally upset about. There’s a whole plotline about Snow White’s abusive mother trying to kill her, but apparently some would rather hone in on the prince(even though he saved her) because consent, as a social issue, offends them more. I’m not at all saying that to dismiss what rape victims go through. It’s a very horrible thing and something people deserve to be upset about, but it’s still important to acknowledge why people react to things a certain way.

    If people don’t like what a character does, they can express that opinion and the reasons for it, but should be willing to truly consider arguments to the contrary. And instead of seeing offensive character behavior as an excuse to attack a story or author, they should use it to discuss the issue at hand. Then people can learn positive lessons from stories, rather than negative ones. That’ll help fans have a better experience with the tales they read and the fandoms they participate in, since they won’t be as afraid of getting canceled for disagreeing with the wrong people at the wrong time.

    Also, as an example of a real life issue that can offer a bit of perspective… I took a first aid class years ago, and they defined what to do if someone has a medical emergency, but is unable to ask for help because they’re unconscious or whatever. The instructor basically said the rule was that, if you’re ABLE to communicate with that person, you tell them that you know first aid and ask if they want your help. But if they’re UNABLE to communicate, you’re supposed to assume they want your help.

    • Ok, just realized I should clarify the last part. To compare the paragraph about first aid to the situation in Disney’s Snow White, I’m saying that it’s a situation where the prince should probably assume she wanted him to help her wake from the witch’s curse. BUT, I am in no way, shape or form saying that someone should assume an unconscious person is giving consent for sex/kissing/etc.

    • Marian Jacobs says:

      Autumn, I mostly agree except for the comparison of consent versus child abuse. These really aren’t the same at all since the villain is doing one (implies child abuse is evil) and the hero is doing the other (implies non-consenting kissing is good). Of course, I don’t think this stories falls into that category at all so it’s a moot point (cow’s opinion IMO). But if I agreed with the cancel crowd on this issue, I would make that argument.

      I like the CPR example.

  5. L.G. McCary says:

    It’s like the cancel mob doesn’t know magic is a thing in fairytales. They grew up like Eustace, always reading the wrong books.

  6. Vic says:

    A more recent controversy that annoys me just as much as the Snow White controversy, is about The Time Traveler’s Wife. In that sci-fi story, a man jumps back and forth through time against his will, out of his control, and at some point in his future he discovers that he’s married to a woman. He then gets time travel back to where he meets this woman as a young girl, knowing he’s going to one day marry her. This is all a very fun timey-wimey sort of fairy tale type of story, but in recent years the online “critical” narrative has emerged that this is actually a case of grooming, where an adult male convinces a young girl to fall in love with him. I mean, sure if this really happened in real life, it would probably come across as kind of icky, but the novel makes it clear that both sides of this romance kind of had no choice in the matter, and both kind of resisted it, but true love wins out in the end. But it just distresses me to see so much chatter about how problematic this story is. The author’s intent should trump everything else. As a reader we should be intelligent enough to understand what the language logic of the story is trying to tell us and go with it.

What say you?