Once upon a time, stories abounded of brave and handsome knights in shining armor rescuing beautiful princesses from tall towers guarded by magic and dragons and all manner of evil.
The princesses seemed always to be in jeopardy, whether because of jealous older women or lecherous older men. There is such a thing as evil in the world, and it likes to go after beauty.
A handsome prince, meanwhile, could be relied on to take up the call to action when he heard of beauty in peril. Chivalry demanded it. So the prince would, sword in hand, storm the castle to rescue the princess, carrying her away to safety all the while enduring all manner of slings and arrows and deriding comments about his worthiness or lack thereof.
Once the evil was bravely vanquished, the white knight would invariably ask for the hand of the princess in marriage. She meanwhile was hoping he would, and she would readily consent. And the two would ride off into the sunset to rule a kingdom of their own with truth and justice and love, living happily ever after as man and wife.
The Villains Rewrote the Scripts
Then the villains of the land – all the lecherous older men and jealous older women – decided they were tired of being beaten by gallant young men wearing gleaming breastplates. So they conspired together to infiltrate the schools and colleges and publishing companies and media companies. And from their new type of fortresses, they changed the narrative.
Now whenever a white knight rode in, death’s ground was prepared for him. Instead of the color white describing his purity of ideals, character and purpose, it was to be insinuated that all the white knights in Western tradition had been subtly reinforcing racist stereotypes. “White supremacy” was reinterpreted to mean that any reference whatsoever to whiteness was de facto racial prejudice and discrimination. Other colors can be good too, you know.
Moreover, the very fact of charming princes and chivalrous knights thinking they needed to rescue damsels in distress was recast as reinforcing oppressive sexual and gender roles. The villains thereby proceeded to persuade princesses that the way they could be strongest was to not need rescuing by any man.
Indeed, the princes and knights themselves needed all the saving by the damsels in distress. And by saving, of course the villains meant that the traditional heroes needed to be recruited to their side. Together they would rule the galaxy.
But only if they came over to the dark side could the heroes be saved; and dark here too was recast as the real truth, the genuine article, authentic humanity, and moral superiority. All this time we had it wrong. Evil is merely misunderstood.
Now when the prince came to save the princess, he would find her already happily settled with her life partner, hair cropped short, wearing men’s clothes. And he would be summarily lectured about preferred pronouns and patriarchy.
The Story of the Storytellers
Consider with me two recent articles treating the trend in recent years to recruit classical fairytales to the purpose of promoting all manner of Woke, Progressive, feminist theory.
First, ‘Twice Told Tales for Teens‘ by Poojaa Makhijani in Publisher’s Weekly, October 15, 2021 talks about remixes in which princesses turn sex-positive lesbians and bisexuals.
Second, Amanda Harding at the Daily Wire reports ‘Disney’s Snow White Remake Will Update Classic Story With A ‘Stronger’ Narrative, Lead Actress Says’, December 13, 2021.
The gist of both is by and large what we have come to expect. “Stronger” female leads means the damsel in distress is not actually in distress. For that matter, who says she needs to be a damsel? She will save herself, thank you very much. She doesn’t need a man.
And that holds true not only for any would-be rescuing from villains, but also invariably for the princess riding off into the sunset with the gallant knight at the end of the story.
“To the victor go the spoils,” as the feminists see it. And so they deprive the white knights from having any victories as a way of doing an end-run around that whole happily-ever-after business which they themselves swore off long ago.
What is meantime missed is that the heart and liver of these stories are being cut out and brought to the evil witch queen.
The classic tales are not more beautiful and alive for being deconstructed in this fashion. Instead, they are cold, stiff, spiritually macabre parodies of their former selves when both femininity and masculinity are made war on in such ways.
An Age of Make Believe
We are living in a modern day fairytale. And fair young maidens are indeed imprisoned in dark castle towers by avaricious dragons and spiteful, envious witches. But now the spell cast is feminism and gender theory, and the flames the dragon belches are all about dismantling the heteronormative patriarchy.
Yet the twisted caricatures of familiar stories with villains and heroes entirely recast as misunderstood can yet serve a noble and useful purpose. They illustrate all the clearer how precious the older stories were.
Slay the dragons and let the witches be hoisted by their own petards. Wisdom is known by her children.
Nothing could be stronger than God’s design for mankind made in His image male and female, and the answer to the serpent’s rhetorical question is that God hath said.
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