Fairytale Sleeping Beauty can be harmful to children.
At least, that’s what mom-of-two Sarah Hall says – and she’s trying to get the storybook removed from her childrens’ elementary school.
“I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent,” the mom tells British newspaper The Sun.
Sarah Hall – mom to 6-year-old Ben – has received strong responses on social media after speaking her mind about the popular fairytale.
It all began with Sarah’s campaign to ban the storybook Sleeping Beauty from elementary schools – or at least the one her son attends.
She took to Twitter to condemn the scene below, pictured in her son’s school book.
The picture shows Sleeping Beauty being woken up after a 100 year sleep, thanks to a kiss from a prince.
The book’s main character Kipper instructs the prince to kiss the princess. But is the embrace consensual?
“There’s a problem”
Sarah Hall references the huge debate around Twitter campaign #metoo and claims that there’s an underlying message in the book that says that consent doesn’t matter.
She’s concerned that the book teaches boys that it’s OK to hassle or make sexual advances towards girls against their will.
“I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent,” the mom says to The Sun.
She believes that the book should be looked at and critiqued based on a wider context.
“(This book) is indicative of how ingrained that kind of behaviour is in society. All these small things build up, and they make a difference,” she says.
However, Sarah doesn’t think that the book should disappear completely. She believes it could be useful when studied by a different audience.
“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,” she suggests.
“But I’m really concerned about it for younger children, would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material.”
What do you think? Should Sleeping Beauty be taken off the shelves? Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments!