A mum has taken to social to slam popular childhood fairytale Sleeping Beauty for the message it is sending to children about consent.
Outraged mum Sarah Hall shared a picture of the book she was reading with her son, Ben, to her Twitter account.
‘Tell you what, while we are still seeing narratives like this in school, we are never going to change ingrained attitudes to sexual behaviour #MeToo #consent #mysonissix’ she wrote alongside the image, of the prince in the story kissing the princess whilst she’s asleep.
Talking to The Sun, Sarah said she thinks the story sends the wrong message to youngsters but instead of having it taken off the school curriculum entirely, thinks that it could be used as a conversational resource for older students.
‘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,’ she explained.
‘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.’
The mum-of-two has said she was disturbed by the ‘non-consensual’ kissing in the classic fairytale, saying that the subtle message could undermine understanding of consent.
She added: ‘I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent.’
Sarah admitted that she might not have given the story a second thought, except for recent coverage of sexual abuse and consent.
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The recent ‘Me Too’ social media campaign made her consider about the context, which says may contribute to creating a culture where consent isn’t seen as important.
‘All these small things build up, and they make a difference,’ she concluded.
The tale of Sleeping Beauty, is one where Princess Aurora is awoken from an enchanted sleep by a prince with a single kiss without consent.
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