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Unformatted text preview: fantasy of romance that that era of
feminism threatened, the priv ileges that traditional femininity conferred on women despite its
costs — doors magically opened, dinner checks picked up, Manolo Blahniks. Frippery . Fun. Why
should we giv e up the perks of our sex until we’re sure of what we’ll get in ex change? Why
should we giv e them up at all? Or may be it’s deeper than that: the freedoms feminism
bestowed came with an undercurrent of fear among women themselv es — flowing through “Ally
McBeal,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary ,” “Sex and the City ” — of losing male lov e, of nev er marry ing,
of not hav ing children, of being depriv ed of something that felt essentially and ex clusiv ely
I mulled that ov er while flipping through “T he Paper Bag Princess,” a 1 980 picture book hailed
as an antidote to Disney . T he heroine outwits a dragon who has kidnapped her prince, but not
before the beast’s fiery breath frizzles her hair and destroy s her dress, forcing her to don a
paper bag. T he ungrateful prince rejects her, telling her to come back when she is “dressed like
a real princess.” She dumps him and skips off into the sunset, happily ev er after, alone.
T here y ou hav e it, “T helma and Louise” all ov er again. Step out of line, and y ou end up solo or,
worse, sailing crazily ov er a cliff to y our doom. Alternativ es like those might send y ou skittering
right back to the castle. And I get that: the fact is, though I want my daughter to do and be
whatev er she wants as an adult, I still hope she’ll find her Prince Charming and hav e babies,
just as I hav e. I don’t want her to be a fish without a bicy cle; I want her to be a fish with
another fish. Preferably , one who lov es and respects her and also does the dishes and half the
T here had to be a middle ground between compliant and defiant, between petticoats and paper
bags. I remembered a v ideo on Y ouT ube, an ad for a Nintendo game called Super Princess
Peach. I t showed a pack of girls in tiaras, gowns and elbow- length white glov es sl...
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This document was uploaded on 02/17/2014 for the course ENG 101 at Roosevelt.
- Spring '12