I've been thinking lately about feminism in fairy tale retellings, especially since I just wrote a guest post for Spinning Straw Into Gold on the subject of feminism in Beauty and the Beast, and how I think later generations will look back on this era of fairy tale history and roll their eyes and wonder why we were so obsessed with seeing everything as a sermon on gender roles and missing out on the other ways to read into fairy tales. Megan Reichelt of The Dark Forest summed up my feelings precisely in a recent post:
Empowerment of Snow White). Should women have to "become masculine" to have
power. Is wielding a sword (or fighting in general) masculine? Personally, I
think if you have a weak female character whose only empowerment is having a
sword, then yes, it is a sham. However, if the character herself is strong, no
matter what she does, sword or knitting, she will be empowered."