“Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, lived a princess. She was locked in the highest tower, spelled shut by a sorceress. She had never seen the world outside, for her world was limited to the four walls of her tower. One day, a fine young man came along on his horse…” Blah, blah, and they lived happily ever after. THE END.
I just have ONE question here. Why did the Princess need a man to save her? She didn’t. And how is that she just happened to fall in love with him and had a happy ending? Although my version of the story is fairly rubbish, not to mention imaginary, most of us are familiar with the commonly used concept of the ‘Damsel in Distress’ in several fairy tales. Take ‘Sleeping Beauty’ for example; the poor girl was cursed into deep stupor for eternity until ‘true love’s’ kiss broke the spell. Apparently, the concept of ‘consent’ was not given too much of importance while this tale was being written.
I grew up reading and re-reading these fairy tales, but call it reading too much into things or becoming self aware, I have started to find these tales to be highly messed up. They give little girls everywhere all the wrong ideas about what or how a Princess should be. And the loudest message that goes out is that the Princess always needs to be rescued by the Prince when she’s in danger, hence the absolutely ridiculous phrase- ‘Damsel in Distress’. Here’s an alternative- tell your daughters to be like Merida from Disney’s ‘Brave’. She’s a much better role model, trust me.
So here’s a message from me, and several others to all of you beautiful girls out there. You are all queens in your own right and you do not need a king to rule, or to get out of a sticky situation. You are brilliant, strong, independent, free-spirited creatures who don’t need a man to go about your lives. If you have already have a man who supports you, then great! But don’t be completely dependent on him to the point of making your life all about him. You alone are enough to bring the walls of carefully built kingdoms crumbling down. Remember that!
We live in a world where people think that women who have no men to support them financially or otherwise are helpless. NOT TRUE. Women are perfectly capable of supporting themselves and they don’t need a ‘Knight in shining armour’. They can very much shut people down if they ever feel the need to. My boyfriend once told me that “Women are not meant to be contolled or tamed. You are so strong, you’ll carve your own path without any help or support. You’re a queen. You’re a sword that only slays”. And honestly, I think that is the kind of encouragement women everywhere should be given.
For further opinions on the subject, I asked around and got some really good replies from my friends:
“The phrase ‘Damsel in Distress’ is archaic to the point of being a sure-shot eye-roller. The only distress I feel is from the glare of your armour of stupidity.
“I think that ‘Damsel in Distress’ is something that is totally made up by people’s assumptions. These days, it’s not about a ‘Damsel in Distress’, it’s about a queen in the making who is fighting off her woes alone.
The next time anyone uses this ridiculous phrase to describe you, remember your self-worth. You are an extraordinary person who can fight for herself, and mount heads on her wall.
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