July 21, 2005

Linda T, Parsons

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here is a image of cinderella and the prince putting the shoe on her.

Today, I read an interesting article called, ď Ella Evolving: Cinderella Stories and the Construction of Gender Appropriate Behavior written by Linda T. Parsons. Linda T. Parsons is a proficient classroom teacher, working on her Ph.D in Language, Literacy and Culture at Ohio State University. Linda had already published a lot of other articles. Most of her articles are written from feminist perspective, where her interest relay on childrenís engagement during aesthetic reading and the impact of gender on literacy.
In Lindaís article, she pointed out that our society are surrounded by media marketing Disney fairy tales that are the sites for constructing the most appropriate behaviors for male and female (pg.135). Fairy tale is a dominant discourse on historical, and cultural message of gender roles in the values of the society. Fairy tales is also expressed as a script for form of acceptable female and maleís behaviors. For example, in fairy tales, women are being portray as weak, submissive, dependent, and self-sacrificing, while men are being dominant, powerful, active, right, and heroine.
Linda argues that fairy tales and their influence on the people today are powerful because people are unconsciously performing what is being portray in fairy tales and accepting the gender discourse as natural. Even children who watch fairy tales are developing not just the knowledge of the appropriate behaviors or role of females and male, but the desires, values, and acceptance of these behaviors as their own behaviors. Linda emphasized that it would be highly important if fairy tales were examine for the messages they are giving to the children or people who watch these shows. So with that ideas, she take in account of examining some of the message convey in the traditional canon, the characteristics of feminist re-visions of fairy tales, and the importance of access to alternative discourse to challenge dominant ideology with the analyze of four different Cinderella stories and it messages (pg.136). Linda found interesting messages in her search such as fairy tales convey a message that women are to suffer, humiliated, before they are reward.
I found Lindaís article to be fascinating because it highlight some of the issue of male and female roles being portray in fairy tales, also help clarify some confusions about gender differences, and it exposed interesting messages about genderís behaviors. One of the messages that Linda find in her search that I find agreeable was that women can be portray as evil or good. Referring to women who are ugly and poor as not evil. However, those women who are beautiful and wealthy are evil. I didnít like the fact that fairy tales and society label man being the most dominant and excluding women from domination. I agree with Linda when she said that most of the behaviors of the gender shown in the fairy tales is portray by what the society demand from the media. She says that people who watch these fairy tales often want to rewrite them because some of the behaviors shown didnít corresponded to the expected behaviors. For example, the fairy tale, The Cinderella story was either revise a couple times and retold a couple time from different culture who then add different messages and roles to the Cinderella and the prince.
Another reason that I found her article fascinating because some of the things that she talks about in her article are so true. I was quite shocked to learn that children watch fairy tales and learn how to act from it. In her article, she involves a lot studies with children reactions to these fairy tales, which I found it to be very interesting. I think that the fact that she works with kids on this is interesting because it show that people learn about gender difference at a young age, so by the time they are mature enough. They already got used to being identify as a male because of dominant behavior, and as a female because of weak behavior and also of the things that they can do from their behaviors and sex difference. I remember watching the Disney and having the same reaction like some of the children in her article. I was also thinking about how I must suffer pain and wait for my prince who will some day come and rescues me from the evil things in my life. However, as I grow older and my prince never came for me, it made me wonder about my roles as a female. Am I going to be portraying as dependant and weak like the fairy tales portray Cinderella or Ella. I also wonder can people really rely on these behaviors that are portray in fairy tales to tell someone out from it gender? Or is there more to this than just the knowledge of how people want to think of genderís behaviors and roles from society expectations.

Here is the link to where I found the article. Please feel free to take a look at the article and leave me some comment about what you think of this article and it topic.


Posted by chan0719 at July 21, 2005 3:26 AM