A mom in the UK is calling on primary schools there to drop the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” from the curriculum because, she says, the story promotes sexual assault.
According to The Chronicle, Sarah Hall, who hails from Northumberland Park in Britain, has launched a one-woman crusade against the popular story, which features a handsome prince waking Sleeping Beauty – or Princess Aurora, in the Disney version – from a decades-long slumber with “true love’s kiss.”
Hall told the paper that she was reading the book to her six-year-old son, when she realized that Sleeping Beauty’s story wasn’t romantic, it was downright terrifying. Since Sleeping Beauty is asleep and, therefore, can’t consent to what Hall considers a “sexual” touch, the prince is, in effect, sexually assaulting the dozing damsel to the great delight of the fantasy kingdom.
“I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent,” Hall told the Chronicle. “It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?”
“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,” Hall added.
Hall also says she recognizes that not all schools will be able to wipe Sleeping Beauty out of their curriculum, and that the character is now so embedded in the cultural Zeitgeist that it would be difficult to erase Princess Aurora from our collective memory. But now, in such a progressive, “woke” era, she says, it may be time to start having “constructive conversations” when the story is mentioned in an educational setting.