Feminist princess-type gifts for four-year-old? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
rosie29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Green Bay, WI
Posts: 1,383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 4 y/o niece is into all the princess stuff. Her parents are a little unsure about what to do with all the messages embedded in that theme, like beauty and needing a man, etc. Can anyone recommend any feminist-type gifts that can steer my niece in a slightly different direction, while still going with the princess or fairytale theme? This is all foreign to me, as I have a boy who has no interest in that kind of thing.
rosie29 is offline  
#2 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 03:44 PM
 
sarah_bella1050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: California
Posts: 2,046
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that as long as you don't go with commercial princesses and all the movies then you will be fine. Magic Cabin has some nice fabric crowns and silk capes. I would stay away from anything Disney though.

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
sarah_bella1050 is offline  
#3 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 04:14 PM
 
zeldamomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Atalanta is a princess in Greek myth. Her story is in Jim Weiss's "She & He: Adventures in Greek Mythology". A quick summary-- running is Atalanta's passion, and she does not wish to marry. Atalanta is a local heroine because of her running prowess. Her father tells her it is time to marry, and she convinces him that she should only marry a man who can beat her in a foot race. Many men try and fail, until Hippomenes sees her running and falls in love with her. He knows that he couldn't beat her in a running race, and so he uses magic apples to win the race. Afterwards, Atalanta's father rushes to award Hippomenes Atalanta's hand, but he refuses to marry her until she wants to marry him.

The full story of Atalanta on Wikipedia is a LOT more complex, but I like the tale as Jim Weiss tells it.

ZM
zeldamomma is offline  
#4 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 05:40 PM
 
fivi2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I posted this list of books with strong females over on the toddler board a while back. Not all are princesses, but a lot are. I have not read them and cannot speak for any of them - I got them from another list.

Positive Female Books:

Hi - This list is completely stolen from another public board (I don't know if I can link to other boards). I have not read them, so cannot speak to age level or content. Not all are fairy tales, but should have strong girls. HTH!

Paperbag Princess - Robert Munsch
Sleeping Ugly - Jane Yolen
Olivia books
Madeline
Alice the Fariy - David Shannon
Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from around the World - Kathleen Ragan
Eloise books - Kay Thompson
Don't Mention Pirates - Sarah McConnell
Princess Knight and Pirate Girls (2 different books) - Cornelia Funke
Princess Smartypants - Babette Cole
Falling for Rapunzel - Leah Wilcox
The Very Smart Pea and the Princess to Be - Mini Grey
Cinder Edna - Ellen Jackson
Tatterhood and other Tales: Stories of Magic and Adventure - Ethel Johnston Phelps
The Serpent Slayer and Other Stories of Strong Women - Katrin Tchana
Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls - Jane Yolen
Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren
The Wizard of Oz series may work - there may be some stereotypes, but there are so few girl on epic journey/quest books they may be worth it.

I have heard that Barefoot Books has several including Goddesses; Grandmother's Stories; Fiesty Feminina (http://www.barefoot-books.com/us/site/pages/home.php)

Link to list of books that break gender role stereotypes:
http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/200...s4Children.pdf

Link to someone's list (not mine) at Amazon with strong girls:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/lis...453685-9869466


Also the book Packaging Girlhood (absolutely fantastic so far - on this exact topic) has great lists of books and movies with strong female characters, but it is in the room with sleeping baby.

Again, I have not personally read these books, so feel free to disagree with any of the suggestions. Some may not be what you are looking for!
Good Luck!

ETA: Found this discussion here (MDC) on another forum:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...light=princess
fivi2 is offline  
#5 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 05:42 PM
 
Nousername's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Re. Disney, The Little Mermaid has a somewhat feminist theme; although she falls in love with the prince, she also wants to be human in order to read and experience more of the world. (In the Andersen version, she wants a human soul.) The book The Davinci Code claims the movie has many feminist elements, some recognizable only to the educated viewer (I did not recognize them!).

You might look at this list of suggested feminist fairy tale books:
http://nancykeane.com/rl/395.htm

or
http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dKBrown/fft.html

This book looks interesting for someone open to rethinking critiques of fairy tales:
http://wsupress.wayne.edu/fairytale/...tf/haaseb.html



Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_bella1050 View Post
I think that as long as you don't go with commercial princesses and all the movies then you will be fine. Magic Cabin has some nice fabric crowns and silk capes. I would stay away from anything Disney though.
Nousername is offline  
#6 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 05:56 PM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
If she likes disney, how about Mulan? As my stepdaughter likes to point out, Mulan kicks all the guys butts.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#7 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 06:00 PM
 
Bekka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DD has a book called "Do princesses wear hiking boots?" It is SO awesome. Her teacher gave it to her when we moved out of state. A picture book, about one sentence per page.
Bekka is offline  
#8 of 21 Old 11-25-2007, 06:01 PM
 
Bekka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, what about Shrek? It has Fiona, and the story flies in the face of "classical beauty." It does have a bit of toilet humour, but it's just fun stuff.
Bekka is offline  
#9 of 21 Old 11-26-2007, 07:25 PM
 
loudmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: WI
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For books, We really like The Paperbag Princess & Princess Knight.

As for movies, I also really like Mulan & Fiona in the Shrek movie.

L

ribboncesarean.gif   vbac.gif  My kids jammin.gif  

 

 

loudmama is offline  
#10 of 21 Old 11-26-2007, 10:35 PM
 
3happygirls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to second all the books mentioned...my girls are WAY into the princess stuff, much to my dismay. : I didn't realize the Disney stuff was such a trap when they were first introduced, now we're back-pedaling big time!! Shrek is awesome, too.

My answers FOR US...don't know if you can pass on to your family or not:

- Encourage princess and dress-up play that is not character based, to let them create their own stories. (read: CHEAP, generic dress-up clothes!!) MANY OF THESE HAVE BEEN GIFTS THAT THEY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! My girls love all different kinds of wands with ribbons (there are some great ribbon arm/wrist bands from A Toy Garden)....there are beautiful wands and wings out there...even tie-dye ones!!

- To read them the (sometimes altered) original fairy tales, including the ones outside of Snow White and Cinderella (Frog Prince, Ugly Duckling, etc) that have to do sometimes with beauty and stories with a "people aren't what they seem" theme. (GIFT IDEAS: Beautifully bound original fairy tale books mixed with some of the fun picture books mentioned). She may not truly appreciate the bound books until much later, but at least she'll be introduced to the creative beauty of the original stories instead of the watered down movie versions.

- To introduce them to OTHER STRONG or just plain FUN female characters....Little House on the Prairie books (book sets are my thing, can you tell?), Wizard of Oz, Sarah Plain and Tall/Anne of Green Gables). GIFT IDEAS: any of these classic DVDs (if they watch movies) or books. I just found Wizard of Oz BARBIES : FUN, though! They have Dorothy, Glenda AND the Wicked Witch!!! :yay I've thought of giving a themed gift to a little girl to include the movie and the Barbies. (They're $$$$, though...$29.99/ea.) I'm drawing a blank on other characters...but there's TONS, most of which I've gotten hints from other mamas on here.

Hope *some* of that might help. You said she's 4. My girls are just 5 and they pretty much love "all that glitters". They've recently created their own "treasure boxes" from boxes they found here at our house and have everything in there from glass candle beads I've had, painted rocks, broken necklace pieces, broches, etc. They SERIOUSLY play with these EVERY DAY and go through them like they've just hit the jackpot!! I think the trick is anything that has a lid...line it with velvet, glue in a shiny little mirror and hoila!! Hope that doesn't sound too junky, but really....it's the simple things. You could put a few little things together to make a really WONDERFULLY girly gift that she'll treasure without turning her into a DIVA!! Something all of us with girls are working our ASSES off to avoid!!!

Okay...that's all I got for now...
3happygirls is offline  
#11 of 21 Old 11-27-2007, 11:54 AM
 
True Blue's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Posts: 4,686
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DD dresses up as a Super Princess and fights her brother when he's a Super Hero LOL. Picture Snow White with a playsilk around her neck for a cape...and her wand becomes a laser shooting weapon LOL.

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
True Blue is offline  
#12 of 21 Old 11-27-2007, 11:57 AM
 
thismama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Nursing the revolution
Posts: 14,356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How about Wonder Woman? I love Wonder Woman!
thismama is offline  
#13 of 21 Old 11-27-2007, 12:14 PM
 
eco_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 12,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_bella1050 View Post
I think that as long as you don't go with commercial princesses and all the movies then you will be fine. Magic Cabin has some nice fabric crowns and silk capes. I would stay away from anything Disney though.
:
eco_mama is offline  
#14 of 21 Old 11-27-2007, 12:24 PM
 
the_lissa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 13,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I definitely recommend paper bag princess.

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

the_lissa is offline  
#15 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 12:05 AM
 
grandmakipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you want to buy a book, look at "The Beautiful Princess Without a Face" by April Robins.
grandmakipper is offline  
#16 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 12:54 AM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd also recommend the book "Princesses are NOT Quitters"- not sure of the author right now.

And for what it's worth, we have a generic princess puppet that I/we named Princess Dragonslayer. I try to encourage a stronger role model than the Disney version of the Little Mermaid. I find my daughter just likes the beautiful clothes, she's not really into the idea of being rescued. As long as she can go up the climbing wall in a ball gown and slay dragons, she's good.

Now, will say that The Goddesses in the Gospels and the Girl with the Alabaster Jar opened my eyes to the role these damsels needing to be rescued plays in our culture so it helped my swallow the Disney Sh*T.

(Full o' snark t'nite! )

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#17 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 03:34 AM
 
RainCoastMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Just left of centre
Posts: 1,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

.

RainCoastMama is offline  
#18 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 03:37 AM
 
Nora'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: a state of flux
Posts: 2,478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ooh, I second Wonder Woman. I still remember my sister and I pretending to fight crime in our Wonder Woman and Super Girl Wonderoos underwear.

Starfall has the story of Atalanta in their Greek Myths section...great story IMO

Just seeing all the older girls we know who seem to be in a Disney princess fog, has decided us against intro'ing dd to that whole scene if we can help it. So, I read this thread with interest.
Nora'sMama is offline  
#19 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 11:33 AM
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah_bella1050 View Post
I think that as long as you don't go with commercial princesses and all the movies then you will be fine. Magic Cabin has some nice fabric crowns and silk capes. I would stay away from anything Disney though.
Honestly, I think it's ok to be interested in the magical fairytales of princesses as a girl and still turn out to be a strong, feminist woman.

I did!

I love and loved all princess themed stuff, including most Disney, and even Barbies...that was imaginary and playful...and didn't really impact my sense of women in the real world.

I think as long as you let kids be kids and play when it's playtime, but also expose them to history, art, culture, books of all kinds, and allow their education to be boundless, you'll still end up with grounded and strong females.
That Is Nice is offline  
#20 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 11:34 AM
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
I find my daughter just likes the beautiful clothes, she's not really into the idea of being rescued. As long as she can go up the climbing wall in a ball gown and slay dragons, she's good.
:

That Is Nice is offline  
#21 of 21 Old 11-28-2007, 11:42 AM
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3happygirls View Post
Just wanted to second all the books mentioned...my girls are WAY into the princess stuff, much to my dismay. : I didn't realize the Disney stuff was such a trap when they were first introduced, now we're back-pedaling big time!! Shrek is awesome, too.

My answers FOR US...don't know if you can pass on to your family or not:

- Encourage princess and dress-up play that is not character based, to let them create their own stories. (read: CHEAP, generic dress-up clothes!!) MANY OF THESE HAVE BEEN GIFTS THAT THEY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! My girls love all different kinds of wands with ribbons (there are some great ribbon arm/wrist bands from A Toy Garden)....there are beautiful wands and wings out there...even tie-dye ones!!

- To read them the (sometimes altered) original fairy tales, including the ones outside of Snow White and Cinderella (Frog Prince, Ugly Duckling, etc) that have to do sometimes with beauty and stories with a "people aren't what they seem" theme. (GIFT IDEAS: Beautifully bound original fairy tale books mixed with some of the fun picture books mentioned). She may not truly appreciate the bound books until much later, but at least she'll be introduced to the creative beauty of the original stories instead of the watered down movie versions.

- To introduce them to OTHER STRONG or just plain FUN female characters....Little House on the Prairie books (book sets are my thing, can you tell?), Wizard of Oz, Sarah Plain and Tall/Anne of Green Gables). GIFT IDEAS: any of these classic DVDs (if they watch movies) or books. I just found Wizard of Oz BARBIES : FUN, though! They have Dorothy, Glenda AND the Wicked Witch!!! :yay I've thought of giving a themed gift to a little girl to include the movie and the Barbies. (They're $$$$, though...$29.99/ea.) I'm drawing a blank on other characters...but there's TONS, most of which I've gotten hints from other mamas on here.

Hope *some* of that might help. You said she's 4. My girls are just 5 and they pretty much love "all that glitters". They've recently created their own "treasure boxes" from boxes they found here at our house and have everything in there from glass candle beads I've had, painted rocks, broken necklace pieces, broches, etc. They SERIOUSLY play with these EVERY DAY and go through them like they've just hit the jackpot!! I think the trick is anything that has a lid...line it with velvet, glue in a shiny little mirror and hoila!! Hope that doesn't sound too junky, but really....it's the simple things. You could put a few little things together to make a really WONDERFULLY girly gift that she'll treasure without turning her into a DIVA!! Something all of us with girls are working our ASSES off to avoid!!!

Okay...that's all I got for now...
:
That Is Nice is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off