I knew exactly where the article was going to go; and I was right. And? I smirked. I shook my head. I found it preposterous on many different levels but I also had a personal story that goes right along with this story which happens to be a favorite memory of mine to reminisce about sometimes when I think of my innocent little teenage years...
First I'll put the article here for any Coffee Talking readers that hadn't seen it (with a link back to the source). I'll continue my rambling over coffee at the end of it....
Disney princes in 'Snow White,' 'Sleeping Beauty' are sex offenders, professor says
Published January 02, 2018 - FoxNews.com
Prince Charming may not be so charming after all.
Disney’s fairytale princes are sexual predators, according to a Japanese gender studies and sociology professor.
Kazue Muta, an Osaka University professor and author of “Sir, That Love is Sexual Harassment!” a book on workplace sexual harassment, argued in December that princes from “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty” portray “quasi-compulsive obscene sexual acts on an unconscious partner.”
In other words, the feminist academic activist argues such fairytales allow sexual violence.
In a Dec. 11 tweet, Muta accused the princes of sexual assault with a link to a news story of a real case where a man was arrested for kissing a sleeping woman on a train en route to Osaka.
A prince kissing Snow White to wake her from a "sleeping death" is actually sexual assault, one professor says.
The translation reads: “When you think rationally about 'Snow White' and 'Sleeping Beauty,' that tell of a ‘princess being woken up by the kiss of a prince,’ they are describing sexual assault on an unconscious person. You might think I’m ruining the fantasy of it all, but these stories are promoting sexual violence and I would like everyone to be aware of it.”
Muta’s comment brought a firestorm of reaction – support and criticism.
In the Disney versions of “Sleeping Beauty” the prince is led to kiss Princess Aurora by the fairies with the belief that he can cure her of her napping curse, “not motivated by his own pervy will,” SoraNews24 pointed out in Japan Today.
While the “Snow White” version features a prince kissing an unconscious Snow White, SoraNews24 argues, Disney tries to “soften the act by establishing a prior relationship between them in which she and the prince fall in love at first sight.” (Also, Snow White had eaten a cursed apple and the prince's kiss wakes her from a "sleeping death.")
After the criticism was picked up by Yahoo! Japan, Muta responded with an article for the Women’s Action Network.
Muta argues that if someone doesn’t look at the fairytales critically, they are essentially saying sexual harassment is permissible.
“There were many critical replies that state ‘Because the princess and prince lived happily ever after in the end, there is a presumptive consent regarding the kiss, so there’s no problem,’” Muta wrote. “However, this understanding of it is actually dangerous. This kind of thinking fabricates the mindset of ‘the ends justify the means,’ and to what extent does this allow sexual violence to occur?”
She expounded on the tweet, arguing that beyond the Disney versions, and within Japanese fairytales, the male figures kiss “without confirming consent,” so they’re actually committing sexual crimes.
Muta adds that many violent sexual crimes seem as if they “mimicked” the actions of male protagonists in fairytales and connected her argument to the #MeToo hashtag, highlighting sexual harassment which has been found to be especially rampant in Hollywood.
“Under such circumstances, changing society's recognition of sexual violence is not an easy thing to do," Muta said. "However, we must say these things loudly and boldly.
When I was young, my best friend moved away with her family to a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. When I was 15 I went to visit her. Her oldest sister had gotten us all concert tickets for the Power Station and OMD concert happening at the Poplar Creek Music Theater (now long gone - closed in 1994 and demolished soon after). As we got dressed for that evening I applied my oh-so-80's makeup, feathered back my layered hair and after a lot of debate, I chose a pink 'camp shirt' (popular at the time) and a pair of Calvin Klein capri jeans. We had 'grass seats' so her sisters brought a couple blankets and we piled into the car.
When we arrived at the venue we found a place on the grass about 15 feet away from her two older sisters and their boyfriends; and laid down our blanket. We took note to see if there were any cute boys around us and obviously, with a large crowd, there were some. A little bit of glancing, a few shy smiles and we were lost in our own teen girl conversations as we waited for the sun to set and the concert to start. We had arrived so early (to get a good lower level grass spot right in front of the stage) that I laid back on the blanket and closed my eyes. My friend followed suit and we quietly laid there, not talking. She may have even fell asleep.
The sun was setting. Not quite sleeping but completely at rest on my back with my hands folded on my stomach and my hair back on the blanket (much like Sleeping Beauty, but with a bit shorter, feathered hair, I might add) I suddenly felt a soft, warm pair of lips touch mine. It was a soft and gentle, quick kiss.
My eyes fluttered open. I sat up. I looked at my friend who noticed me abruptly sitting and she too, sat up.
I told her "Someone just kissed me!" as I turned around to both sides, looking at those around us to see if I could tell who the 'kisser' was.
My view looked something like this.... (actual photo from the venue - found online - not sure what concert this was though; credit given in the alternate hover text).
When I turned and looked behind us I spied a group of 5 teen boys; one of which looked much like this random photo found online - except he was younger (think 16/17) and his hair was blonde. Pink shirt and white pants? Yep. Mullet? Yep. Except his hair was taller on top and he had his glasses on.
|Photo Source Google Search link in hover text|
The group of guys were looking right at us with smiles... guilty smiles. Bingo. One of these guys was my phantom kisser. And I knew immediately which one. He was cute in that whole 1985 kind of way and he started to blush and looked away, but couldn't hold his gaze away and kept looking back.
My friend and I laughed and smiled and turned around... but yes, kept sneaking glances back as well. Not long after this the concert started. As we stood on our blanket, dancing in place to the music, suddenly two guys appeared next to my friend and I. One of them was 'my' phantom kisser.
He apologized... he said his friends had dared him to kiss me after he had told them he thought I was cute. He asked if it was ok and if it was OK if they watched the concert with us.
On that hot August night, we enjoyed the Power Station/OMD concert together and although I've forgotten most of it, I recall him getting us sodas at one point. At the end of the concert he walked me out of the venue to the car in the parking lot where my friends older sister and her boyfriend and her other sister waited for us.
My phantom kisser and I stood under a street light in the parking lot, talking and laughing and not wanting the night to end. My friend and her sisters waited in the car about 20 feet away, his friends in their car also waiting. They both called out warnings and begged us to hurry up and stop talking....and finally, out of patience, demanded we say goodnight. He kissed me good-bye.
We knew each others names and the towns we lived in. That was all.
John ______ from Geneseo, IL became a 'teenage memory' of the time I was kissed by a stranger while laying on a blanket on the grass at an outdoor concert.
And contrary to what the Japanese feminist academic activist might think; at no time did I consider it a sexual assault and still don't. It happens to be a very romantic, innocent memory.
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