Kazue Muta, a professor at Osaka University in Japan has reportedly claimed that certain fairytale princes were sex offenders who sexually assaulted the women in these stories.
The academic and author of Boss, That Love is Sexual Harassment! apparently argues that princes in stories such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are portrayals of assault. She said the princes in those fairytale stories are less about romance and instead perform “quasi-compulsive obscene sexual acts on an unconscious partner”.
In December she shared a news story linking to a real case where a man had been arrested for kissing a sleeping woman on a train.
“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 is not the first person to have this opinion. Last year in November, Sarah Hall made headlines after she called for Sleeping Beauty to be removed from her son’s primary school curriculum because of its “inappropriate sexual message”. Hall complained that the story teaches children that it is acceptable to kiss a woman who is not conscious.
Ongoing criticisms of classic fairytales have prompted debates over whether some of the more dubious portrayals of romance need an update.