Tag Archives: ethics

Why I won’t read Cinderella to my daughter(or Sleeping Beauty, for that matter).

The beautiful Cinderella patiently sweeps the floor, her face black with soot and cinder.She is the archetypal no-initiative girl. Her whole life story consists of silently enduring her step mother and by a stroke of luck she gets noticed by a prince and is saved. With absolutely no initiative on her part except for looking doe-eyed and playing the part of damsel in distress.

The sleeping beauty surpasses even Cinderella in her non-initiative. All she does is sleep. Until, of course a Prince comes and rescues her. She has no personality, no ambitions, no dreams to fulfill except for the arrival of a white knight on the black horse(or black knight on the white horse). I cannot give these values to my daughter(who is 4.5 months old). Or take Red Riding Hood for example, she is so innocent(or so stupid, to be more accurate) that she cannot distinguish between her grandmother and the evil fox, for crying out loud. I really need some good stories for my daughter.

I tried some Urdu folklores (my mother tongue), and disappointment there too. True, there are many tales of ‘Princes’ rescuing more damsels in distress, and ready to fight monsters at the drop of the hat for the first stranger who seems to be in need of some kind of help. But again, they are all ‘princes’ and no ‘princesses’. A definitive gender bias across cultures and languages.

Then I stumbled upon, an RPG[1] game called ‘Aveyond’ which chronicles the journey of a village lass named Rhen with purple hair[an improbable hair color]. She is captured and made into a slave, but she endeavours her escape and finds her hidden powers. I have played just the demo version and it is good.

There is no need to look into traditional stories, I think I can make up my own little story for my daughter, and hopefully by the time she begins to walk, talk and play with computers, a full fledged educational, value-giving RPG-type game for kids, of my own.

[1]RPG(Role Playing Game) is a genre of computer games where the player assumes a character and follows him in an adventure in story mode.



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