One of the works of feminist children's literature saved me, and my daughter, from Disney's princely propaganda. I leave you this anecdote to emphasize the need for a children's literature free from stereotypical and sexist looks. A children's literature that contributes to gender equality and a more equitable society.
The days before
The last few weeks had been unbearable. Not long ago, the premiere of Frozen and Christmas 2014 had passed. My daughter had received an exaggerated amount of gifts related to princesses. Against my will, she had been bombarded with this kind of Disney propaganda. Needless to say, they had done it of the best will, however, it was I who had to suffer watching my four-year-old daughter, playing Princess Elsa, talking about castles and crowns, singing Let it go, and trying to freeze everything , even me.
What really bothered me the most was that my daughter had adopted a fragile attitude, which she had never had before. She was very worried that her crown would not fall off, that her dress would not get dirty. She cried more, she was more dependent. And worst of all, in our games, I had to be a ridiculous snowman named Olaf.
I had to do something. I could not stay "frozen" in such a situation. I do not want a princess daughter, but I did not want to forbid her to use her toys, because I know it is the worst mistake I could have made. So, faced with such a situation, I just had to invoke the super powers of Pippi Longstocking. Only she, with her magnificent strength, could defeat the terrible princesses who had taken possession of my house and my daughter.
Preparing for war.
War was declared. And I was preparing, silently and strategically, my lethal arsenal. She knew that only Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump (Daughter of Efraim Långstrump) had the strength to defeat Princess Elsa. Only that book had the power to rescue my daughter from the clutches of Disney.
For those who have not read Pippi Longstocking, this is a book written by Astrid lindgren in 1945, which tells the adventures of Pippi, a 9-year-old girl gifted with great strength, motherless, and her father, Efraim Långstrump, who is a pirate, king of the currelotas. This work is one of the precursors of feminist children's literature, since it proposed, for the first time, a creative, strong and rebellious girl in the face of all the conventional, as the protagonist of a children's book.
What I like the most about Pippi is that she is a brave, intelligent, strong, beautiful girl, as I know she is my daughter. Also, another thing I love about Pippi is that she doesn't respect authority and makes fun of two dumb cops. I like that she is a friend of animals and that she sleeps with her feet on the pillow, like someone who turns the whole world upside down.
First days of the Anti-Princess operation.
It was easy to start reading the book, as I read stories to my daughter every night. So, following Cherezade's strategy, I read the opening of Pippi Longstocking and walked away very slowly, saying nothing, imposing nothing. There she had left that first story and the next night, she would prove how effective Astrid Lindgren's pen is.
The next night, I picked up another book and started another story. But my daughter interrupted me. Aren't you going to keep reading Pippi? I wonder. And with a satisfied smile, like someone who achieves her mission, I continued reading that night and the following, the adventures of Pippi Long Calzas, until I finished the book. An adventure for every night.
The days after.
The results of our reading were more than obvious. Within two days of starting to read Pippi Long-set Calzas, the princesses were already in the humiliating place of forgotten toys. My daughter would draw freckles on her face, wear two socks of different colors and ask me to make two tails for her. He had adopted the character. A teddy bear was now a mico, Mr Nelson, and a dog was his horse, Little Uncle. He slept with his feet on his pillow and asked me to lift her up by tickling her on the floor of her feet.
But not only had he taken Pippi's form. Now she was behaving valiantly, she was a "findy," less shy, less submissive, stronger. Irreverent with authority, that is, with me, and that I loved, even though I should bear the cost of what I had read to her and what I had created in her: a feminist-anarchist in power, perhaps.
My daughter ceased to be fragile, now she was strong and determined. I stopped being a ridiculous snowman and now I was the pirate Efraim Lungstrump. We lived with a monkey and a horse in our Villa Mangaporhombro. And Princess Elsa had been left in the coldness of oblivion. Pippi's strength, and the effectiveness of Astrid Lindgren's pen and her work of feminist children's literature, had been proven.
Everything was fine, until one day, someone gave him a pink frisbee, decorated with princesses. It looked like the princesses had returned "flying." But we did something great. I proposed to my daughter to paint on the illustration of the princesses a drawing of Pippi Long Calzas. "Is that how you're going to fly further?" I wondered. "Indeed, my child," he said.
Feminist children's literature.
Now I have no doubt that art and literature change our world. And I will tell this anecdote to those who believe that children's literature is not a serious thing, that it does not change realities, that it does not change the world; to all who think that children's literature has only one purely recreational function. We must tell everyone that feminist children's literature is liberating and will contribute substantially to a better world.
I write this article a few days after Disney announced that it will release the second part of its greatest hit: "Frozen 2," or as you might also call it: "Elsa Counter-Attack"
I want to tell the Disney lords that the battle, this battle, they've already lost it. Art will always be stronger than propaganda.
You'll love this book!