Sunday, September 09, 2007

Stella Says…The fairy tales were all wrong!

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 09 September 2007)

Whether it is the older stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast or the newer tales of Aladdin with Jasmine and the Little Mermaid, every single one of these fairy tales end with the princess, or rather the damsel in distress, being saved by a handsome young prince.

What is a girl to conclude from these wonderfully woven bedtime stories but that as women we will only be happy when a prince comes to save us from horrible lives as single women and sweep us away to the land of happily ever afters.

Spinster. That is one of the names given to a woman who does not find a prince to save her. Old maid is another. Both of these words hold very negative connotations because society strongly impresses upon young girls that they must marry if they are to have a fulfilling life.

It is ironic that what defines a fulfilling life for a man is the career in which he chooses to work. Just look at Peeping Tom’s column from this past Thursday entitled, “The purpose of life is to be found in work.” The first sentence of the article said, “The man who dies happily and without regrets is the man who usually funds [sic] contentment in his job.”

It would appear that only a man could find contentment in his job. Not a woman. The good little princess is probably supposed to be cleaning the prince’s shoes or washing the prince’s clothes.

To be fair, Peeper did throw in a couple feminine references, but the whole tone of the article was directed toward men. In modern context though, Peeper’s column should apply as much to women as it does to men because there are quite a few women working “to earn money to upkeep their family.”

This is a funny idea though because women have never been taught this concept of being content in a career or a job – although it applies equally to them. Instead, women are taught find their contentment through taking care of their husband and family. However, there are very many women who are in fact finding great contentment in their jobs.

I recently stumbled across a new princess story that I plan to send to my college-aged daughter and to read to my 14-year-old daughter. I want to tell you the story in part since it is so wonderful. This fairy tale is about Princess Bubble who grows up, goes to college and gets a job that allows her to travel around the world.

Princess Bubble loved meeting new people every single day and learning about new cultures. She bought her own castle and hosted parties for the kingdom. Princess Bubble was completely happy. Now this is a princess with whom I can identify!

The story continues that one day the Queen called Princess Bubble to the castle on the hill and told her it was time to find a prince. Since Princess Bubble knew this is what every princess is supposed to do, she dated some fine princes and had a great time with each one.

However, Princess Bubble liked her life the way it was and did not feel like it was time to share her life with a prince. She did not feel as if any of these princes were the key to finding her “happily ever after.” She was in no dungeon and she had no wicked stepmother, so she did not need a prince to save her. She was already happy.

One day while Princess Bubble was feeling perplexed, her Fairy Godmother appeared and told her, “Living happily ever after is not about finding a prince.” Among other very wise remarks, the Fairy Godmother also said, “Happy princesses are people who enjoy others and like themselves.”

Well of course, Princess Bubble was shocked that all the fairy tales were wrong. “Everything the Fairy Godmother said made perfect sense. She was already happy!” Princess Bubble knew she would live happily ever after and looked forward to the many adventures ahead of her. And she did live happily ever after.

Now this is a fairy tale worth telling my granddaughters! Women are not perpetual damsels in distress who need a man to come and save them. There are plenty of women who are getting an education, building careers and even having children while remaining single and happy.

If a man comes along who is capable of sharing a wonderful life with an intelligent woman – great, but many modern women do not need a man to be happy. They do not need children to be happy. They are perfectly content with the life they have created for themselves.

This is the way it should be for every woman because when happiness is found inside, a partner and family can be added without the woman losing herself along the way. Happily ever afters should not be determined by the degree of sacrifice a woman must offer to make everyone else happy. This is an antiquated thought that stifles women.

A woman can have a career, her own house, her own car, and her own life and be happy. She does not have to sacrifice all of those wonderful aspects of her life and pretend to be rescued by a prince to live happily ever after.

Peeping Tom was right in that a career can be a rewarding part of life. I find my career very rewarding. His only transgression was to focus too much on the men and not enough on the women.

To all of my fellow Princesses who know that strong, intelligent and capable women are the ones who promise a bright future for the world – I lift my wine glass in toast. Ladies, we rule! (Wine glasses clink)

Email: StellaSays[at]


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Stella, what you say is true to a Certain Point. In America a lot of women prefer to be independent because they are not discriminated against on the salary scale. In Guyana women make less then men and that is a known fact.

    Most Guyanese women are looking for a Rich man to take care of them, that too is a fact. I as an American living in Guyana for 14 years have seen this to be true.

    Even in America everyone wants their Daughters to marry a man that has something, not a poor man.

    If the princess lives in America and has a Good paying Job, she does not need a price charming, she however would benefit from having the love of a man that can take care of her.

    the fairy tales are not wrong, they are just showing how life should be.

    Even the prince gets to live happily ever after in those fairy tales.

    These fairy tells are not their to corrupt the minds of the children, they are written to entertain them without all the blood and guts of real life. that is why thry are called fairy tales. They are not suppose to be true stories.

    To date I have not seen nor heard of any child that grew up believing these stories were true.

    Clobber Peeping Tom, But please do not try to discredit the whole purpose of these children's stories.

    They are not for adults, they are for children and they do not live their lives according to the stories that were read to them as children because they learn as they grow up that these are only Tales.

    Perhaps your prince charming did not come along but a lot of people's did.

    Not the books fault if believed in the fairy tales all the way up to your adult hood.

  3. In America we call ladies like you Feminist.

    They feel they do not need men and they can do anything a man can do.

    Although women had to fight for equal rights in America, they still have not proven they can do anything a man can do.

    You must remember that men have ruled this world for centuries and it was a Government of men that gave women in America equal rights.

    I too believe that women should be treated equal, however i also believe it was the purpose of God, whom decided that man needed a companion, men and women need to be together.

    Fairy tale or not God created woman for man.

    If they have a Job that is even a benefit to the man and takes off some of the burden of supporting the home.

    At some point in life most women go through the phase of wanting to be a mother, well you have to have a man for this.

    Now if all women would get their tubes tied at 13 years old, and the world becomes less populated because they believe in your words, than you can say.

    I lift my wine glass in toast. Ladies, we rule! (Wine glasses clink)

    but at this time women do not rule. the female sex had to be given the right just to vote.

    We love our women but you must not have a husband since you have a feminist attitude and seem to be a sexist.

    How soon we forget who we are.

  4. Dr. Richard,

    Your assessment of me is totally wrong. I am happily married to a wonderful man who also believes women can be independently happy and if she is lucky enough to find a man to share her life - then that is just great, but not a necessity.

    Secondly, your encouragement that god created women as second class is the very reason I no longer believe in a god. I want nothing to do with a god who expects me to be a slave to any man.

    BTW, even if the women of Guyana have been taught (by long standing social expectations) to find a rich man, it is my hope that they will rethink their position in life and realise they have so much more to offer the world.

  5. you sated in another place about the noises coming from the churches and that you attend churches.

    If you do not believe in God than you really are not worth my trouble nor my time.

    an ungodly person really should hide themselves from the world and not be seen by humans.

    my assessment was quite correct.

    You like are like your president that you complain about, he too is an atheist.

    Good day

  6. Once again you have it wrong. Bush is a very staunch Christian and another good reason not to be one.

    But don't let me waste your time. I'm sure you have much better things to do than to debate with a heathen.

  7. You know very well who your president is. and you also know I was not refering to the U.S. President.

    I am not Guyanese, but you are. As a native of Guyana, Born in Guyana and voting in Guyanse Elections, Ms. Ramsaroop, you have to claim Mr. Jadeo as your president.

    Although you would not have voted for him becasue of your Brother Peter, you still are very Guyanese.

  8. Stella,
    Thanks for the kind words about Princess Bubble. We really feel this is important for girls of all ages and thank you for your support!
    Happily Ever After!
    Susan Johnston and Kim Webb

  9. Anonymous6:10 pm

    Hi Stella
    I hope that you will give God another chance. She is a mother as well as a mather. You're so right that she made us to be equal and not subservient to anyone. It's because She loves us all so much that she made everyone free.
    Some of us Christians understand this, but many are confused by old dogma.
    BTW - I love fairytales - there are lots with very tough women - women who rescue the men and then kick their butts when they are betrayed by them!


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