There is this from The Guardian Comment is Free. It’s a normal enough piece, talking about how little girls grow out of the princess shit by around age six. Disney itself has, I believe, recognised this fact, pulling its Disney Princess line of toys on the basis that the age group it attracts is miniscule; like say, 3-4 or so. It also talks about how the writer, ‘a committed feminist and believer in equality‘ looked on in horror at her small daughter’s love of all things ‘princess’. Again, fairly normal for CiF.
And that’s where it gets weird. Truly weird. You got the words ‘feminist‘ and equality‘ and ‘horror‘, right? You understand what’s therefore supposed to happen next? As surely as night follows day? Or as flies follow David Cameron?
Vitriol. Misogyny of the most vicious order. Personal attacks on the author for her femi-nazi parenting style, followed by ample debate as to why exactly feminism is to blame for everything from oestrogen in the water to the disappearance of the polar bears. If you’re really lucky, you’ll catch some deep thinker suggesting that women like the author are the reason that women get raped, doncha know? If for some reason, you’re unfamiliar with how this particular song goes, read this. and you’ll be humming it around your lesbian socialist commune before you know it (because it’s an accepted fact that we all live in a lesbian socialist commune).
When I got to it, the piece had 21 comments. All were, in general, supportive of the author’s basic argument. No personal attacks were made on the author, her parenting skills, or her level of hygiene. Many commenters noted the fact that, during the early years, princess costumes are as popular with boys as girls, or that their sons still like pink and sparkles (for the record, L’il Boo is currently obsessed with his sister’s hats and likes nothing better than ambling around the house wearing pink fairy wings). Other commenters noted that, despite being discarded early on in childhood, the ‘princess’ model may well nonetheless harm young girls in the long run. In short, I didn’t have to report a single bloody comment. So now what will I do for the rest of the day??
I need a lie down.