The Huffington Post recently did a live hangout with Jack Zipes (preeminent fairy tale scholor), Tim Manley (fellow fairy tale blogger of Fairy Tales for 20 Somethings, and teacher/ writer), Donald Hasse (Editor of Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies), and Susan Kim (Writer and Filmmaker). They discuss the evolution of fairy tales, how fairy tales are a reflection of the culture, and what makes a fairy tale stand the test of time. And Jack Zipes goes off on how the original fairy tales are not good for children. You know how I feel about that. Though Adam Gidwitz says it better.
He does also touch upon something we have discussed before, how modern interpretations have a faux-feminism, saying that all you have to do to empower women is have them swing a sword around. (See The Empowerment of Snow White). Should women have to "become masculine" to have power. Is wielding a sword (or fighting in general) masculine? Personally, I think if you have a weak female character whose only empowerment is having a sword, then yes, it is a sham. However, if the character herself is strong, no matter what she does, sword or knitting, she will be empowered. Any thoughts, viewers at home?
While the discussion is a bit all over the place, and it seems like the moderator wanted to tackle a bit too much for such a small time slot, it is an excellent interview! It is so great to see such different perspectives on fairy tales together in one (virtual) room. I just wish there was more time for them to argue.