We have been discussing social scripts and their contribution to the formation and reinforcement of conventional gender roles. From fairy tales to social behaviors, we have discovered the presence and power of traditional gender conventions: normative forces that guide, confine, dictate, and, in some cases, even determine the role of women and men in regard to family, society, sexuality, economics, and power. In our reading, writing, and discussion, we have learned to recognize the ways these conventions have influenced our perceptions and understandings of gender, the stories we tell about sex, gender, and social roles, and even the way we live our lives.
For your first culminating assignment, I want you to focus on fairy tales. If, as Carolyn Heilbrun suggests, we live our lives through texts, then fairy tales are a great place to start examining and analyzing the formation of gender roles. In this two-part assignment, you will, first, revise one of the fairy tales we read in class, and, second, you will write a short analytical essay explaining your revision choices.
I. In terms of Part I, consider rewriting “happily ever after” or altering the “once upon a time” circumstances. Make the princess be her own “white knight” or give the prince a larger, multi-dimensional role. Redefine what constitutes a “successful” fairy tale female or revamp the notion of fairy tale romance. How you revise your chosen fairy tale is up to you. Be creative! The parameters for revision are as follows: • Must be recognizable as a fairy tale. In other words, your reader should be able to clearly identify which fairy tale you are revising and what elements are revised or altered. • Your revision must be approximately 3 pages with 1.5 spacing; number the pages of your fairy tale revision. • You must (re-)title your fairy tale.
II. The second part of your final paper is directly connected to your fairy tale...