Is Princess Play Okay? And Why Do Little Girls Want to Be Saved?
Editor's Note: Summertime gives us extra time to watch our kids play. Miggy at This Little Miggy Stayed Home recently watched as her girls engaged in a lot of "girls need rescuing" play. It made her remember the days when she used to do the same. And so the question remains: Is all this rescue play good for our girls? What say you? -Jenna
As I listened to my girls playing yesterday I heard a common theme they often resort to in their play. Help me, help me! The crocodile is getting me! He's pulling me away...help me! And which ever one is not in immediate peril pulls the other one to safety. Sometimes it's a crocodile, sometimes it's Captain Hook, other times just an ambiguous monster. Listening to this type of play is very familiar to my girlish ears. I too remember playing the damsel in distress and taking turns saving each other. In 3rd grade the daily recess game was 'chase.' The boys chased the girls as we tried to make it back to the small bars where we were deemed safe. I know there is a lot of backlash against the typical narrative of the Disney princess movies--many of them feature some sort of damsel in distress where a prince, a man, rescues them from their miserable circumstances. Many women find this storyline troubling. What are we teaching our young girls? That they need a man to rescue them. That they are too weak to do it themselves. We've seen this start to change over the years particularly with Disney's latest Princess Merida in Brave.
So when I listen to my daughters play out this familiar narrative and when I remember my own desire for 'saving' as a young girl, frankly I don't worry about it too much.