A new controversial school lesson has been introduced which has caused a huge division amongst parents.
The lesson plan uses Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as a basis for discussing domestic abuse. The teachings dissect the 1991 animated classic and address the opinion that Belle is the victim of domestic abuse, say Metro.
But people have strongly reacted to accusations that the classic film promotes domestic abuse, with the lesson claiming that Belle’s ‘only asset is her sexuality.’
It also aims to get across the points that Beast is holding Belle against her will in a threateningly violent manner and, to be honest, the story does seem to be about Stockholm Syndrome. The plan, titled Racism/Sexism in Disney, was uploaded to the Times Educational Supplement website by an unknown professional and has so far been viewed over 11,000 times and downloaded 600.
The guide outlines that ‘The Beast does not attack Belle but the threat of physical violence is present.’ It also say that ‘The movie says if a woman is pretty and sweet natured she can change an abusive man into a kind and gentle man’; as well as ‘In other words, it is the woman’s fault if her man abuses her. And of course, the beast turns into a handsome prince because ugly people cannot be happy.’
People are concerned about its politically correct nature - not only because it sullies the supposedly innocent narrative of the kids film but because 2016 seems to be the year people have rebelled against PC language and thought processes.
“Parents will be horrified to think that their children are being brainwashed with this politically correct claptrap,” claims Tory MP Phil Davies. “‘They are part of a deliberate strategy to pull apart the ties that bind our society together.” His views are arguably a little over reactionary whereas, to a lot of people, political correctness is deemed a positive thing to be teaching our kids.
Of course, this isn’t the only Disney fairy tale to come under fire after reassessing some of its age-old messages embedded as morals. ‘The Little Mermaid,’ for example, sees Ariel abandon her home, family, and everything to do with her own culture in order to run off with a wealthy, good-looking prince, which doesn’t exactly sell the feminist idea of the 21st Century, or even the notion of gender equality or free thinking.
It also cites ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Snow White’ as women being used as domestic slaves and the assumption that a dashing man will come and save them. Analysing the latter, the lesson suggests ‘She doesn’t mind house work because she is sure a rich young man will soon come and take her away.’
‘Snow White’s’ analysis is particularly interesting when it describes her plight as waiting for a man to literally give her life once she falls into a coma after biting the poison apple. The same can be said about ‘Sleeping Beauty’ too, where Aurora waits for a prince to kiss the life back into her.
Disney came out with a fairly safe and non-committal stance on the issue: “For more than 90 years, Disney’s timeless stories and beloved characters, including Disney Princesses, have been universal, relatable and relevant for everyone,” said a spokesperson. “‘They are loved by millions of children and adults across gender because it is their inner qualities such as determination, kindness, loyalty, humour, courage and wit that shine through and define them.”
The controversy comes when a live-action version of the tale is on its way courtesy of Disney which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. People generally seem excited for it, so whether this latest eye-opener will put anyone off remains to be seen.
Picture credit: Disney