TOKYO–Imagine a loved one, say a sister or daughter, is lying comatose in a hospital bed when suddenly the son of a prominent politician walks past and sees her. Infatuated with her beauty, this fortunate son walks over and plants a big kiss on her lips. Probably most of us out there would suddenly feel inclined to press either charges or a fist against this joker.
But that’s exactly what happens in the celebrated fairy tales “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty,” according to Professor Kazue Muta of Osaka University – a specialist in historical sociology and gender theory and the author of Sir, that love is sexual harassment! a book detailing the problems of sexual harassment in the workplace.
In a tweet posted on Dec 11, Prof Muta accuses the princes in each story of sexual assault and links to a news story of a real incident in which a man in Wakayama was arrested for kissing a sleeping woman on the train.
“When you think rationally about ‘Snow White’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ that tell of a ‘princess being woken up by the kiss of a prince,’ they are describing sexual assault on an unconscious person. You might think I’m ruining the fantasy of it all, but these stories are promoting sexual violence and I would like everyone to be aware of it.”