Blog Archives

A Few Hidden Messages

Anne E. Beall Author Interview

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, is an in-depth analysis of fairytales and how women are portrayed and treated in comparison to men. Why was this an important book for you to write? 

It’s an important topic because fairy tales are among some of the first stories we learn as children, and these stories are told and re-told in many books and movies. Even modern novels sometimes put forward versions of these fairy tales where the female heroine finally gets her “prince”—the high-status man who has wealth and status. Because these tales are so ubiquitous, it’s important to unpack them and really understand what they’re saying.  They have quite a few hidden messages.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

One thing that I wanted to get across was that male characters are largely powerful, active, good people. In contrast, female characters tend to be weak, passive, and powerless. And when female characters are powerful, they are often evil. This idea of a powerful woman generally being evil concerns me because it may set us up to be wary of women who have ascended to powerful positions in our society. 

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from reading your book?

I want people to really question whether the fairy tale life is desirable. I found that female royalty has very little power and are the most unhappy. Queens cry more than any other character, and princesses are terribly treated—imprisoned, kidnapped, etc. Marrying the prince or king has some tremendous disadvantages in fairy tale land, but that is put forward as the ultimate goal.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is called Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life. It’s an analysis of fairy tales and folktales from around the world and I learned in my research that male and female characters are treated differently when they break rules in stories. Men are often rewarded or unpunished, whereas women are punished very severely. In fact, one-third of them are executed! I draw parallels with modern life where I found that men and women are treated differently when they break rules. For example, men and women in the legal, financial, and medical fields are given very different punishments for the same behaviors. I hope to have that published later this year or early next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Did Cinderella live happily ever after? One might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir 

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir by David A.J. Richards is a personal life account revolving around the secret self and individual awareness of both straight and gay men. In this memoir, Richards takes a thoughtful approach to discover the psychology behind the patriarchy and traumas that shape men. He explains why they have become hidden and how they can be brought to light.

Richards combats the oppressiveness of traditional patriarchy and how it silences young men from questioning and straying from the mainstream status quo. He challenges how and why men act the way they do and points to societal pressure and the dismissal of the vulnerability of men. In discovering his sense of self, Richards expresses disdain and disgust for the length of how things have been and offers insight into how things can change. Addressed are various components of trauma revolving around the body, mind, sexuality, political opinions, and experiences of love and empathy. This book sheds light on guilt, shame, voice, injustice, abuse, democracy, resistance, and the complex American idea of masculinity. 

I thought that the arguments were well thought out and portrayed. It was eye-opening and fascinating to see the plights that men encounter daily and throughout their lifetimes, particularly in their formative years of young adulthood. The commentary was easy to read, and I enjoyed how this was from a first-person point of view. The thoughts of one man over a variety of hot-button topics and issues that are not often addressed were crafted insightfully and tenderly to bring about real change. 

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir is recommended for anyone looking to expand their mindset on the ideas of traditional masculinity. This compelling personal story gives readers a unique look at these topics from the view of personal experience and the view of an educator of law.

Pages: 414 | ASIN : B07SXKHBHW

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: