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Osaka University professor: The prince from 'Snow White' is a sex offender

By SoraNews24

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.”

The comment triggered a wave of response on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet, both in support and opposition of Muta’s point of view.

“No matter how you interpret those stories, what the princes did is not sexual assault!”

“You can’t apply modern law or ethics to fairy tales.”

“In these cases it’s more like artificial respiration than sexual assault.”

“She’s right – you can’t go around kissing unconscious people; the fact that they woke up is incidental.”

“This kind of dismantling of our culture and traditions does more harm than good.”

“I’m a lawyer and since Snow White doesn’t press charges, there are no grounds for sexual assault charges.”

“But if they are thought to be dead, are they still victims?”

“Meh, since they’re handsome they get a pass. That’s how it always works.”

“So if we can apply real-world laws to fiction, can the reverse also apply?”

Prof Muta has done a good job at raising awareness with regards to sexual assault with her tweet, but are the princes in these stories really guilty of the charges laid before them? Off the cuff, we’d say definitely yes, because my foggy recollection of these stories is that these guys just happened along and took the liberty of violating these women’s personal space just because they felt like it.

However, upon reading into these tales there is a little more going on. In the Grimm version of "Snow White," no kiss takes place at all. Instead the prince just moves her glass coffin which jostles her, dislodges the poison apple, and wakes her up. Granted the fact that he wanted her corpse in the first place is suspicious, but not enough to condemn him outright.

In the Grimm version of "Sleeping Beauty," the prince is told beforehand that kissing her would reverse the eternal sleep and sent out on a mission to do just that. You could make the argument that even under these circumstances he has no right to kiss her without permission, but then you’d also be against mouth-to-mouth resuscitation which this is essentially a magical variation of.

In the Disney version of "Sleeping Beauty," too, the prince is led to kiss Princess Aurora by the fairies on the belief that he can cure her, and is not motivated by his own pervy will. Again, if you’re going to take a hard-line stance on his actions, then those fairies ought to take a major part of the accountability.

Now, the Disney version of "Snow White" is open for debate. In this case, the prince does just happen along and kisses the unconscious Snow White. This version also attempts to soften the act by establishing a prior relationship between them in which she and the prince fall in love at first sight.

However, after their encounter they lose contact for about a year. That’s kind of like saying you met this girl at a party and really hit it off, then a year later you find her laid out at a funeral and decide to passionately kiss her body. Sure there’s a certain romantic and tragic element to the gesture, but you can’t be surprised if her family doesn’t give you a stink eye at the very least.

Many people commented that it isn’t fair to apply our values, laws, ethics, etc. on fairy tale characters, but that’s not really the point of Prof Muta’s message. In a relatively lighthearted way, it brought the issue further into the light in Japan and has people now discussing the very nature of sexual assault so that we may reach a better understanding and consensus about it – because if 2017 has taught us one thing, it’s that a lot of us don’t get it.

Sources: Twitter/@peureka, J-Cast News, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese netizens rewrite fairy tales in modern corporate situations so real they make us weep

-- Bad Disney girls: Fan artist reimagines princesses as the seven deadly sins

-- NHK bill collector arrested for kissing woman on the job: “I thought we were hitting it off!”

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Not new. Academics & pc loonies pull this one out all the time.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Is the prof being paid by someone to come up with this nonsense?

Can't he put his great knowledge to better use for humanity?

Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful tale of good conquering bad.

Not forgetting she would NEVER have woken up unless it was a kiss from her true love!

Do something useful instead of this garbage, that serves nothing but fuel an already blown out of proportion perspective.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

world gone mad

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Flirting while cute = Stud!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh, Grimm's Sleeping Beauty/Snow White have nothing on Der Struwwelpeter (The Struwwelpeter), which my dad used to read to me at night:check https://www.gutenberg.org/files/12116/12116-h/12116-h.htm - it's not long and there are colour pictures!)

The brothers Grimm's 'fairy tales' are actually pretty different from sanitised Disney-style images portrayals. Actually they are quite ruthless and bloody sometimes: for instance, what the wolf in grandma's bedclothing did in the lonely hose in the woods - quite comparable to any loony sociopath serial killer these days.

Professor Muta should sometime consider cultural context more.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“Meh, since they’re handsome they get a pass. That’s how it always works.”


Alternate ending, lol:


1 ( +1 / -0 )


Didn't assume...I thought.

Did read the article. The fact the prof was a female...I missed that. Easily done.

(Makes even more sense that the prof is a woman...and proves my point even more)

And yet YOU... took the time to point out my error, calling me sexist??

I think you need to sort yourself out and stop being so rude to other commenters.

Have a nice day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think quite a few posters on here are missing the point and taking Prof Muta a little too literally. Muta's playing devil's advocate to make her point stronger: as society evolves we humans judge similar situations very differently. And I think she has a point. Many things which were socially acceptable say 30-40 years ago are now 'shocking' (and vice versa). And am talking 'real world' stuff as well as fantasy/fiction work.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

He is just parroting what a woman in the UK said about 3 weeks ago - silly.

anyhoo, literature is full of behavior that some folks nowadays see as being unacceptable.  social mores move on.....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wonder what the professor would have to say about THX 1138?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

careful people...he is a she.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People who get outraged by news reports like this reveal their deep gaps in comprehending the basics of modern consent law. They want a legalistic morality, where certain actions are either always good or always bad and nothing ever falls in between and so you never have to think about if you've been a good person or if you've made the right choices. Having to consider whether or not there is consent, i.e. that an action can be very good or very bad depending on how the people affected feel about it, gives them a tummyache.

It's bizarre that people are outraged ("outraged, I tell you!") to hear that fairy tales involve sexual assault when we've known for years those same fairy tales are a cornucopia of theft, murder, deceit, and cannibalism.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

specialist in gender studies

Red flag right there. The logic behind equal rights and treatment under the law does not necessitate the existence of this field of study.

Yeah, we get it. Don't kiss women if they don't want you to. Wow, deep stuff! Nobel prize!

"Professor" lol

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Perhaps the good professor could also enlighten us on how we should view a bad fairy enchanting a princess and making her fall asleep. What is the "2017 morality" position on this?

There are enough bad things going on with gender relations, in every direction, without academics commenting on hypothetical situations described in fairy tales. It invites resentment and ridicule, when the real life issues themselves can be very serious.

Since this reviewing of childhood reminded me, the Ladybird books for adults, which are parodies of nostaglic British children's books, this time featuring adults and all their real-like weaknesses and foibles, are dry and quite funny.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

specialist in gender studies

There are some weird and wonderful things coming out of humanities departments.

My personal favorite was the idea that E=MC squared is a ‘sexed equation’. The reasons given are even more baffling than the science itself.

As mentioned above, the way to achieve greater gender equality cannot be inviting ridicule.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There are some weird and wonderful things coming out of humanities departments. 

My personal favorite was the idea that E=MC squared is a ‘sexed equation’. The reasons given are even more baffling than the science itself. 

Those ppl are just as bad as the extreme-right.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This kind of politically correct thinking fuelled by the communists, socialists and similars is one of the reasons of the decadence of the West. May Japan and other civilised nations nip it in the bud. Is the enemy within, specially if it comes from academia.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Hmmmm.....   Getting clear and legally verifiable consent might take the romance out of the situation, no?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a load of codswallop! University Professors must have a lot of time on their hands to come up with harebrained theories like this!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"historical sociology and gender theory"

Run for the hills!

For those infected with "gender theory", I highly recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSJcPKA1Ug among his many other videos.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

C'mon, let this so called professor have her 2 minutes in the spotlight. This is the highlight of her career.

Attention seeking rubbish.

Clap... clap.... clap.... now go back to your desk and teach something worthwhile

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In the tales collected by the Grimm brothers there are things far worse than a prince waking up a person of the same class with a kiss, thus rescuing a princess comatose for a century. In any case, when two people fall in love and marry any "sexual harassment" that may have occurred between the couple becomes redundant. So much for fairy tales, but in real life stranger things have happened, like the young Hungarian on night shift in the morgue who couldn't resist pulling a beautiful teenage girl out of the ice box and "playing the prince" on her when she suddenly revived from his "caresses". The overjoyed father reunited with his "deceased" daughter ignored the mutterings of public outrage and refused to press charges. What would politically-correct professors make of this case, I wonder?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's always so badly written. I guess I wouldn't mind if they called it something else besides "news." It reminds me of the decline of standards generally. These are poor ideas, poorly composed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To those who think this is a politically correct thing gone mad, the actual story is pretty adult: I mean the prince steals into the room where she is sleeping, has his wicked way with her, gets her pregnant and then she wakes up when the baby is nibbling on her fingers.

The saccharine version where she's woken with a kiss is still a bit off these days - I mean only last week (I think) there was a story of a man on a Japanese train arrested for kissing a sleeping woman. If it's not okay in real life, why is it okay in a fairy tale? Discuss :)

Fairy tales are pretty brutal in their raw form, and the sweetened versions have replaced that with (now) questionable behaviour. If you look under the covers of respectability you'll find some pretty seedy goings-on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Those ppl are just as bad as the extreme-right.

Yep. The extreme right contribute to making the sensible right look odious, and people like this ‘academic’ contribute to making the sensible left look ridiculous.

Put these people together and let them sort it out.

The rest of us might be able to have a sensible conversation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Prof. Muta wisely warns us of the difference between fictional models and what we may now do in real life in Japan. Consider, for another example not blaming the male, the case of a student of Hindu literature, which abounds in sex-education themes. She tried to "follow" the similar Christian legend of The Virgin Mary giving her breast to St Bernard of Clairvaux to supply his out-of-this-world wisdom!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no hard evidence that this happened. Complete hearsay stories. They would both be "he said, she said" cases. Both princes could shake it off as locker room talk and continue on with their prince-hood duties. Sound familiar???

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Absolutely, Burning Bush. Rhett Butler would have been charged with raping Scarlett for sure. The fact that they were married is irrelevant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Had Sleeping Beauty been a male, then the PC crowd would be CELEBRATING the kiss. Same Prince Charming had been Princess Charming, kissing the female Sleeping Beauty. Better yet, if either or both would have been transgender or gender-fluid, the this story would have been promoted at every level from pre-school to Masters degree.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What about Rapunzel? The so called prince climbed into the tower pretending to be the abductor (the "witch"), sexually assaulted the girl so she became pregnant, then fled afterwards... and somehow is the hero of the story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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