I read an article in The Daily Mail about dolls being confiscated from a village shop following allegations of racism. Apparently a woman customer complained after seeing the dolls which she thought were racially offensive because they were based on a golliwog. The following day two police officers arrested the offending dolls which were taken away for questioning. A statement was taken from the owner of the shop and he was told he could be convicted of a public order offence and could also face a large fine. However after an investigation it was concluded that no offence had been committed and the dolls went back on sale. It makes me wonder how much police time was spent investigating such a trivial issue. It seems if you call the police to investigate a burglary it can take several days for them to investigate but if you say the word racism then its given top priority even when there is no case to investigate.
In an another article also in The Daily Mail a junior school renamed the story of the Three Little Pigs to the Three Little Puppies so that it would be more sensitive to a multicultural cast and audience. The organisers thought that Muslim children in the school might have an issue singing about pigs. The change however has been widely condemned by Islamic leaders who said the issue is with eating pork not with stories about pigs. These decisions always seem to be made by white middle class people who assume other faiths are going to be offended. Often they could save themselves a lot of embarrassment by simply asking people whether they find the matter offensive before making silly decisions. Many of these fairytales have been around for hundreds of years without causing any offence but it seems nothing is left untouched by the today’s overly politically correct culture. Does this mean that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will now be changed to Snow White and the seven perfectly ordinary sized people? And looking deeper into the issue it is also apparent that fairy tales are filled with discrimination against ugly people. All princesses are beautiful and all witches are ugly, indicating that not attractive equals bad whilst beautiful is associated with good. Let’s introduce more ugly princesses and more beautiful witches to redress this balance and change all our most loved fairytales. One problem is it makes the story less attractive, which little girl wants to read a story about the ugly princess who marries the fat prince; we can do that in real life.