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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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Free to Be … a Child

Free to Be … a Child

Chapter:
(p.66) Free to Be … a Child
Source:
When We Were Free to Be
Author(s):

Gloria Steinem

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff.13

This chapter describes how the Free to Be stories were unlike fairy tales in that they didn't tell children to be Goldilocks or a prince, Sleeping Beauty or a knight, an object or a subject. On the contrary, they helped little boys to learn that crying “gets the sad out of you,” and little girls to rebel against “Ladies First” and the learned helplessness of dresses with buttons in the back. Most of all, Free to Be supported a sense of fairness, something that seems to be born into children. Think about it: Why else do little girls and boys around the world say out of nowhere, “It's not fair!” and “You are not the boss of me!”

Keywords:   Free to Be, fairy tales, learned helplessness, sense of fairness, children

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