Happily never after: 'Gender bias' fairytales facing the chop

Much loved fairytales and toys are at risk of being chopped from Victoria’s public schools after they were accused of promoting gender stereotypes.

The Respectful Relationship program wants the likes of Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel analysed and compared to modern stories that challenge gender norms.

The program argues that traditional tales can create unrealistic standards as well as a “sense of entitlement in boys and lower self-esteem in girls”.

Children are set to play a decisive role in what gets the chop too, acting as “fairytale detectives” to compare the roles of male and female characters in their favourite stories.

Primary school students in Victoria are being encouraged to analyse the different roles males and females play in their favourite fairytales. Source: Getty Images

It’s a message that is set to go begging on the young audience, according to one Melbourne teacher.

“I would rather be teaching them how to read, write and count," the teacher told News Corp.

"We really don’t need to crowd out the curriculum with this social engineering.”

The controversial program, which claims children as young as four years old can show signs of sexist behaviour, was introduced on the advice of the royal commission in to family violence.

“Men are supposed to be strong and brave and women are supposed to be beautiful and need rescuing by men,” children are taught according to the study.

The program has been heavily criticised for exposing children to social politics at such a young age. Source: Getty Images

“If a man or woman does not fit this description, they are usually made out to be the ‘baddies’ or the villain — like a witch or an evil prince.”

The program also encourages discussion of “gender bias statements” such as “good morning, princess”, “boys don’t cry” and “girls can’t play with trucks”.

The concept has so far been met with heavy criticism, with many insisting it is unethical to subject children to such political discussion at such a young age.

"My concern as an educator is, there is no real balance in the program. It is pushing a cultural left argument,” Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Dr Kevin Donnelly said.