COMIC REVIEW: PRINCESS PRINCESS EVER AFTER- by Katie O’Neill

So, it’s fair to say that I am a little bit old to be the target audience of Princess Princess Ever After, but after spotting it in an article on The Mary Sue  I thought I’d give it a look. I love anything to do with fairytale worlds with strong women women in it, and sometimes you just feel like reading something  colorful and feel good. Honestly, it’s just a cute, fun story that I’d recommend to any kid- and not just because its progressive, but because its got a good sense of humor and adventure, with characters that are surprisingly nuanced for such a short book.

The most obvious thing about Princess Princess Ever After is that yes, it is a  fairy tale with a same sex couple aimed at children. And that’s a big thing. Although things have generally gotten better with LGBT people in media aimed at adults and even a YA audience, even liberals are often uncomfortable with the idea of a same sex couple in a kid’s book or tv series (see Korrasami). This is because while they see opposite sex romance as fully encompassing romance, companionship, and innocent first love, they see same sex as equaling gay sex.

This book shows that this doesn’t have to be the case. The tone is perfect for children: sweet, innocent and with a good sense of fun. The story is far more about two very different young women bonding and going on adventure together (with a prince in tow) than it is about romance- although their relationship is adorable.

The characters are all likable and surprisingly fleshed out for such a short story. Its two main heroines are Princess Amira, the tomboyish knight, and Princess Sadie, the cute girly girl.

Princess Amira is a great character. Strong and brave, who ran away from home to avoid conventional gender roles. In a genre which overwhelmingly glorifies delicate white (usually blond) women, it’s great to see a black Princess who’s not the usual ‘white woman painted brown’, but has a hair that looks like a style that a black woman is more likely to have and comes from an African culture (my guess would be North Africa, judging by the desert). Though an aside… does something about Sadie and Amira remind you of anyone?

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Princess Sadie is the more conventionally feminine one,and my God, is she adorable. She’s sweet and cries a lot, but possesses a kind heart that makes her a good leader. They do have a traditional butch/ femme dynamic, though this is clearly done to show that there’s more than one way to be a girl rather than out of a belief there has to be a ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ in every relationship. This book does try and mix it up a bit and show that feminine does not equal inferior and Princess Sadie is just as useful as Amira. It’s a lot like Ruby and Sapphire from Steven Universe or Haruka and Michuru from Sailor Moon, or Utena and Anthy from RGU. As a woman who’s been in the army and seen that the tomboys really don’t perform better than the femmes, I’d totally love to see a story where the girly girl is a kick ass fighter and rescues her butch girlfriend, but hey, Sadie does get some rescuing in too..

princess-princess-oni-pdf-2-1

The villain is one that shows that sometimes it’s the ones closest to you that can hurt you the most. The only downside is that the main villain was defeated in a very quick and convenient way once the emotional confrontation was over. This seems to happen a lot (especially in stories aimed at girls), but the book was never about the final showdown and packs so much in that it doesn’t really matter.

The drawings are also really cute and make it a joy to flick through. They’re full of bright, round designs with lots of cute fairytale creatures like dragons and unicorns.

Verdict: This is a brilliant comic and one I’d recommend to any kid- especially little girls, who can probably find a bit of themselves in both our heroines.

Rating: 5 tomboy and girly girl animated couples out of 5

The Japanese mythology of Okami (part 1)

Okami was an absolutely brilliant game. It had a very traditional Japanese feel, and took you on an adventure through a land of asian fairy tales full of blooming cherry blossoms, Dragon kings and bunny princesses. However, to us Westerners who grew up with the fairy tales told by Brothers Grimm,Hans Christian Anderson and (more to the point) Disney, some of the references were baffling in this game. Well be baffled no more, as I’m going to explain the mythology behind the game. Continue reading The Japanese mythology of Okami (part 1)

BADASS PRINCESS OF THE WEEK: THAKANE, PRINCESS AND SLAYER OF DRAGONS

I’m going to put it bluntly: Thakane is awesome and it’s a crime against childhood (most notably mine) that she was never a Princess that every kid grew up with. Not only is Thakane amongst the strongest female leads I’ve come across in fairy tales – but she’s one of the toughest females in  fantasy as well.

Thakane is the heroine from an African folktale who travels across Africa on a mission that is usually reserved for male leads only: slaying a dragon. Let’s have a look at her story and why she is so awesome.

TROUBLED BEGINNINGS

Poor Thakane didn’t have an easy life. At the beginning of her story, her parents are dead and so she’s landed with the work of ‘two wives’ in raising her kid brothers.

When boys came of age, it’s one of her tribe’s customs that they receive a leather jacket and a shield made from the hides of animals  their father killed;but the hide of a buffalo or wild cat isn’t good enough for the pampered princes. They want their gifts made from the hides of dragons.

Nala's not the only African Princess who had to 'make a journey' to lands unknown
Nala’s not the only African Princess who had to ‘make a journey’ to lands unknown

Of course, the other villagers think her brothers are being spoilt little wee leeches and tell her not to go, but Thakane’s having none of it.

“If they lack anything, these sons of a chief, I will not be to blame for it. I will go and hunt these dragons.”

She asks for brave men of the village to accompany her on her quest, but no man will step up to the challenge;more and more men refuse to accompany her, and eventually news of this request spreads all over Africa…

HER PRINCE

Eventually, prince Masilo hears of her strange request and is intrigued.

‘When Masilo heard of this brave girl who decided to go on a hunting expedition  for the sake of the family honor, he felt a strange excitement at such a bold plan. He also felt ashamed that no man in the whole country could be found willing to go with her to the land of dragons to kill one for her.’

LET’S JUST TAKE A STEP BACK AND THINK HOW REVOLUTIONARY THIS IS

Paperbag princess
It doesn’t have to be like this, Elizabeth! If Masilo’s taught us anything, it’s that there are princes out there that will love you for your strength

What a badass! This is makes Misalo a pretty revolutionary prince, because a prince admiring a princess because of her strength is uncommon. Even in the modern fairy tale ‘The Paper Bag Princess’, the main character , princess Elizabeth, is rejected for being strong and ends up dumping the ungrateful prince because of it. This is a glorious subversion of fairy tale conventions and an act of strength on the Princess Elizabeth’s part, but … Quite a sad message lurks underneath. For both women and men, finding someone to love is a pretty important part of happiness in life; it isn’t weak, it isn’t patriarchal, it’s human nature. Presenting woman with the choice of being strong or being condemned to a life of loneliness is a horrible message.

But in this story, her courage doesn’t make her less feminine or desirable; its what brings the prince into her life. Centuries before ‘The Paperbag Princess’, the message behind Thakane is even more positive.

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THE ADVENTURE

Jasmine
Escaping overbearing royal parents to go adventuring is not just reserved for princesses

The Prince takes a leaf out of princess Jasmine’s book and escapes the palace and an overprotective father to seek out this intriguing lass. He falls in love with her at first sight (this is pre-Frozen and three pages long, it’s to be expected), and they head off on their journey. All good Princesses seem to like singing and have some kind of magical animal affinity, so hey, might as well use it for practical purposes. Using a magic song, she summons magical animals and asks them to recce the dragon’s locations. They should probably be more confused by the talking eels, but this is African myth, so getting animals to talk is pretty par for the course.

Wasted opportunity, Snow White. If Thakane was in your shoes, she'd have sent those squirrels as lookouts and sent the larger animals to take out the Queen
Wasted opportunity, Snow White. If Thakane was in your shoes, she’d have sent those squirrels as lookouts and sent the larger animals to take out the Queen

They then arrive and meet an old lady in a ghost town. When they ask her why no one’s there, she tells them ‘that her skin’s too tough, so they prefer to use her as a housekeeper.’ I like this description,

The old lady then tells them to set an ambush while she’s feeding the dragon and when they do that, Misalo drives a spear through the beast’s hide.

The old lady thanks them and then gives them a magical stone that will protect them from dragons on their way home, which raises so many questions: where did this stone come from? How long did she have it? Why didn’t she use it to save the villagers in the first place? Why didn’t she use it to escape? Why is she staying alone in an empty village instead of coming… okay, old woman, magical plot device- turn brain off; it’s a fairy tale, and this is hardly the biggest plot hole I’ve come across.

Moving on, they go use this stone to protect them from future dragon attacks and go on their merry way.

It all ends with Thakane and Masilo arriving home to a hero’s welcome, the spoilt brats getting their dragon hide coat, and Thakane marrying the prince and spending the rest of her days as Queen leading a life of luxury.

VERDICT

Even though this is an old African myth, this is one of the most revolutionary Princess stories out there.

She went further than Elizabeth in that she got to be both strong and beloved.And not just by any prince, but by a prince who loved her for her courage and who possessed more personality in this short story than most of the princes I’ve come across in most other stories.

Love you Tiana, but can't help but wonder what could have been if Disney's first black princess movie had followed Thakane's plotline and that frog was telling you where to find the dragon.
Imagine if Disney’s first black princess movie had gone with Thakane’s plot and Tiana here was asking that frog for intelligence on the dragon.

WHERE TO FIND THIS

Why hasn’t Disney jumped on this? When did African myth feature Dragons? (except the creation myth of Kweku Tsin)  and since when did African myth star creatures other than Anansi because we all know the greedy bastard took all the stories for himself? Why haven’t I heard of it until now?

Well, this story, is really, really obscure and really hard to find. It took a lot of work to find this story in the first place, and the only source is an out of print book on Swahili myth. It is worth checking out and a preview of the book can be found on this website:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aPAUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=Thakane&source=bl&ots=O7e93xkglH&sig=kGPVy-NirP25VE8ll9cOkh_8wfI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFEQ6AEwDGoVChMIkJeG17SMyQIVxD8aCh0QcAlV#v=onepage&q=Thakane&f=false

Now that we’ve had a Princess teaming up with her Prince, how can we match this? Well, next week we’re looking at a Princesses who does the unthinkable- a Princess who saves her prince. Here’s a hint as to what story we’re looking at…

cluster of pearls

BADASS PRINCESS OF THE WEEK: PRINCESS YAA- THE PRINCESS’ WEDDING BY FARIDA SALIFU

This week we travel to Ghana, to look at the Akan tale of Princess Yaa aka the proud princess. I’ve read a few versions of this story, where sometimes the princess is referred to as Princess Afiong or Ewabunmi; sometimes she marries a wolf, other times a skull monster, but in each version, she’s portrayed as spoilt and arrogant princess whom believes no man is good enough for her. In every version her parents want her to marry, but she rejects numerous suitors because they’re not handsome or rich enough until she meets one who deceives her and turns into a monster. The moral of the story is that ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’.

EXAMINING THE DOUBLE STANDARD

Yet… it has to be said… the gender double standards are strong with this one.  Let’s look at what the Princess is punished for. She’s condemned for being vain because she wants to marry someone who’s extremely handsome and rich … yet she is so sought after because she is beautiful and rich herself.  In some versions, they know her reputation for being ‘haughty’, but flock to marry her anyway because she’s an exceptional beauty (and her parent’s wealth couldn’t hurt either). But are they ever called out for it? Not at all.

It’s expected that a male lead (even if he himself is ugly) is entitled to marry a girl who is pretty, no matter what the situation. He will sometimes be called out if he falls for a woman who is pretty but nothing else, but even then, it’s usually she who is condemned for being vain, cold etc, while he is never called out for loving her solely on looks. In the end he will always meet another woman who is kind and equally pretty (although usually in a less glamorous, more understated ‘girl next door’ way).

It’s always women who are hit with the ‘looks aren’t that important in a partner’, when with men its  a given that his potential partner has to be pretty even if he’s not. Because of this, I can’t help but salute this princess; she wants a prince that does it for her, and she’s not accepting anything less.

WHAT MAKES THIS PRINCESS SO STRONG?

Yet, if this story is so negative, then why is it included on the list of strong princesses? Simple: Farida Salifu’s retelling is amazing.

Salifu is an absolutely astounding writer who retells dozens of Akan myths on her website, most notably the Anansi tales, all of which are brilliantly written. She injects so much character into this princess that you can’t help but love her. She’s vain, spoilt, mischievous and she doesn’t just know it; she revels in it. She rolls around her luxurious bedchamber, wrapping herself with jewels and musing about all the trouble she’s going to cause her poor future husband; even the servant girls can’t resist giggling at her exploits. Princess Yaa’s just too much fun and oozes too much charisma.

And the wolf is excellent as well, and shatters the traditional fairy tale convention a way that is reminiscent of a certain Disney film:

‘Is it funny how you never even asked me my name, but you agreed to marry me?’

Oh Elsa, the world would be a better place if you could appear with your sagely advice in every fairy tale
Oh Elsa, the world would be a better place if you could appear with your sagely advice in every fairy tale

He just cuts right to the core. Seriously, that’s a good point that’s never really been brought up in fairytales until Frozen (at least Anna got her intended’s name and knew he liked pudding).Whatever we have to say about the treatment of Princesses in Western fairytales, half the time the Prince is so forgettable we don’t even know his name.

VERDICT

All in all- this is a very, very well told story. I can’t praise Farida Salifa enough as a storyteller, and it’s worth checking out all her tales- especially her retelling of the Anansi stories, Africa’s most prominent funny and infuriating fairytale antihero.

If you know any children, I would strongly recommend reading her work- all of her stories are lively and entertaining, and has the added bonus of teaching them a little about African culture.

The website it can be found on is http://www.worldstories.org.uk/stories/story/71-the-princesss-wedding

But now we’ve had an African Princess who epitomizes bad judgement and selfishness. Next week I’m going to look at another African Princess- this one who exemplifies self-sacrifice and wins the attention of her Prince by her extreme courage and determination. Also, she charms mermaids and slays dragons.

THE HONEST MAN- THERE’S BEING NICE AND THERE’S WINNING DARWIN AWARDS

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING GOOD AND NICE

There’s truth to the idea that it takes more intellectual energy to be successfully deceptive than to be senselessly sincere.

It’s also true that there’s a difference between being ‘good’ and ‘nice’. Being ‘good’- standing up for what’s right in the face of adversity- is laudable. Being relentlessly ‘nice’ – tolerating bad behaviour for fear of being ‘mean’ or  ‘starting trouble’- is not; it’s intellectual and moral cowardice that should never be rewarded. Unfortunately, in fairy tales, it often is.

It’s a delicate balancing act to walk the line between being ‘nice’ and being ‘a doormat’ or ‘a complete moron’, and so often in fairy tales not only do the leads fail to walk this tightrope; they fall, crash and drag the beams that held up the tightrope down on everyone else in the vicinity. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DARWIN AWARDS

In Little Snow White, the titular heroine falls for the same assassination ploy not once, not twice, but THREE times in the original. Three. With her lemming- like skills of self preservation and her prince’s questionable behaviour around women in coffins, I worry about their future children. Here’s hoping that seven fairies come along and bless their kids with something more useful than ‘song’ and ‘music’ this time, otherwise the kingdom’s future leadership is in trouble.

If we had a facepalm for every time Snow White's stupidity imperllied her, this still wouldn't cover it
If we had a facepalm for every time Snow White imperilled herself, this still wouldn’t cover it

THE MAN WHO MADE THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS BLOOM OR THE RSPCA’S MOST WANTED

It’s not only women who are susceptible to the trope of ‘passive niceness’. Things only gets worse in the Japanese tale, ‘The Man who made the cherry blossoms bloom’; the old man knows his neighbour abuses his dog at every chance he gets, but he lends his dog to the neighbour anyway because he is ‘a kind man’.

His neighbour beats the dog to death. But is the old man deemed to be guilty of ‘criminal neglect?’ No, his only crime is ‘kindness’, so why should the old man learn anything from his actions? All he needs to do is keep on letting his neighbour walk over him and defile his pet’s memory over and over again until magical karma solves everything.

If Mr Orange was like the old man from the original myth, Ammy, you'd be making those Cherry-blossoms bloom with your ashes instead of your paint brush
If Mr Orange was like the old man from the original myth, Ammy would be making those Cherry-blossoms bloom with her ashes instead of her paint brush

FINALLY! A FAIRY TALE THAT AGREES WITH ME

The examples above are stories where being ‘nice’ means being relentlessly stupid or passive, which isn’t a good message for adulthood. It may work for getting kids not to bicker with each other or talk back, but it doesn’t prepare them for the real world.

However, there is a brilliant antidote to this message- and that antidote can be found in the little known Iraqi tale of ‘The Honest Man’.

DELICIOUSLY ACERBIC

This tale is subversive right from the word ‘go.’ From its opening paragraph it begins:

There was once an honest man, upon whom fortune never smiled. His wife deceived him, his sons robbed him, and when his beard was white he found himself without either money or honour.’

We have the similar set up to your Cinderellas, your Princess Hases (a fairy tale I’ll look at in another post)… your poor good person being relentlessly abused by the people around him.

He then goes and asks his friend at the local suq what needs to be done about it- and his friend advises him to go on a pilgrimage to pray at the tomb of a holy man. This introduction of a potential supernatural moral guardian, a sort of ‘fairy godmother’ or  ‘divine parent’ if you will, would usually mean that magic will make the world right without him having to do anything.

On his pilgrimage, the honest man meets various creatures who tell him their tales of woe and he promises to pray for them. His most notable encounter is with a talking lion with a massive headache. When he meets the prophet, the prophet tells him how to solve all the problems of the various people he encountered. Simple enough. But when he gets to the lion’s dilemma things get dark:

“His case is also easy,’ answered the Imam.”All that he has to do is is to eat the head of a fool, and he will instantly be cured.”

Uh oh. I can see where this is going. Things get even darker when the honest man finally asks the Imam to help him with his own problem :

“Go in peace,” said the saint [probably with an evil smile] “I have already told thee that which is necessary to end thy troubles.” [emphasis mine]

Whoa! What kind of saint is this man?

After this point, the honest man travels back home and helps everyone he met on the way. Each time, he’s rewarded with a vast amount of riches, but each time he refuses to take the reward for some senseless reason.

Finally, he encounters the lion and tells him what the prophet told him. You can guess what happened next.

chow time
“Thanks for all your help, chump.”

Needless to say, this was the end of his streak of bad luck.

MORAL

After reading this story, I was pretty surprised by the ending . After all, in any other fairy tale the honest man would be the hero. Why wasn’t he here?

The point of this tale is not to discourage people from being kind and honest; in fact, every time the honest man helps someone, karma rewards him  with worldly wealth. He’s offered a big sum of money for helping the brothers and he finds an expensive pearl after helping the fish. Clearly, his kindness is rewarded.

But the honest man’s problem isn’t compassion; his problem is that he’s too stupid to make the most of his situation. He complains that ‘fortune never smiled’ on him, but the truth is it does but his own stupidity causes all his blessings to be undone.

It is arguably laudable that he rejected the brothers’ inheritance, because it didn’t belong to him. However, it got ridiculous when he threw the pearl the fish spat out back into the lake. The pearl belonged to no one and throwing it back into the lake was of no use to anybody. He was offered good fortune but he tossed it away like trash because he was too stupid to seize the opportunity.

The honest man was given every opportunity to change his fortune. However, each time he proved to be the undoing of every gift fate threw at him; he was so stupid, so incapable of changing that in the end, the lion did provide him with the only way that could end his woes.

The moral is ‘being nice is good, but don’t be a moron’. And that’s a moral we can all get behind.

Source:

‘The Honest Man’, Folktales of Iraq, Edited and Translated by E.S. Stevens, Dover Publications, Inc

Other Sources:

Little Snow White, Grimm’s Fairy Stories, Public Domain

Cinderella, Grimm’s Fairy Stories, Public Domain

‘The Story Of Princess Hase’, Japanese Fairy Tales, Yei Theodora Ozaki, Bibliobazaar

‘The Story Of The Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Flower’, Japanese Fairy Tales, Yei Theodora Ozaki

BADASS PRINCESS OF THE WEEK: EMPRESS JOKWA AND THE FIVE STONES

What’s better than a strong princess? A powerful Empress who ruled one of the world’s most advanced civilizations.

Empress Jokwa And The Five Stones is a story that originated from China, but found its way to Japan. It tells the tale of a benevolent Ogress who ascended the throne of ancient China, and the battle that ensued as a result of a power struggle between her and a jealous sorcerer Kokai who tried to use his magic to seize the throne.

IS THIS STORY ANY GOOD?

Yes, yes and yes. It’s one of the most action packed fairy tales you’ll come across, filled with giants, magical battles and a fire king who shows up to deliver a major smack down.

The focus of ‘Empress Jokwa and the Five Stones’ is on the exploits of the Empress’ two strongest warriors, Hako and Eiko, who lead her army into battle against the powerful sorcerer. The main story is an exciting and tense battle between the warriors and Kokai who can only be overcome by teamwork and a little help from their allies…

WHY JOKWA IS SO STRONG

While Empress Jokwa is the titular character, she’s little more than a support character in this story, and only plays a real role in the last three pages.

However, she’s a great figure none the less. In the fairy tale world where lone female rulers are often demonized as witches (ala the magical queen from the Arabian nights tale ‘Prince Beder and the Princess Giauhara’- the most probable inspiration for the evil queen regnants who populate the Chronicles of Narnia), it’s amazing to hear of a regnant queen whose not noted for her beauty but instead described as ‘a wonderful woman, and an able ruler’ and adored by all her people. Especially considering the misogynistic culture of ancient China.

The main reason for the comfort with this example of female power is because of the fact that she’s not human. Typically, the (male) writers of fairytales were far more comfortable with women possessing vast amounts of power if she’s a powerful creature like a fairy, djinn, spirit or goddess. A special, untouchable exception who can’t upset the status quo and doesn’t follow the rules of our world.

Even so, it is unusual to see a female monarch portrayed this favorably. It’s often been the case in history that whenever a woman took the throne, there was a lot of contention from subjects and male rivals about her credibility (as in the case with the historical Queen Cordelia). What’s so subversive is that the main antagonist of this tale is a man who tried to usurp the throne from her after her brother died – something he would never have tried if Jokwa was male- and he is vilified for doing so. In fact, the sorcerer Kokai is portrayed as an opportunist, an illegitimate usurper, while Jokwa is the good and rightful heir to the throne.

Queen Jadis
Whenever a woman rules without a male in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, she’s always evil and destructive witch.

CONCLUSION

Queen Jokwa and the Five Stones is a great action / adventure fairystory which brought us cool, magical battles centuries before Shounen anime came on the scene. Jokwa may be a side character, but she is a rare positive example of female power. If we’re going to read stories where men fight for the sake of a woman, it might as well be about keeping a good female ruler on the throne rather than a damsel in distress.

Source: This story can be found in numerous compendiums, but the one I used was ‘Japanese Fairy tales’ by Yei Theodora Ozaki.

Alternatively, an online version of the story can be found here:

http://wonderfulrife.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/japanese-fairy-tales-stones-of-five.html

BADASS PRINCESS OF THE WEEK PROJECT–LOOKING AT THE ORIGINAL STRONG WOMEN OF FAIRY TALES

With the popularity of Tangled, Frozen, Cinderella, Maleficent and the long overdue arrival of Disney’s first (and the cynic in me suspects probably the last) black Princess in The Princess and the Frog, fairy tales  are as popular as ever.

And it’s no wonder; these tales have captivated us from childhood and stayed with us well into adulthood. There’s something about the sense of mystery and wonder, the crazy objects, the breath taking environments and the idea that anything can happen whether you’re a princess, pauper or knight that only fairy tales can create. And then there’s the princesses.

With the most famous European Fairytales being Briar Rose, Little Snow White, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, cemented in our imaginations by the early Disney films, we’ve come to see the fairy tale heroine of old as useless but pretty ornaments; ‘pure of heart’ (not morally good mind,  but rather sweet and inoffensive), with little going for them but their beauty and inexperience;the archetypical princess waits for her prince to save her.

It got to the point where Belle, (in spite of the fact that it was her sexuality, rather than her knowledge and intellect, that saved the day), was considered revolutionary just because she had a brain and some semblance of a personality. Princess Fiona’s random kung-fu was subversive because ‘Whoah! A princess did something useful!’

Everything about Peach pretty much sums up the archetypical princess
Everything about Peach pretty much sums up the archetypical princess

However, what if I told you that the passive, brainless but pretty ‘damsel in distress’ may be the rule, but  not the only rule? Even before Frozen, Brave and the Princess and The Frog came on the scene, there were lots of examples of strong and active women in fairy tales and mythology, who were accomplished, used their brains and even fought dragons?

To that end I’m going to begin ‘Badass Princess of The Week’ project, where each week I’m going to look at a different strong female from fairy tale and myth who proves that women were educated, active, strong and capable, way before Elsa, Anna and Tiana came along to redeem them.