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Germany

Germany's Minister Of Family Affairs: Classic Fairy Tales Are Sexist

DIE ZEIT, SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Germany)

BERLIN - Lotte, the daughter of German Family Minister Kristina Schröder, is not yet two years old, but her mother is already busy helping her grow up to be a modern woman. Toward that end, Schröder says she is very selective when choosing her classic children's books, including the legendary Grimm’s fairy tale collection that include Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel.

Though she didn't single out any particular tale in the 19th-century German series, Schröder told Die Zeit that Grimm’s stories are often “sexist” and contain "very few positive female role models."

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Rapunzel in Dresden (photo: Kay Komer)

In general, she told Die Zeit, she didn’t see why in stories and explanations given to children God was almost always portrayed as a male figure. She also believes that telling children Biblical stories should be paired with stories based on evolutionary history.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Schröder also has a problem with her copies of the Pippi Longstocking books by Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, which uses the nickname “Negro King," for Pippi’s dad. Though the publishers have long since changed the name to South Seas King, the Schröder household seems to have older editions of the series. So when the expression comes up in the text, Schröder replaces it with something else “to protect my child from picking up expressions like that.”

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Ideas

"Collateral Benefit": Could Putin's Launching A Failed War Make The World Better?

Consider the inverse of "collateral damage." Envision Russia's defeat and the triumph of a democratic coalition offers reflection on the most weighty sense of costs and benefits.

Photo of a doll representing Russian President Vladimir Putin

Demonstrators holding a doll with a picture of Russian President Putin

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — The concept of collateral damage has developed in the course of so-called "asymmetrical” wars, fought between opponents considered unequal.

The U.S. drone which targeted rebel fighters in Afghanistan, and annihilated an entire family gathered for a wedding, appears to be the perfect example of collateral damage: a doubtful military gain, and a certain political cost. One might also consider the American bombing of Normandy towns around June 6, 1944 as collateral damage.

But is it possible to reverse the expression, and speak of "collateral benefits"? When applied to an armed conflict, the expression may seem shocking.

No one benefits from a war, which leaves in its trace a trail of dead, wounded and displaced people, destroyed cities or children brutally torn from their parents.

And yet the notion of "collateral benefits" is particularly applicable to the war that has been raging in Ukraine for almost a year.

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