Quite contrary, in fact. I'm all for politeness and sparing people's feelings up to a point, but I draw the line at fiddling with centuries-old nursery rhymes in the name of political correctness. An article in yesterday's Times of London reported that nursery schools in several areas of Britain are changing the likes of Baa-Baa Black Sheep and Humpty Dumpty to comply with the "equal opportunities approach."
Did I ever in my wildest, most 1950's segregated Southern-girl upbringing relate the black sheep in the nursery rhyme to actual black people? Nooooo. It was about a black sheep. I thought. Actually, it turns out to have something to do with 18th century wool taxes, but black folks? Uhn-uh.
And that Humpty Dumpty ended up a broken shell of an egg never haunted my nightmares. He was an egg, for goodness' sake! I was two years old. I got it. I find it hard to believe that little Oxfordians or Birminghamites are in therapy because of old Humpty. Reality TV or pop music, maybe. But not the HD.
I'm not a dwarf so I don't know how I'd feel about the Snow White thing if I were, but the fact that the sweet young thing has set up housekeeping for seven miners of any height/color/religion is the interesting part of the tale. That, and a stepmother who can turn herself into a real, live witch and hand out poison apples. Why, if I were a stepmother (whoops, I am!) who could turn herself into a witch (whoops, I know that's happened before) and hand out poison apples (whew! innocent of that one), I'd be totally offended!
I may not be a black sheep or an egg or a dwarf, but I am a Mary. Since several nursery rhymes star a Mary of one stripe or another, let me take a stand here and now. I am contrary - proud of it. Touch my nursery rhymes, and I'm comin' after ya'. I'm contrary that way.