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Education in the Media

She’s Not Your Hero

This might be outside the zone of this blog.  This might have nothing to do with education.  Or it might have everything to do with it.  

Dear Brenna,

I watched The Little Mermaid a few weeks ago. I understand Ariel’s curiosity. I get the sense of sacrifice that goes with love. It might seem like she was a heroine, but she wasn’t. I know that the infatuation looked a lot like love, but it wasn’t. She sacrificed everything for someone she didn’t know and he sacrificed nothing in the process. That wasn’t heroic.  It was masochistic.

When you get older and watch the movie, I want to know the original story, where the little mermaid evaporates into foam. There are powerful people out there who will woo you with the promise that you’ll be part of their world; be it a handsome prince or a high-paying job or the accolades of a top-tier college.

I don’t want you to lose yourself. I don’t want you to evaporate. I don’t want you to lose your voice.

You should never have to change your identity to meet the dreams of a man. No relationship, no promise, no plot line in a fairy tale story is ever worth giving up your voice. Be curious. Be bold. But cling to your voice with your whole being, Brenna.  You’re already strong and vocal.  I don’t want you to ever lose that.



About John Spencer

I teach. I write. I live. I want to do all three authentically.


One thought on “She’s Not Your Hero

  1. You are so far “outside of the box” that I think you see the box itself, causing your post to fall within the zone of this blog while remaining outside it with your words having everything to do with education and yet nothing at all.

    I am providing a link to a Law Review article that, while specifically written about “The Colorline”, also applies to class, sex, gender and educated/uneducated lines as well. The article is a little long, but it goes far to describe the masochistic (and sadistic) relationships that have transparent existence in our society (and, no doubt, all societies). “The Black Body as Fetish Object”, available at:

    I thanked the author for his efforts – he said it had been a draining exercise for him.

    Posted by Brent Snavely | September 18, 2011, 9:46 am

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