The Hungarian children’s book Meseország mindenkié [Fairytale Land Belongs to Everyone] will in future only be available with an “instruction leaflet”. According to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, this will protect the children from the risks and side effects of absurd gender theories.
The publisher of the fairy tale book, which has been debated in Hungary for months, must now point out that it contradicts traditional gender roles. With this, the Fidesz boss is setting an example in terms of his “illiberal democracy”.
The Lesbian Association Labrisz published the collection of seven fairy tales in September. The presentation is initially reminiscent of the classic Hungarian folk tales. But the heroes of the new fantasy world are female, black, homosexual and disabled. The opponents are no longer just dragons or villains, but “antiquated images of society full of heteronormativity”.
The lack of innovation in the Labrisz stories is particularly tiring. These are based on well-known stories and only replace individual elements. This is particularly evident in the Snow White adaptation. The delicate, pale girl with blood-red lips, who gave the story its name, has given way to supposedly progressive ideas. Like in the original story, the mother looks out the window and longs for a child. But in this case, a child with black hair and golden brown skin – “Avarbarna” [Leaf brown] – is born.
Malicious stepmothers do not go well with the idea of “women’s empowerment”. Consequently an old white man, Avarbarna’s father, is now the villain who ultimately even wants to kill his own daughter.
Another story illuminates the life of a sensitive, homosexual gypsy boy. According to the lesbian association, this shows that men are also allowed to cry because they are vulnerable. Another story is about a deer who feels in the wrong body and would rather be something else. The main theme remains the same: The struggle of minorities for recognition.
In an interview with the radio station Kossuth in October 2020, Viktor Orban affirmed that he would be tolerant and patient towards “provocations” by the gay lobby. But for him there is a red line nevertheless: “Leave children alone!”
With the definition of father and mother as man and woman, the Hungarian government had already anchored a traditional interpretation of parenthood in the constitution in December and legally excluded “rainbow” family models. The warning on the fairy tale book underlines this commitment against so-called progressive ideas on a socio-political level.