Fairytales gone bad

I recently pulled out two old books of classic fairytales that have been stored on my oldest daughter’s bookshelf since she was an infant.  These books had originally been mine as a child and although I’m not sure I ever read much of them they have been always been a constant, always standing side by side the image of Hansel and Gretel forever approaching the witch’s cabin.
I loved that image brought together with half on each books spine and it somehow ingrained in me a special attachment to these books despite the fact they were rarely read.  Occasionally I would read my favorites; East of the sun and west of the moon, the Gingerbread man, The shoemaker and the elves, Three Billy goats gruff while the rest remained unread.   
Not something I would normally bother to mention but something about these fairytales has begun to bother me as I’ve cracked them open to read.
As I’ve delved into these “classics” I’ve realized just how bloody sexist and chauvinistic the vast majority of fairy tales are.  Of course we all know the clichéd idea of the prince saving the princess however some of the phrases found in these original tales gathered into these two books is absolutely appalling.
The favorites we all know and love stem from a tree with some rather black roots. While reading these tales aloud I’ve constantly found myself pausing mid-sentence or even skipping over sentences completely in an attempt to edit on the go. 
I’ve even given up on a few unable to continue reading in complete disgust.  There is just no way to make some of these stories less sexist and demeaning to women.   The only types of female characters found in these pages are; the haggard old witch or the subservient beautiful (they’re always beautiful) young girl desperate to please. 
I don’t like the notions put forth by these books and am glad that they have remained little more than decoration over the years. 
I think rather than reading another story about women who are as dumb as a post, unable to do anything for themselves I would rather have the haggard old witch find and kill off the beautiful maiden leaving the handsome prince to wash his own damn shorts.