ForumsDialogue is Action
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Little Red Riding Hood
After today's discussion of Little Red Riding Hood, I would like to see what everyone is thinking...I'm sure everyone is also feeling uneasy about this fairytale, but what any other thoughts?
For me, the story being about a man is of course very creepy to think about, but it was always more of an obvious part of the story. But really thinking about this story, especially the misogynistic aspect to the story, rattles me on another level. The fact that this story demonstrates our culture's attitude of women "asking for it" and "boys will be boys" is very troubling. The "Grandmother's tale" that the grandmother was telling little red that it is her responsibility to stay on the path. It is up to the young girl to change her behavior, this attitude is very frustrating and messed up in our society. Also, I cannot believe that this story has been around for so long, and wasn't written for children originally.
Very disturbing, very creepy...Anyways. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts!
As for werewolves, I wasn't able to find a lot about menstruation, but little red did come up when I typed in werewolf so there is definitely a connection...was anyone able to find anything about werewolves vs women?
I think the term "little red" might be a nod to periods, but that might be a reach. This fairytale always bothered me as well. I think it's telling girls that we are responsible for how men react to us, which is absolutely asinine. Even as a little girl, whenever I was around men in a dress, I was always urged to sit like a lady with my legs crossed. Even when wearing shorts underneath the dress! I always found that disturbing, because if a grown man is looking under a young girls skirt, there's bigger problems then the way I sit. Women should not be responsible for the irresponsibility of men.
So, quite frankly, I was astonished by our discussion about Little Red Riding Hood and werewolves in class today. I never would have thought about these two things in this way, but now that I have I can't unsee the connections. I guess it all really comes back to the never-ending concept of "man vs. woman" ( for lack of a better term) and the nature of our beings. I wholeheartedly agree that the underlying themes of misogyny and "girls asking for it" is revolting, to say the least, and very frustrating because it goes to show that those ideologies are so deeply rooted in our society (and have been for thousands of years) that even a story we originally thought was for children is not exempt from them.
I wasn't able to find anything connecting werewolves to menstruation either, but the way we discussed it in class, I would not be surprised if the two really were connected.
In my opinion, today's discussion was the most enjoyable that I have listened to and I am really interested in expanding more on it if anyone has any opposing or similar thoughts to share.
@persephone I thought the same thing about "Little Red"! Once we brought up the subject of menstruation, her name was the first thing that came to my mind. I agree with everything you said, especially the idea that we as women should not be held accountable for the actions of men.
I found it incredibly interesting that with all of the dangers presented to young boys in our society as it has evolved, that the story has remained rooted in the idea that girls are more at risk and more responsible for their actions than boys. I am unsure as to why there has yet to be any real change to the rooted narrative within the story. I feel that this further cements the misogynistic tendencies of a global human culture. Even with there being lessons for both girls and boys, the story caters to telling girls of all young age ranges (kid-teen) that they are responsible for preventing the actions of males. On this being a very interesting topic, I agree. I feel that this is a topic that can be discussed very thoroughly and clearly transcend this specific story.
@persephone From what we talked about in class today, that is not a reach at all. So many fairytales feel obligated to tell girls how they should act or grow up in a sense. We might not see the signs when we are younger, but we still process the info even if we don't seek out that meaning. So hidden in the story we don't see how much impact it has on our sense of ageing the "right" way. It is very disturbing that we learn how to be more responsible then a grown man as a child. Why do we as young girls have to conform to the uncensored thoughts of adult males?
Some part of me wants to think that this classic tale we are told as children has more to it then we think. What do you guys think about this notion? Part of me knows it's interpreting the gender roles of the time, that's obvious. But do you think that there are symbols being placed in each of the characters? Let me know.
@madams43 Todays discussion was interesting to say the least. I totally agree with you I would have never thought of these stories in the ways that were brought up. I love that "man vs Women" concept. That is basically the piece to these puzzles. It really is disturbing that this concept has been around for so long, we can even see this in newer movies especially Disney movies. The fact that we were told stories that have a very misogynistic undertone is alarming. In some cultures this concept hasn't even budged in the sense of "getting with the times". Even now we see this gap in equalities, between men and Women. Starting from a young age girls are taught to work around and mature around the thoughts of boys and or "men" but never the other way around. Why is that?
@mangoman These tales we are told most definitely have alternative meaning to them. To be honest most you read will have that "men vs Women" concept, because again that thought is unfortunately very deep rooted. Each character is going to symbolize something, whether big or small that will impact the reader or just the overall plot/story. One character can make a big difference in how they act and or change. You can interpret each character for what they are because they most likely add some new idea to the story. Though the symbols might dim a bit in filler characters.
@conster I agree with you! For some reason rules/ ideas about girls and women tend to fall short when coming to progressive thoughts. The fact that we still produce stories and movies with these men vs Women undertones is disappointing but not surprising in this society. To be honest most women are used to these concepts and I'm so glad that we are starting to face these concepts head on. The fact that girls, young girls have to conform to the misogynistic ways of society is alarming. This should be talked about more. People tend to skew away from this conversation but its very needed to make any kind of process in gender equality. Even small steps like writing a story without those men vs women undertones make a big impact.
@carlatortelli I think what you bring up is interesting, because I'd say that our modern world is much less misogynistic than any other era, and has been for a long time. That's not to say sexism doesn't exist or anything, but bear with me here. Modern literature doesn't have nearly the bias as anything from history, and then obviously ideas persisting is the real problem. If literature didn't stay with us for centuries, perhaps we'd be done with a lot of the discrimination more quickly. However, I also think that we're starting to reject antiquated ideas by modern standards. If Little Red Riding Hood was a story about sexual abuse at face value, I don't think it would be the classic it is. The fact that the truth about the story was a revelation for most says a lot, and the fact that we had to dig for it means that a lot of older ideas are just going away, slowly. I guess this is more an observation than anything, I can't think of a whole ton of openly sexist stories that are taken super seriously off the top of my head, though I guess anything that persists shows a bias, like religious texts and the like.
@mangoman I definitely think that after today and analyzing these childhood stories there is a lot more to them. For example the gender roles in any of these stories and the role they played was not apparent to me because I never really thought of it in such a way. To me it is kind of upsetting, but also very interesting because I look at other childhood stories and these things also play a role.
Some part of me when reading the story little red riding hood at an older age formed somewhat of the same connection to what we talked about in class today. I mean there was such a stronger message between the wolf and the girl than I would've realized when I was younger. A wolf wouldn't be talked about in the book as such a manipulative and deceiving character, so I somewhat realized that maybe they were trying to portray the wolf in the story as a cruel, dirty man.
@carlatortelli Going off of your point, when I interpreted this story out of class I did notice the creepiness of the wolf and formed a connection to a possible predator in little red riding-hoods life, but I did not think of what the society at that tie could've been telling the younger girls. I understood the message of don't talk to strangers, but did not think of the point that Chisnell brought up in class today that the society thought that bad things would happen to girls who went astray from the path.
@salmon I agree with this completely. But, what I wanted to mention is actually something you sparked when saying
If literature didn't stay with us for centuries, perhaps we'd be done with a lot of the discrimination more quickly.
It sounds a lot like a piece of support for the Marginalia. We don't know too much on their ideals past literature being unnecessary, so maybe this is a part of the ideals. This is true, holding onto literature also holds onto the not-so-good views of the past.
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