ForumsDialogue is Action
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Little Red Riding Hood
@alechayosh07 me too. The Little Red Riding Hood discussion in class definitely hit some nerves. It was unsettling but it made sense. We do know that all literature has meaning, but when I was a kid it seemed to give off only 'be careful and don't walk alone'. But, now, I realize that that was right, only it is 'be careful and don't walk alone because men are dangerous'. And now, after our discussion, I can see the way sex roles have played a large part in many of those stories.
@a2m0n2 I would like to add to your points about lessons for younger girls in Little Red Riding Hood, more specifically the implementations it has on society's view of sexual abuse, predator behavior, and rape. While Red Riding hood was told to stay on the path, she stepped off. This is a link that will take us to the end of the story and how it connects to real life. The wolf is the one who preys on Red Riding hood, and eventually harasses her. Some may even go as far as saying this is a story of rape. Sadly, many cases of rape are undermined from being classified as assault or falsified. Girls are seen as "asking for it" or "deserving" when they "do not follow the path." Predator behavior and abuse are overlooked because of a lack of evidence to support allegations. I don't know if any other women feel this way, but I am feeling slightly hopeless on these issues even though they need to be brought to light. Are stories like Little Red Riding Hood what began the thoughts of "asking for" and "deserving", or are they deeply rooted to the past and these stories only further evolve how young girls should behave?
@persephone, I think this is a really good point. I've felt like for a while people have always thought that the wolf was bad, but if Little Red Riding Hood never stepped off the path, then none of this would have happened. And I think this is the wrong assumption. Just because she made a little mistake, it doesn't justify what the wolf(men) did wrong. And maybe this story gave people the idea that women are in the wrong and that they shouldn't have made the mistake in the first place. That might be a pretty out there assumption but I feel like it can correlate.
@xwing37 I do not think this assumption is out there at all. Through the wolf talking to Little Red, asking where she was going, becoming her grandmother, then eating her (or in other scenarios a different outcome) it seems that all fingers would point to the wolf being in the wrong. But because Red's mother told her to stay on the path and she didn't and talked to a stranger, she becomes the one who is at fault. Like you said, this one "little mistake" does not at all justify the multiple actions the wolf took against her. So why is it Red Riding Hood's fault? Why is she the one being lectured when the wolf, or a man in this sense, is older and should be the one taught to not prey on young girls?
@madams43 Astonished is definitely a good way to describe the way I was feeling after the Little Red Riding hood discussion as well. The whole aspect of "girls asking for it" is sickening to me too and I find it fascinating that that way of thinking has been around for so long. Maybe that idea was not apart of the original story but it could still be a few hundred years old. Seeing how long these problems/ideologies have been in our society and actually seeing them, for example, the dress code for the school is a modern example of these deep rooted problems is revolting, as you put it.
I think we do have this interpretation of the story as we do view it through a modern lens which is why we see it as such a wrong story because of our view unto which we project unto this story which is one which has been told by many generations. I think that we do need to have a more nuanced view of the text because of the purpose unto which it was in society I think stories for the most part are a way of passing on the morals unto which they want to teach their kids. So I think if you look at the overall purpose we can see while some of the ideas of aesthetics can be seen as in bad taste. Overall the purpose is to protect the kids from predators which I do view as an overall moral cause so I think we do kinda need to look at it that way. I think we always try to portray our modern ideologies unto texts from history.
Since I last posted here I'd like to add something that happened to me on Halloween. Like most of us, I have a job and had to work on Halloween, but I coincidentally went as little red riding hood but I added some scratches and stuff with make up so it was like little red gone wrong. While I was at work, I had an older man I was helping say to me "Wow! looks like someone couldn't keep their hands off you!" which creeped me out from the get go. I mean, I had fake blood and everything so it was obvious they were pretty gruesome scratch marks, not to mention they were over my eye and on my arms, so there was nothing sexual about my costume at all... Basically what I'm saying here is that I think even though we don't think of fairytales as their "true meaning" at first, I think deep down everybody picks up meaning like that to some extent.
@savhoisington I was also really struck by our class discussion. It's hard for me to look at a story that I grew up knowing through shows and books and realize that it was about something much more than I had originally understood. I usually would push these types of conclusions away, thinking that they were too far fetched. But, our class discussion offered me an opportunity to think about it for myself and use the evidence from the story and its origin to understand what its true intent was. I understand the conclusions we came to as a class, but it is so interesting to me that I had never picked up on it or had never talked to anyone who saw the same meaning. I wonder if although I was unconscious to the true meaning of this story, if the fact that I knew the story had implanted the lesson in my mind subconsciously? I also wonder if there are other children's stories that can be explored and have a much deeper meaning than I originally had thought.
@jacksonvon That is an interesting and true idea about portraying modern views on history and how it changes it drastically. I do also agree that Little Red Riding Hood is used as a precautionary tale, teaching children lessons to protect themselves. However, we did learn that this story was originally not for children. What are your thoughts about this? For if, historically, the purpose of the story was teach children valuable lessons, shouldn't it be made for children? It can't be argued that the modern views have twisted a historically classic children's story, if the story was originally not even meant for children.
During the class discussion was the first time that I considered this story for more than its initial appearance. The unfortunate situation we are in as a society were we have to educate the people who are preyed upon rather than the predators. This in my opinion is embarrassing that we are still needing to educate women in our society about predatory behavior when human-kind is looking to populate other planets. It is absolutely absurd that this behavior is still around since the beginning of the earliest societies. I wish I could do more to combat this behavior ,rather than just raise awareness, but I am in a position of lesser power due to my age and experience in this system.
Prior to our class discussions, I had heard this side of the Little Red Riding Hood story and it has always disturbed me, even more now. Little Red we know as a little girl, warned by her grandmother to stay on the path! Because off the path she is unsafe, quite literally prey to a predator. In this story that predator is not what children who hear the tale may think of, just a wolf, but it is a man.
While it is deeply disturbing it gives us sight into the world we do live in. Little Red is warned about going off the path but she disobeys, making people think it is her fault that she came across the "wolf". Really she is just an innocent kid who fell into the trap of a predator. Even more disturbing to me was the discussion we had in class about later in the story, when Red is in the bed with this wolf. The tone in "What big ears you have, what a big nose you have" and etc, is weirdly flirtations and draws a very confusing line of what is happening in the story. Over all, after the discussion I was left more confused and uncomfortable with the story than I had been previously.
The little red riding hood discussion in class was a very interesting yet disturbing one. I think its so interesting because I feel that these values and ideas were always sort of engraved in society and we didn't really acknowledge its presence in things as pure as children's stories. It's so disturbing that these children's stories have to include such messages and they're so hidden that we don't really realize it...
@octavia I agree that it is super disturbing. It's weird to think that these dark messages are hidden behind "cute" stories we learn as kids. It also concerns me that so many people are aware of these meanings but don't do anything to make a change with telling the stories. I think the part that really struck me about tying the theme to red riding hood was the fact that the wolf was in her grandma's bed. This is because I have a very clear picture in my mind of a book I read a lot when I was little and it was a page with the wolf laying in bed with the grandma's clothes on. This part struck me because looking back on it, I find it super odd that the wolf had to be in the bed and that red riding hood got so close to her, but I have known this book for years and I never had thought anything of this before.
Like some other childhood stories that we have talked about in this class, I have another new perspective than what I originally perceived the story. When you are little you don't really think this deeply, but our discussion totally changes my view on the story, which I find fascinating. Little things like how she "wondered off the path" I did not pick up on before, or at least didn't remember, and now I have many perspectives on the story that I can think about.
@a2m0n2 Definitely! I for sure see your interpretation on the wolf and being an old perverted male. However, thats is not the only issue with the fairy tale. Take for example Red, being the protagonist of the story she is supposed to be the good. In some versions she is, the first version we talked about in class being an example. I'm not sure if your class talked about it but I believe it was the french version? Where red was the one being perverted and different from what we know. So I definitely think that it comes down to the area of origination along with time and opinion.
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