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Little Red Riding Hood  

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klynnph
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During our class discussion about this, and during the fairly ~disturbing~ little red riding hood image slide show, I quite literally felt sick to my stomach. I'm not typically the kind of person to dig this deep into children's stories, and although I will never be able to think of this one the same, I'm glad we talked about it. 


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MangoMan
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Coming back to this forum, I think we have talked more about themes that are re-occurring and I think the wolf may have many meanings.  A few for example; perhaps the wolf if the fear of what would happen if a girl back when this story was written went off alone, yes this is a pretty misogynist way of looking at it but I think that it is possible.  I think that maybe the true intention of little red riding hood is to make a statement.


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Carla Tortelli
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@msar It is very disturbing that even back then we have spread this sort of awareness. Even though we had stories like this we see no improvements on the actual behaviors or situations. These stories are targeted towards women, but should be targeted to both men and women. This issue will not disappear if only half of the issue is acknowledge. This is a deep rooted issue and awareness like this can only do so much. It does suck that we cant really do much at the moment because of our age but there are still ways. This issue just seems to be pushed back throughout the times and is, dare I say almost a norm at this point. Its not given enough push for change so people just store it in the back of their heads, and hopefully we can change that.


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Delphine
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@carlatortelli I agree. The idea of internalized misogyny is one we've accepted as a norm. How can this be acceptable? We as humans don't even realize what we're doing at some points, as we say or think things that are inherently misogynistic and we are unaware! Simply because of the way our society has been built up, these thoughts are put into our minds from birth and cause us to develop stories like little red riding hood, and all of the dare I say disgusting sexualization that comes with it.


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a2m0e0m2
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@abuzz I wish this was not an issue that modern woman have to deal with, but I think that much of our population is so focused on the constructs of what is right and what is wrong from the past that topics like these are misinterpreted into blaming the victim. It clearly shows within the story that little red riding hood did wrong by going off the path but what consequence or blame does the wolf within the story receive? 


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a2m0e0m2
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@delphine The fact that such a young child could be sexualized in a theoretical way within the story, and the story has not received more criticism surprises me to say the least. I feel as if the story would've been written in 2020 it would not have been as successful as it was in its time. The fact that when it was written these type of ideas where the norm shows a lot about how women have been perceived over time. 


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Conster
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@mangoman

I agree with you that the purpose is to make a statement/point. This story has been continuously told for over a thousand years. This is most likely due to the parental urge to protect one's children. Regardless of the clearly misogynistic aspects of the story, mothers of young girls I think would usually "accept" that the societal standard of men not being responsible for their actions, and will still tell the story in order to help protect their children from making poor decisions and getting into harm.


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a2m0e0m2
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This forum has very much intrigued me as to think about the whole entire idea of little red riding hood. Imagine if the story had been told with reversed gender roles. Would little red riding hood, as a boy, save himself and be construed as a hero?  Would the woman wolf be so much more of a villain within the story, and would she face harsher punishment than the male wolf went through? Just by looking back at the different powers between the genders in the time that the story was written, I believe that both those thoughts would be true. Anyone else have any ideas on this topic?  


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Madams43
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@a2m0n2 This is an amazing way to consider this story! In our society, women aren't usually seen as predatory even if or when they act as such (as horrible as that is). With that, in mind, if the wolf was female I think that the boy would be viewed as weak for not being able to stand up to her (which is both sexist and tragic for boys living in a society that isn't as sensitive to them as they are women). 


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Madams43
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@mangoman I can totally see that being a point for the story. It makes sense in every aspect, innocent young girl left vulnerable in the woods to be prey to an overpowering, presumably male, wolf. To be quite honest it sounds equivalent to every PSA I've ever seen or been told because I am a woman.  


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stella
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@a2m0n2 I think this is a fascinating point to bring up. I thought your point of wondering how a female villain would be portrayed is really interesting. The wolf is obviously bad in the original story, but his behavior is almost supposed to be excusable. He's a wolf, of course, he's going to eat the girl. I feel like if the villain were female, she would be written to be more obviously evil. I also agree with your point of the boy saving himself and becoming a hero. 


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Conster
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@madams43

I do agree with you in that if the meant gender roles are switched, the perception of innocence changes. It is of common thought that instances of sexual abuse towards men from women are just false. Many believe that a man will always want sexual gratification over anything else, which is simply not true. I just mean to say that the situation can go both ways (and same-sex abuse is still possible) specifically considering the age differences that are presented to us in the story. The exploitation of children due to their age is a situation present on all sides. Back to the original point, yes the genders can be switch and the story can have a similar meaning. I would also like to point out that the assumption made that a guy should be able to defend against a woman is also misogynistic in its own ways. It entirely pivots on the idea that any given boy is stronger than any given woman, which is preposterous.


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stella
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@curtis, I think you raise a good point here. It has always seemed weird to me that Little Red Riding Hood is the one who faced the blame for her death. She is just a kid who was tricked by someone pretending to be someone close to her, which is pretty messed up. The excessive responsibility placed on a young girl directly contrasts with the little responsibility that the adult man/ wolf has. The way the story is written it seems like the wolf didn't do much wrong; he only did what was natural for him. 


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xmysterio
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@persephone This is not a reach. The true meaning behind the tale of Little Red is already sick and twisted as is, so this allusion wouldn’t be so far-fetched. Little Red could be an ode to menstruation, as the wolf is an ode to sexual predators. 


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xmysterio
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The sad thing for me is that, as a child, I never questioned the tale of Little Red. I never thought it was ominous how the wolf interacted with Little Red, I just thought that he was a villain and that’s how villains acted. Growing up now, I recognize the wolf’s more predatorial behaviors. The movie adaption Into The Woods tackled this, as the wolf sang a song that was about a sexual predator admiring his youthful prey. That’s what this discussion reminded me of, and how sick the tale actually is.


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