Politically-Correct Little Red Riding Hood
- Tuesday, August 09, 2005
There once was a young person named Little Red Riding Hood who lived on the edge of a large forest full of endangered owls and rare plants that would probably provide a cure for cancer if only someone took the time to study them.
Red Riding Hood lived with a nurture giver whom she sometimes referred to as "mother", although she didn't mean to imply by this term that she would have thought less of the person if a close biological link did not in fact exist.
Nor did she intend to denigrate the equal value of nontraditional households, although she was sorry if this was the impression conveyed.
One day her mother asked her to take a basket of organically grown fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house.
"But mother, won't this be stealing work from the unionized people who have struggled for years to earn the right to carry all packages between various people in the woods?"
Red Riding Hood's mother assured her that she had called the union boss and gotten a special compassionate mission exemption form.
"But mother, aren't you oppressing me by ordering me to do this?"
Red Riding Hood's mother pointed out that it was impossible for womyn to oppress each other, since all womyn were equally oppressed until all womyn were free.
"But mother, then shouldn't you have my brother carry the basket, since he's an oppressor, and should learn what it's like to be oppressed?"
And Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her brother was attending a special rally for animal rights, and besides, this wasn't stereotypical womyn's work, but an empowering deed that would help engender a feeling of community.
"But won't I be oppressing Grandma, by implying that she's sick and hence unable to independently further her own selfhood?"
But Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her grandmother wasn't actually sick or incapacitated in any way, although that was not to imply that these conditions were inferior to what some people called "health".
Thus Red Riding Hood felt that she could get behind the idea of delivering the basket to her grandmother, and so she set off.
Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place, but Red Riding Hood knew that this was an irrational fear based on cultural paradigms instilled by a patriarchal society that regarded the natural world as an exploitable resource, and hence believed that natural predators were in fact intolerable competitors.
Other people avoided the woods for fear of thieves and deviants, but Red Riding Hood felt that in a truly classless society all marginalized peoples would be able to "come out" of the woods and be accepted as valid lifestyle role models.
On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood passed a woodchopper, and wandered off the path, in order to examine some flowers.
She was startled to find herself standing before a Wolf, who asked her what was in her basket.
Red Riding Hood's teacher had warned her never to talk to strangers, but she was confident in taking control of her own budding sexuality, and chose to dialogue with the Wolf.
She replied, "I am taking my Grandmother some healthful snacks in a gesture of solidarity."
The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."
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