In this wonderful story, presented by author, A. M. Offenwanger, for International Women’s Day, The Seven Ravens reveals how a young girl saves her brothers – no damsel in distress was she, and the age old warning, “be careful what you wish for”.
I love fairy tales, discussions about fairy tales and writers who write fairy tales. I believe that fairy tales, in many regards, are a litmus test for how a society is behaving. It is a form of free speech, disguised as a fairy tale when free speech is limited in many societies. Fairy tales often describe what is noble in the human spirit, that doing the right thing often brings its own rewards, and how the down-trodden can fight for their human dignity. Elements of fairy tale like stories, in the modern era, are found in all genres of fiction. Fairy tales, in my opinion, were never meant just for children, they often were meant for a society, like the Little Match Girl and Little Red Riding Hood, the age old good vs evil, yes, but much more than that, it was a way to change hearts and minds, a way to build character and a conscience.
It’s International Women’s Day today. It’s also Thursday, which invariably generates a flurry of Twitter posts under the hashtag #FolkloreThursday. So, of course, today a fairy tale nerd’s Twitter feed is awash in tweets about women in folklore.
“Ah, women in fairy tales,” you say, “damsels in distress, passively waiting for a prince to come rescue them – right?” Bwhahahahah! Excuse me while I laugh loud and long (not to mention a little scornfully). Yes, sure, they exist, the Sleeping Beauties and Snow Whites in their glass coffins or rose-covered castles (and we love ’em). But just as common are the wide-awake Beauties who are the ones that do the rescuing – of Beasts or Frogs, for example, to mention just two of the best-known tales. And not all of those tales’ happy endings are weddings, either – there are people other than lovers or boyfriends to rescue, you know.
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