Perrault wrote “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” back in 1670ish.
OH? Chaperon? Interesting how we use that now.
Defender of the young woman, from the thing all men know all men want from her.
But Chaperon in French means hood.
OH? She wore a hoodie? Interesting how we use that now. Dangerous. Might get you killed.
Perrault wrote it down from an oral tradition, told from generation to generation: it was from a time when a beautiful daughter’s value was simply the coin by which the man of property could buy/sell/trade up/add to his wealth. She attracts the son of another man of property, et voila! Two families join forces via marriage, a win-win. IF the beautiful daughter has remained pure and chaste, so as not to muddle the property values. So Straying From the Path brought with it the penalty of death. There was no rescue, no happy ending in Perrault’s version.
The next famous version was more for the children, the Brothers Grimm’s version seems more to focus on innocence, the naiveté of the little girl, the dangers of disobeying her mother, the easy victory of the treacherous and seductive wolf, and the major addition of The Huntsman, the virtuous man who rescues LRRH and Grandma from death by saving them from the wolf’s stomach after they have succumbed to him, helpless victims.
Looking at LRRH 2012: So today let’s call it a sexual metaphor…
She claims her right to the red hoodie: sexuality, and the (unsolvable) distinction between sexual object and sexual being. It’s all good, right? She thought she had the power to choose her own path through these distinctions, she thought the “stage two feminists” (70s) had fought and won that right for her. She was so sure, she went ahead and acted on that assumption.
OH? Wanna have sex? Slut! Wanna have it but not babies and not disease? No, the choice is not hers at all in fact, it has been stripped away by the powerful and pious Huntsmen (the Kochmen and Churchmen and Newsmen and Congressmen).
OH? Want power? There is a way: She can use sex. Hyper-sexuality, the new power. Sure, it’s a certain kind of power. Look at all she can get in exchange. Or, is it maybe sexual exploitation? So, what is it then? Exalted? Expedient? Condoned? Condemned?
And what about that other kind of power, the power to conquer the wolf and be on her way? Maybe not all by herself, maybe all by herself she is not much more powerful than the beautiful daughter of 1679. But here it is, 2012, and she can bring along a million more red-hooded women who together can walk around the Huntsmen and conquer their own wolves. It’s worth a shot.
Created: Apr 09, 2012left-coast-jane Document Media