The Sorceress and The Wild Beast

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Scan_Pic0003One interpretation of “Little Red Riding Hood” is that the story is about the power of sex. Sex causes men and women to lose their self-control.

Sex is viewed, by some, as a base animal instinct and women are the “Hall Monitors” of sexual behavior. She is responsible for keeping sexual encounters within culturally prescribed parameters. When there are any sexual missteps, women are to blame. A woman must manage her feelings and those of her partner. Men are highly sexed and women, who are the “Fairer Sex”, are less driven by sexual desires; therefore, the task of maintaining proper sexual behavior falls to the woman.

Another belief prevalent in our society is that women are supposed to keep themselves pure and virginal until marriage. Men, on the other hand are supposed to be wily and have as many sexual experiences as possible. So there is a double standard. Since the sixties, this standard has softened.

Like the wolf in our story who is always hungry, men are always thinking about sex. They are on the look out for easy targets. Little Red is at the right age but way to young and naive to have good monitoring skills. She will be easy to trick.

When it comes to sex, men are often turned into beasts. Women are Sorceresses. They know how to cast spells over men. They can make men helpless, out of control and wild as wolves.

In reality, this is not true. For some men, those who refuse to take responsibility for their sexual behavior, it is convenient to blame their woman partner. They protest that once they are aroused they are compelled to have sex. Women are always to blame. “She was asking for it”, the man says.“Look how attractive she is, or sensual or charming. Look at her clothing; look at how her skin shows. She shouldn’t have come here alone. She was acting sexy.”
The male is the victim. We all know how women are … What’s a guy to do?

Some women are very aware of their powers. They use them, and sex to manipulate the men in their life. Women are punished when they abuse their power. They are judged, labeled, and called names … bitch, whore, witch. Unfortunately, this can happen to women who are unaware of the effect they have on men. These women have simply failed in their Hall Monitor Duties.

My collage illustrates this phenomenon … the blame and shame game forced on the sexes. Men are not beasts and Women are not sorceresses. The blame game keeps us a part. We worry about the others intentions. We fear being hurt. I find this negative because it stops us from trusting each other. It stops us from being open to Love.

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2 responses »

  1. Hey Michelle- beautiful work on the collage- the central figure is wonderful- I love the touch of androgyny that being veiled gives her – to me, it hints at sacred marriage- the joining of feminine and masculine. I love how you included forest and made one side the reverse negative of the other. Interweaving the wolves with the men worked beautifully. I especially liked the gorgeous guy with the dark hair and predatory thrust of the head staring at the women! On the feminine side- your Red Riding Hood, leading the pack, all grown up with the red gown and basket is perfection! Great work my friend.

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    • Chris,
      Thank you for the compliments about my collage piece “The Sorceress and the Beast.”

      I’m assuming the central figure that you’re commenting about when you say, with a “touch of androgyny” is the fuchsia colored “Veiled” shape in the middle. What I “thought” I was conveying with that shape, is two flower’s sex, the central detail of the flower that attracts bees and other pollinators. Wolves are mixed in with the men and the two flowers are my symbol of women’s fragrance, the pheromones that we women use to cast our spells… hence the Sorceress and the Beast. Of course, it doesn’t matter which way that shape is read because either way works.

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