When is our society going to overcome its ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ syndrome?
Silly little Red Riding Hood. If only she hadn’t wandered off into the woods on her own. If only she hadn’t talked to a stranger on the way. If only she hadn’t been so naive. If only she hadn’t worn that most sexually provocative of colours, red. If only she hadn’t been so pretty. If only she hadn’t been a young woman, flaunting herself like that with her pretty bouquet of flowers.
If only, if only, if only she had made herself as small and invisible as she possibly could then surely she wouldn’t have been eaten all up by the hungry wolf, right?
Hold on just a minute now, hold on…
What exactly are we saying here? We’re saying she deserved it. We’re saying it was her fault. We’re saying that we need to warn others like her not to make the same mistakes. But what we’re not saying is anything at all about the behaviour of the wolf and all the other wolves like him and we at Shakti Women think this is ridiculous.
And if you haven’t figured out what we’re talking about yet, let’s break it down for you…
A 33 year old woman named Sarah Everard disappeared after walking home from her friend’s house one night. Human remains were found and it has been confirmed, sadly, that they are Sarah's. A Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and an investigation is underway. Our hearts go out to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.
In the aftermath of this devastating news, our mainstream media ran segments on how women can do more to stay safe and the practical advice mothers should give to their daughters to avoid getting harassed, attacked, raped and murdered by men as they go about their business.
Inevitably and rightly, there has been a huge backlash against this skewed perspective and the Shakti Women team wants to make it clear where we stand.
I for one firmly believe that our society needs to overcome this damaging ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ syndrome.
I'm interested to know what YOUR thoughts are about HOW we get men in our society to recognise the misogyny that exists and what we do as a society to enable and empower our men to love and appreciate the power of women without feeling threatened.
Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.