Celebrating women's day
Women. Princesses, queens, warriors, lovers, mothers, good witches, bad witches, healers, feeders, workers, leaders, fighters, evil stepmothers, fairy godmothers, wise grandmothers, dragon slayers and dragon riders, virgins, lovers, protectors of the home, protectors of the realm, dreamers, thinkers, feelers, doers... think of any wonderful shape of womanhood and you'll find a fairytale celebrating it. In fact, few other genres have such a deep and wise understanding of the nature of womanhood, of its beauties as well as struggles.
Fairytales are often - and in many cases rightfully - criticized for their narrow-minded approach to, and portrayal of, women. But is it really the fairytales, or is it the way we interpret them that's actually narrow-minded? Who said the queen has to have a child, and since when is the witch considered wicked? Many of these are in fact relatively young (= a couple hundred years at most) interpretations in the history of much older stories. And while it is an important pursuit to clean the fairytales of their expressions that do not support the full development and realization of all forms of womanhood, it is also important to do that with a solid understanding of the deep, symbolic language of the fairytales. Let's keep the ancient yet still relevant core, that beating heart of fairytales, and let's find fresh, new, contemporary and inspiring ways of expressing it!
Fairytales have helped women for hundreds and hundreds of years, and women have kept fairytales alive for just as long. Their connection is still here, still relevant, with lots of potential for future generations as well. Today (and every other day!), let's celebrate women – and fairytales celebrating women. Happy women's day!