Tuesday, August 21, 2001

There once was a young person named Little Red Riding Hood who
lived on the edge of a large forest full of endangered owls and
rare plants that would probably provide a cure for cancer if only
someone took  the time to study them.

Red Riding Hood lived with a nurture giver whom she sometimes
referred to as "mother", although she didn't mean to imply by this term
that she would have thought less of the person if a close  biological
link did not in fact exist. Nor did she intend to  denigrate the equal
value of nontraditional households, although she was sorry if this was
the impression conveyed.

One day her mother asked her to take a basket of organically grown fruit
and mineral water to her grandmother's house. "But mother, won't this be
stealing work from the unionized people who have struggled for years to
earn the right to carry all packages between various people in the

Red Riding Hood's mother assured her that she had called the union boss
and gotten a special compassionate mission exemption form.

"But mother, aren't you oppressing me by ordering me to do this?"  Red
Riding Hood's mother pointed out that it was impossible for women to
oppress each other, since all women were equally oppressed until all
women were free.

"But mother, then shouldn't you have my brother carry the basket, since
he's an oppressor, and should learn what it's like to be oppressed?" And

Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her brother was attending a
special rally for animal rights, and besides, this wasn't stereotypical
women's work, but an empowering deed that would help engender a feeling
of community.

"But won't I be oppressing Grandma, by implying that she's sick and
hence unable to independently further her own selfhood?" But Red Riding

Hood's mother explained that her grandmother wasn't actually sick or
incapacitated or mentally handicapped in any way, although that was not
to imply that any of these conditions were inferior to what some people
called "health".

Thus Red Riding Hood felt that she could get behind the idea of
delivering the basket to her grandmother, and so she set off. Many
people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place,
but Red Riding Hood knew that this was an irrational fear
based on cultural paradigms instilled by a patriarchal society that
regarded the natural world as an exploitable resource, and hence
believed that natural predators were in fact intolerable competitors.
Other people avoided the woods for fear of thieves and deviants, but Red
Riding Hood felt that in a truly classless society all marginalized
peoples would be able to "come out" of the woods and be accepted as
valid lifestyle role models.

On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood passed a woodchopper, and
wandered off the path, in order to examine some flowers. She was
startled to find herself standing before a Wolf, who asked her what was
in her basket. Red Riding Hood's teacher had warned her never to talk to
strangers, but she was confident in taking control of her own
personhood, and chose to dialogue with the Wolf.

She replied, "I am taking my Grandmother some healthful snacks in a
gesture of solidarity."

The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to
walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the
extreme,but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an
outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop an
alternative and yet entirely valid worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me,
I would prefer to be on my way."

Red Riding Hood returned to the main path, and proceeded towards her
Grandmother's house. But because his status outside of society had freed
him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the Wolf
knew of a quicker route to Grandma's house. He burst into the house and
ate Grandma, a course of action affirmative of his nature as predator.
Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist gender role notions, he put on
Grandma's nightclothes, crawled under the bedclothes, and awaited

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought
you some cruelty-free snacks to salute you in your role as wise and
nurturing matriarch."

The Wolf said softly "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."
Red Riding Hood said, "Goddess! Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"You forget that I am optically challenged."

"And Grandma, what an enormous and fine nose you have."

"Naturally, I could have had it fixed to help my acting career, but I
didn't give in to such societal pressures, my child."

"And Grandma, what very big, sharp teeth you have!"

The Wolf could not take any more of these specist slurs, and, in a
reaction appropriate for his accustomed milieu, he leaped out of bed,
grabbed Little Red Riding Hood, and opened his jaws so wide that she
could see her poor Grandmother cowering in his belly.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" Red Riding Hood bravely shouted. "You
must request my permission before proceeding in a new level of

The Wolf was so startled by this statement that he loosened his grasp on
her. At the same time, the woodchopper burst into the cottage,
brandishing an ax.

"Hands off!" cried the woodchopper.

"And what do you think you're doing?" cried Little Red Riding Hood. "If
I let you help me now, I would be expressing a lack of confidence in my
own abilities, which would lead to poor self esteem and lower achievement
scores on college entrance exams."

"Last chance, sister! Get your hands off that endangered species!  This
is an FBI sting!" screamed the woodchopper, and when Little Red Riding
Hood nonetheless made a sudden motion, he sliced off her head.

"Thank goodness you got here in time," said the Wolf. "The brat and her
grandmother lured me in here. I though I was a goner."

"No, I think I'm the real victim, here," said the woodchopper. "I've
been dealing with my anger ever since I saw her picking those protected
flowers earlier. And now I'm going to have such a trauma. Do you have
any aspirin?"

"Sure." said the Wolf.


"I feel your pain," said the Wolf, giving a little belch, and asked "Do
you have any Maalox?

Friday, August 10, 2001

really entertaining, v good site: explodingdog