#6: Six Myths of Our Time: Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts, and More by Marina Warner

It’s a huge pain in the ass that I can’t just be a feminist anymore.  I have to be a humanist.  Or I get to be a “feminist AND” or a “feminist BUT“. Everything is so watered down and angry that you have to explain what you are by immediately pointing out what you aren’t.

So…I’m a feminist BUT I don’t hate men.  I’m a feminist AND I think we need to work to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Mostly I just hate people.  But I try to do it equally.

Anyway, this needs to turn into a book review of Six Myths of Our Time.

The book was published in 1994.   I graduated from high school that year and was starting to devour anything having to do with folklore, especially re-written fairy tales.  I loved how stories were being reclaimed by women and we were all “Screw you, Prince Charming!”  Fists in the air, bitches!

I would have been all over this had I read it back then.  I still liked it, but I’ve read it all before.  Things that would have been amazing and new and driven me to anger and enlightenment in ’94 are boiled down to “Yep.” and “I know.”

Getting back to “I’m a feminist AND“, I found it interesting that some things were making me cringe or roll my eyes and think “This is why people think feminists eat babies and throw tampons and burning bras at young boys.”  (That’s what people think we do, right?  When we aren’t busy having abortions, getting divorces and practicing witchcraft?  I haven’t read this month’s memo, so I can’t be sure.)  But when I read an essay about how Jurassic Park is a misogynist text because all the dinosaurs are female and have learned to breed without men and therefore must be destroyed because they are unnatural, I want to hide because I know something like this is going to give Jerry Falwell a huge erection.  And he’s dead.

But again…had I read this back in ’94 0r ’95 I would have freaked out and been all “YEAH!  What the fuck, Michael Crichton?” and gone off on rants about it.

I realize this makes me sound like “I’m a feminist BUT I believe a lot of feminism is soooooooo outdated”, but the cool thing is, some of it is.  Is the fight over?  No.  Have we done everything we need to do?  No.  Is feminist lit still awesome?  Yep.  Is some of it dated and a bit embarrassing?  Yes.

This was a solid text in its time and I’m guessing it was a great launching pad for a lot of writers that were reclaiming stories for themselves.  I still devour folklore and love rewritten (or reverted) tales.

Honestly, that’s what folklore is.  The people at the time create stories of their time to explain their time.  Women got pissed about being the passive princess or the evil witch and wrote the stories they wanted to read.  It’s still happening and it’s awesome.

This book is perhaps a fairy godmother or great-godmother to these texts.

2 responses to “#6: Six Myths of Our Time: Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts, and More by Marina Warner

  1. Pingback: pyrajane’s CBR-III Read #6: Six Myths of Our Time: Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts, and More by Marina Warner | Cannonball Read III

  2. Pingback: #41: Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work Is Done by Susan J. Douglas | pyrajane

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