Fairy Tales and Women

Yes, you know it.

From Maria Tatar’s essay, Reading the Grimms’ Children’s Stories and Household Tales:

“. . . oral storytelling is often affiliated with labor traditionally carried out by women: spinning, sewing, weaving, and cooking. That many of our metaphors for storytelling — spinning yarns, weaving tales, cooking up a plot — derive from the domestic arts suggests that fairy tales were indeed related to ‘old wives’ tales,’ stories told by midwives, nursemaids, female domestics, and others to transmit wisdom from one generation to the next.

“Gossip and narrative are sisters,” the British writer Marina Warner suggests, “both ways of keeping the mind alive when ordinary tasks call . . . “

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


  1. November 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    So true. I lost a lot of the women in my family in high school and consequently, a lot of the stories. I had a friend who had done some research on this and said that women are the primary keepers of family history, and thus, the keepers of the STORIES. Thanks for the insight.

    • November 7, 2016 at 12:53 am

      You have not lost the stories! As long as you can remember the women. That’s my way of thinking about it. Because the stories mean more when you know the person who tells them. 🙂

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