Mother’s Teachings?

Being a guy I will admit that dealing with a story that seems to be based off of a woman’s perception was tough for me to grasp. That may be due to the fact that I just don’t process information in the same way that women are capable or that I just have a set of preconceived notions about women in general. One thing that really stuck out to me about Riding the Red was what appeared to be the grandmother’s warning to her daughter on how to raise her own daughter. The reason this stuck out to me is ONLY because, as a son, my own mother has already begun to give me tips on how she thinks I should raise my future kids. Of course I have taken these “suggestions” into consideration,  but just like the narrator (not really sure who is telling the story) I have kind of taken the same rebellious attitude of “thanks but I’m going to do that my own way.” I thought the description of sexual activity (or at least that is what I took from it) was rather provocative. It definitely reminded me of how sexual relationships are now. It seems like there is always a slight power struggle between men and women, and while men may be seen to be the more dominant partner in the relationship, women still hold this power that is tough to explain. I thought that the author saying that “you must always have a needle by you” was her way of suggesting that women should always have that one thing that will ultimately give them an upper hand when it comes to competing with men. One question I have about this story is, what exactly is going on towards the end of the piece. I am not really sure if the grandmother is now in place of the wolf, or if this is just a part that I am reading completely wrong. Overall though, I enjoyed reading this and at least trying to make some sense of it.

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One Response to Mother’s Teachings?

  1. kellybud says:

    I think that is a very accurate reading, especially considering a male view point. I can attest that there is indeed a constant power struggle between men and women, and I like how you mentioned the “needle” being the woman’s source of power in this short story. I was entirely sure what was going on towards the end, either, but class discussion really helped me flesh out some possibilities, I think I had understood much of the material all along, but was suppressing my own inferences for fear of being wrong. Perhaps you, too, understood much more than you give yourself credit for. Also, I agree that sexual relationships are quite similar now, to the way they are portrayed in the story, especially with each woman having her own “bad guy.” Thanks for your insight! It’s great to have a different perspective:)

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