I’m writing this from Manchester. For those of you who don’t know, I am currently studying abroad, and it’s awesome. But last night, I ended up going out for dinner alone, because I’m spacey and lose track of people. I walked back to our hotel alone, in the dark. Manchester is the largest city I’ve ever been alone at night in, and I wasn’t scared. Not really. But I think I should have been.
I texted one of my friends before I left the restaurant. The gist of the message was “Help I don’t know how to use my pepper spray and I have a pocket knife but I can only cut to kill.” My friend thought that kill shots were acceptable if I was under attack, but I just didn’t know where the American Embassy was if I ran into complications.
Anyway. I wasn’t really in danger last night. I’ve never really been in danger. But a lot of girls—a lot of people—are. And it sucks, and it makes me really, really angry. So I think right now is a good time to introduce the series I’ll be doing over the next couple weeks: Sexual Abuse in Folk Traditions. These are all, or mostly, essays that have been published on Tumblr before, but I think it’s a topic worth revisiting. The next three posts, maybe more, are going to be about the seriously creepy stuff that happens in some versions of popular fairy tales, and how I think it pertains to our culture now.
The reason I’m telling you about this in advance is my friend Io. Iona Gale wrote and created a cover for a collection of short stories called Beast and Other Stories, which I helped to format, design, and publish. This book will be released on October 1st, and it’s got some fairly dark stories in it. For the title story, especially, Io was inspired by the same version of Beauty and the Beast that I’ll be talking about on this blog.
So this upcoming series is advertisement for her, too. And I want to make sure you know about it, but I’m not going to talk about it on these posts, because I don’t want to take away from the seriousness of these topics. Just remember, as you read, that Io is working with the same issues, just more fictionally.