Posts Tagged ‘ Witches ’

Often the face of evil

Oct 28th, 2015 12:40 pm | By

NPR asks an always-timely question: Why Are Old Women Often The Face Of Evil In Fairy Tales And Folklore?

Because everybody* hates old women.

Typecasting is one explanation. “What do we have? Nags, witches, evil stepmothers, cannibals, ogres. It’s quite dreadful,” says Maria Tatar, who teaches a course on folklore and mythology at Harvard. Still, Tatar is quick to point out that old women are also powerful — they’re often the ones who can work magic.

Well, “powerful” until they’re killed at the end. Not a particularly desirable brand of power.

Tatar says old women villains are especially scary because, historically, the most powerful person in a child’s life was the mother. “Children do have a way of splitting

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