• Various/Onna Carr

To Be or Not to Be:  Why I Wanted to Be Robin Hood, Not Maid Marian

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Post by Onna Carr

When I was three, I liked being Robin Hood. I would dress up and run around with my bow and arrow and rescue the poor or Maid Marian. Perhaps there was a deeper work at play. In every age, I feel that damsels in distress have no real appeal, and not many female heroes exist in the annals of common lore. Yes, we have Joan of Arc, but she gets burned at the stake and that is not a very appealing end for, well, any age. There is the Prophetess Deborah in the Old Testament but pretending to be a prophetess is not really high on most three-year-old girls' list. Then, there is Yael, the tent-peg wielding woman also found in the Old Testament but she is not usually talked about until one is older for obvious reasons.

When we turn to modern tales, the odds are still stacked against women. Take the superheroes of today: Batman, Superman, etc. Unless a girl wants to dress like a saloon girl with tights there are really not a lot of options on the superhero stage. So, somehow at three-years-old, I perceived this problem and decided I would be Robin Hood. Robin Hood was cool. He wore green (my favorite color). He shot arrows and seldom missed (very cool). He lived in neat tree houses out in the woods with his community of merry men (it could be worse). He dished out judgement and equity or at least as much as was reasonable to be believed in the Britain of the Crusades.

While at our concrete pumpkin painting class, my time as Robin Hood came to mind as our instructor told us of last month's class, which involved making fairy princess wings for the girls and dragon wings and headpieces for the boys. However, one girl decided she did not just want to be a fairy princess. She wanted to be a dragon fairy, and she made fairy wings and a dragon headpiece. Perhaps, it is true that "in a world full of princesses it's good to be Batman!"

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