But if you strip away all the art and romance, it’s also a deeply distressing, even shocking tale of the abduction and rape of a young girl.
Or is it?
As it turns out, the story we all think we know has a much more complicated and, thankfully, much milder origin.
It seems that the further back you go, all of the horror and fear falls away — at least, if that’s the version of the story you choose to believe.
This week we kick off a three-part series, looking into the story and considering all of the possible versions that are out there . . . and, hopefully, finding a way to untangle them.
I know this topic is a hard one. I know some of these themes are distressing. I know some people may have trouble accepting that some versions of this story don’t line up with their expectations and sensibilities.
I hear you. I’m right there with you. So feel free to add your voice into the conversation.
This week, please consider giving your support to one of the organizations listed below. There are so many hurting people in the world . . . but there are also so many ways to help.
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine.
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children serves as the clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. NCMEC is authorized by Congress to perform 22 programs and services to assist law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them.
There many, many other organizations out there doing good work — there are even some in your area, I assure you. Whether it’s through your local women’s shelter or a community help line, there’s always a way you can give your time or resources to help people in need.