Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

Two Maidens

Two MaidensTwo Maidens

There were once two maidens, but they were not the type of maidens you would normally think of. They were large sturdy pieces of wood with a cross bar handle. These items were used for pounding the earth down and were called maidens.

As it so happened, it was decided that the maidens now be called hand-rammers. The maidens themselves weren’t at all happy about this. They wanted to be called maidens, as they always had been. The one maiden was afraid her fiance would break up with her if she were called something else not quite so womanly.

They said that being called maidens had more humanity in it and being called a hand rammer would make them just things. The wheelbarrow tried to tell the maidens that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing. They would be then be considered in the class of seals if they were to be called hand rammers. The maidens weren’t having any of this; they said they were too old.

The wheelbarrow said they must adapt.

The maidens wanted to stay maidens and thus called out their names, but were never able to get it out fully. They missed the days when things were called by their proper names. They soon became known as hand rammers and the one maiden’s fiance did break up with her because she was no longer a maiden.


Would you look at all that? I guess they had arguments about being politically correct even back in Hans’ day.


This story is about being politically correct, but it’s also about the two sexes. First off, the reason the maiden were to be called hand rammers was to be more politically correct, and perhaps accurate as to what the tools actually were. Women were getting more rights. People were wanting to bring women into a more equal light. This meant people were starting to watch what they said about women and what objects they associated with women.

Now, let’s talk about the maidens themselves. They didn’t want to change. I get where they’re coming from to an extent. I wouldn’t want to stop being called a woman. Being called a person is fine, but I wouldn’t want to end up in a position where we decided just to call everyone “its,” instead of men or women. I don’t want to be called an it; I want to be called a woman. I get why the maidens were unhappy with this change.

Society was moving forward though and thinking in different directions and the maidens didn’t like it. They were resistant. We’re all resistant to societal changes to a degree. Right now, there are quite a few people who are resistant to the idea of gay people being allowed to legally marry now. There is always going to be resistance to change, and there should be because not all changes are always good. Take my example of calling people “its” for example–I don’t think that would be a good change and I would be resistant to it. I think there are things that make women great and there are things that make men great. I don’t want to diminish those qualities by calling myself an “it.”

Moving further into this story, the maiden’s fiance breaks up with her because she is no longer a maiden. Let’s take that word for word. A maiden is a woman who is not yet married, and back in the day this meant you were a virgin. A man broke up with his fiance because he found out she was no longer a virgin. Is this morally right? Well, that all depends on how important that is to you and if it was the choice of the woman. Did she willingly have sex with ten men even though her religious leanings said not to, or was she raped? In the first case, the man is probably within his rights to break up with her if that’s what he believes. If his future wife being a virgin is that important to him then, by all means, move on because he’s always going to resent her otherwise. In the second case, if the guy breaks up with the fiance because she was raped, he’s just a jerk. That isn’t anything she could have controlled.

If we take this story straight-faced, the maiden’s maiden-ness was taken from her. She did not choose to call herself a hand rammer. This situation was out of her control. All in all, her fiance was a pretty big jerk for breaking up with her for something she couldn’t control.


Moving forward is good, but moving in the wrong direction is not.

Weigh In

If you were one of those maidens, would you want to be called a hand rammer?

What do you think of the maiden’s fiance?


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