The Dark Side/ The Madwoman Part One

In my last post I shared a sketch which came to me while reading the book “Meeting the Madwoman”, by Linda Schierse Leonard. I’m still not far into the book…okay, I’m only up to chapter 2…but that’s not the point. There’s something about it that reached out to me the moment I saw it and even with as little as I’ve read, it’s definitely resonating with me. This is going to be a several part post because there are several different aspects of this character and I want to do them all justice. Sometimes we can see/be the madwoman in more than one way at a time, others just one. There is no right or wrong. I just want to try to keep this simple and palatable.

Before you all think that I’ve completely done Darth Vader, let me clarify a little. We all have a dark side, an inner madwoman. Most of us were taught that this part of ourselves is something to shun…to be embarrassed about. As women, we have been taught that we are supposed to be these loving, soft, nurturing creatures all the time and that if we deviate from that standard that we are somehow inferior or even crazy. Yes, women are slowly making a comeback to their true nature but there’s still a way to go. You heard me right, I said comeback.

There are many tales of bad ass women in the ancient world. Somewhere along the way though, much of the world made a switch to a patriarchal society. Listen, I’m not hating on the men…I love the men…but this is fact. Women are expected to suppress so much…our power, creativity, strength, opinions, and even our sensuality. Sure, there are women in positions of power but we’ve heard the whispers about them. ‘She’s too butch.’ ‘What a bitch’. ‘That one’s a real ball buster’. ‘Look at that slut’, etc. and just because they are being true to themselves and filling roles and acting in ways in which we’ve all been taught are only for men.

Women are nurturing and caring beings, but we are so much more. I can be a good girlfriend and be a hell raising activist. You can be a good mother and run a fortune 500 company. We can be faithful wives and free spirited artists. Why not?

It wasn’t that long ago that women were being institutionalized for not being obedient enough. It was acceptable for men to do so because a woman was supposed to act in a certain way and if she didn’t then it meant that there was something very wrong with her. Here is an great blog post about how it was. I just stumbled across this tonight while researching a little and couldn’t have worded it better myself. Women are still being looked down on and frowned upon for just being themselves and it isn’t fair. It can sometimes make us doubt ourselves or even question our sanity when we keep hearing that we aren’t acting ‘normal’.

There is nothing wrong with being female and being strong. Nothing wrong with letting your inner madwoman out to play sometimes…write that poem, paint that painting, sing that song as loud as you can, dance in the rain while everyone else dashes about under their umbrellas, go to that rally and speak your mind about the spoiling of our environment, apply for that loan to start your own business, state your opinion and stick by it if you believe in it, have a wild night of passion with the hottie you’ve been flirting with for weeks (don’t judge, having a sex drive is human nature)…whatever you can dream of. Of course there are right ways and wrong ways of exhibiting and owning your power. The above ways are good when done right…kicking your boss in the balls for calling you sweetheart…not so much. Embrace your madwoman and use her power to be the best you that you can be.

This ends the first installment of this series. In the next one I’ll be talking about the darker side within us. The one which we’re afraid of because the emotion is so powerful and base that it feels almost more animal than human. How do you feel about this so far?

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8 thoughts on “The Dark Side/ The Madwoman Part One

  1. Great post and I agree w/ you about the double standard. A male go-getter is seen as ambitious while women are seen as bitches. The pay is still uneven as well. And let's not forget that an overweight woman is less likely to get a job than the thin hottie. As for me, I make no apologies for who I am. I am not afraid to say No. I once had someone be really taken aback by my 'sorry I can't do that' response and they told me that I really know my boundaries. Yes, yes I do. Maybe that's b/c I was an only child.

  2. Thank you JoJo. It's obvious that you've seen it in action too. It is great that you have learned to just be you! It's why we're here I think. You raise a good topic…boundaries. Very important. Thanks for your insights. 🙂

  3. My most admired female friends are tough cookies. One in particular relishes her title of "Queen Bitch". She's not a mean person, however she doesn't put up with people who try to walk all over her. I think she's fantastic. We need more women like her.

  4. At first I was thinking this may be an assessment I wouldn't be in agreement with, but as you went on that shifted. Especially stating that those things are good if done right. There is always a healthy way and an unhealthy way.It's odd just reading this today, because literally this morning I was curious about doing a post or video about being "sex positive" and how it's human nature like you said. Being sensual is nothing to be ashamed of. Society sure places a label on women who express their sexuality, though. It's a real shame.Then I began to think about women that may go too far; becoming the thing they hate. Treating men like shit, pieces of meat, and all the things they can't stand seeing done to women. That's an unhealthy path.I've a friend on FB who posts all these pictures of various celebs or half naked men saying how hot/sexy they are and how much they would want to be with them, etc etc. I believe that mentality exists in both sexes.Got a little off topic, sorry. Your points on the oppression of women being able to express their true selves is indeed fairly evident (if not rampant), but I think it's shifting away from that little by little the more people become aware.Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

  5. Jak…you are right that it can go way too far the other way as well. I do not like to see that either and am with you 100% that it is unhealthy. Don't be sorry. I look forward to your post about sexuality. Need to come visit your blog…no time like the present!

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