Featured art by Samir Rafi.
The topic of the ‘Wild Woman’ gets thrown around a lot these days. It no longer has that surreptitious taint of insinuations carved and bellowed from the bellies of conservative men and women. The ‘Wild Woman’ can be a hardworking mom, a mischievous daughter at play or the woman who says no when the bullshit is layered on thick. She isn’t a harlot and if she is, then it is by her choice and prerogative. Clarissa Pinkola Estés shed much required and intuitive light on the ‘archetype of the wild woman’ in Women Who Run With the Wolves (1992) and how important it is for women to return to that evanescent place known as their freedom. The female psyche undergoes constant cutting and shredding from birth…but imagine the creative possibilities we could achieve if we learned to live in tune with ourselves?
I’m not here to talk about the liberation of women or fuel the feminist chariot (not that those aren’t intriguing topics to me)…I’m here because I had an earthy reminder from whatever powers exist in our universe that my fangs are important. Between exploring the origin of fairy tales in my academic studies and having life shit all over me, I learned to respect those trigger warnings within myself. I’m the type of person that people love to say two things to :
- Calm down
- Are your fangs really necessary?
The mistake people make with me is that they don’t seem to realize that I AM calm ( in a weird stormy sort of way) and that baring my fangs is how my body and mind register that something just isn’t quite right. I think if I didn’t bare these fangs of mine, I’d end up a bloody trampled carcass. That’s not very badass, now is it?
A dear friend of mine, who life forced me to say goodbye to over 6 years ago, recently pirouetted back into my life this week. If ever there was a yin to my yang, it was her. Perhaps losing her made me develop a deep mistrust for others over the years. She’s the type of creature that makes you want to break out quoting
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thanks Lord Byron. Now if you could do some hocus pocus from beyond the grave and find me a man worth quoting your poetry about, that would be greatly appreciated.
Anyway,my friend comes back into my life, when the lines of fate are dancing dangerously along the edges of a supernova. And yet her timing could not be more perfect, more needed. Why? Because when I’m with her, I howl. The deepest, most raw, most honest howl ensues. And my fangs glitter from the reflection of the stars and the moon. I needed that. To be reminded of my strength. All women need that. And that is why I feel connected to those curious nymphs of my gender these days. We need to help each other grow. Not stab each other in the back at the sight of a new pair of shoes or a charming man. I’m all for war with any woman who needs a bitch slapping (don’t get me wrong) but I’m starting to nurture ideas of respect…respect that has been taken away from me on many occasions (whether people meant to or not) and I think respect is the path to love.
Not only do we need to find love for ourselves, but we need to find a way to show men how to love us. Sometimes I think I come across as a male-basher. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love men. They give us butterfly feelings in the pit of our tum-tums and make awesome adventure companions. But recently I’ve noticed they’re not very good at understanding what it means to truly respect or love a woman. No matter how much they try or think they do. We’re confusing specimens, so I can’t really blame them. So perhaps, instead of hating them for it, we can show our displeasure (rather than accepting it as society forces us to) and teach each other. It’s not up to men to show women their worth. So females need to step up. We’re not frail, abandoned or dependent creatures. And if you think you are, you’re not doing anyone any favors by being so. Be free…be honest…and love from that ancient place inside yourself. That’s the place where creative impulses brew and stories take flight. It’s where you learn to be a better person. Strong. Helpful. An Amazonian friggin’ Queen.
“If you have ever been captured, if you have ever endured hambre del alma, a starvation of the soul, if you have ever been trapped, and especially if you have a drive to create, it is likely that you have been or are a feral woman. The feral woman is usually extremely hungry for something soulful, and often will taken any poison disguised on a pointed stick, believing it to be the thing for which her soul hungers . . . In order to avoid these snares and enticements that are tripped by a woman’s time spent in capture and famine, we must be able to see them in advance and sidestep them. We have to redevelop to see them with insight and caution.” (Estés, 1992, p. 231)
So if I need to bare my fangs or pull out a weapon or two in the name of caution to side step life’s poisons…I’m not going to apologize for it anymore. I’m going to gladly do it.
“You know, I’ve been thinking about how long people have been making decisions for me, pulling on my strings. I’m tired of other people’s decisions ruling my life and I’m done taking orders.” Dutch, Killjoys, Season 2 Episode 3