The Good Wife And Her Shadow
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The role of wife is not set. The media has done a great job at making the ideal wife a behavior-set few of us can live up to. We try but we fail miserably. A woman is an amalgam of archetypes from Aphrodite to Psyche; from the power of Aphrodite borne of the ocean and birthed from a giant clam to Psyche who was borne of a dewdrop. We are all of this and more. We can be as powerful as a tsunami and as gentle as a tear. At the same time, society expects us to be everything else as well.
In our Mother’s day, there was a certain context to wife. A wife needed to be the traditional Madonna/Whore. You know how that worked, right? In public, a woman was supposed to maintain a distant, virginal quality like Donna Reed but when the bedroom door closed, she was supposed to reveal a red teddy with crotchless panties. Well, maybe not that extreme. That probably would have scared the crap out of any man. But, the fantasy was probably very alive. She was to be sexual with him and participatory. The problem was that many women couldn’t shake the set hair, full makeup and apron. Letting their hair down was tantamount to admitting that she had needs other than baking the perfect cake and making sure Junior’s hair was perfectly combed.
Our lives are a little easier. Thanks to the women who have come before us to tear down these ridiculous dichotomies, we can be whatever kind of woman we want, right? We can be bawdy and sexy and funny and say fuck and make the first move and say things like ’I like DICK!’, right? We can do that but we are usually judged by those women who continue to play the Madonna role. However, the whores, as we are lovingly called, judge the Madonna’s just as much. The Madonna’s are stuck in the past and strapped down with their own inhibitions while the rest of us are having all the orgasms and laughing until we pee. Would you believe that this still is based on female archetypes?
Some women maintain their maiden innocence and some mature to a knowing womanhood. Some women can maintain the Psyche qualities of being dewy and virginal even if they are grandmothers and some of us plumb the depths of our subconscious Aphrodite power and still maintain our virginity. Those of us who embrace our Aphrodite nature maintain our Psyche shadow at bay and let her out when we host a party or allow our girliness to slip out. However, those women who maintain that purity have a tough time embracing that ‘darkness’ and power of their intense womanhood.
The disdain we feel for either Psyches or Aphrodites come from being triggered by our shadows. We are all ultimately made up of the same things but we show different facets. Our shadows are kept in the dark because we fear them. Our shadows are ultimately a very important part of who we are. For example, my girliness is sometimes more powerful than the booming voiced bitch which usually comes out. She is part of me and I need to honor her and let her out to have fun too. I celebrate my perpetually virginal sisters. I refuse to get into the argument of who is better. If it works for you, Amen! However, as a wife, I have to employ all of me, including my shadows, to surrender myself totally to love. I let him see all sides of me. He loves my Sex Kitten and Donna Reed and so do I.