Crone: Insult or Celebration?

Crone club badge1 copyI have recently had a very interesting discussion on goodreads (see Goodreads/Boomer Lit/monthly read/The Crone Club) with someone who said she found the title so offensive that she would never even open The Crone Club, let alone read it.  I was taken aback, not so much by her view, as by the vehemence with which she expressed it, even going so far as to state that she had asked all her friends and they had agreed with her.

I found this strong objection to the title “crone” very surprising and in the end, thought-provoking. As the book makes clear the reunited friends choose to call themselves the Crone Club. It is not a name imposed on them. Alison, the feminist member of the group, points out that ‘crone’ is a title given to the reigning goddess in ancient mythology, the other two titles being maiden and mother. The name ‘crone’ therefore celebrates the power of the feminine; it does not denigrate it. It also celebrates a special time in our lives when we are no longer at the mercy of our oestrogen levels and our increased testosterone levels are also giving us more confidence and assertiveness. We are free from many of the responsibilities and expectations of society regarding ‘correct’ and appropriate female behaviour, so we can reinvent ourselves.

It seems that some of my fellow Baby Boomers are challenged by the word “Crone.”  It is time to rescue this term from the negative connotations imposed on it by a patriarchal society. This is well beyond accepting that we are growing older.  By embracing the ‘crone’ in us we can go forth empowered, to take on all the challenges of our new lives and strive for our dreams.

Interestingly, I was recently introduced to this article, which supports and develops many of the points made above:


Posted on April 20, 2013, in Being a Crone and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I read the definition of “crone” in the book, and accepted it as written in spite of the fact that the definition in my head was consistent with the definition given by the dictionary built into my Kindle, “an old woman who is thin and ugly.” I wonder if there is a UK vs US difference.

  2. Well, with the exception of Bambi, all of the crones are based on bits of me and Alison is an exaggaration of the feminist side of my character. She would comment on the fact that dictionaries are the ‘perceived wisdom’ of very largely male academics and old women have had a bad press for centuries. As I said in this article it is time to reinstate the term ‘Crone’ and embrace the crone in ourselves as a way forward into the next stage of our lives.

    I am not the only one saying this, by the way. Marsha Roberts recently introduced me to the Wild Woman Sisterhood and as the article in this link to their blog makes clear, many women are now going in for croning ceremonies.

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Lynn Schneider Books

Baby Boomer Lit: Author and Reviewer

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