I 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: http://wildwomansisterhood.blogspot.nl/2013/04/croning-ceremony-celebrating-wisdom-of.html#.UXpkFkoZPEz
I added this comment to the Boomer Lit discussions on Goodreads today:
According to an article in the Independent newspaper today “more than 400 bookshops closed in 2012, seven times more than the year before. There are now fewer than 2,000 bookshops in the country, less than half the number of seven years ago. Ebook sales doubled last year, to £261m, while physical book sales fell from £1.51bn in 2012, down from £1.59bn in 2011.” The article ends by making a comparison with the music industry.
It is not mentioned in this article, but the music industry tends to rely a lot these days on its back catalogues, rather than on promoting new and therefore risky genres. It seems to me that is similar to how, at present, literary agents and publishers alike seem to be ignoring Boomer Lit. In fact it seems that they had rather go for ‘Young Adult.’ This is strange as we Boomers are an enormous demographic – now making up around a 29% of the U.S. population and 15% of the UK population – and are far more likely to be found browsing in bookshops than buying e-books. Is it me, or are they missing a really good business opportunity?
I remember having thick, long hair. Now I seem to be developing a bald patch. I mentioned that to my hairdresser a while ago and he said his wife was the same. She had gone to her doctor who had told her that it was down to her ‘male’ hormones.
Germaine Greer once termed the time of a woman’s life when she reaches post-menopause as “peaceful’ potency. It is also very interesting that the anthropologist Margaret Mead described a stunning burst of energy and assertiveness in the post-menopausal women of all the cultures she studied.
When you think about it the reason for this is obvious. It is, indeed, why so many of us experience a thinning of hair on our heads at exactly the same time we often acquire some embarrassing facial hair. All of us have the testosterone in our bodies. As the level of oestrogen goes down, our male hormones begin to assert their influence. We therefore start to exhibit what some people consider to be “male characteristics” – this sudden increase in confidence and assertiveness.
We post-menopausal women have finally got off that hormonal roller-coaster, which has dominated our lives, defining and to some extent, limiting us. It really is a new stage in life – a positive experience and perhaps it is finally time to celebrate it, publicly. We should cheer on that rise of male potency in our lives. It has always been present in our lives, but now it is coming into its full power in time to help us to reach our full potential.