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Archive for the ‘ageing’ Category

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She told me how when she spoke to women about the idea that maybe emotional and sexual life doesn’t have to end with motherhood, they’d often get this look in their eyes, a look of panic and recognition, and she’d know in that moment that they were having an affair, or they were trying to have an affair, or they had just ended an affair, or they were having an emotional affair, or they were having an intense, romantic friendship that might as well have been an affair. It was an expression of wanting to call for help but not having the vocabulary, and at the same time hating themselves because the experience didn’t fit with their notions of what marriage was supposed to be.

I asked a friend of mine, a therapist in Chicago named Elena Vassallo Crossman, if she had encountered such women in her practice as frequently as she encountered men in similar turmoil.

“No,” she said, “Not as much, but I think that’s because many, many women have internalized the culture that disavows this kind of desire. It is a culture that’s very comfortable with women as mothers, and any role beyond that, no way. And that’s because what comes next, the next stage, the stage where a woman is for herself and not giving everything away, not seeking her partner, not giving everything to her children — I think it has the potential to be the most generative, creative stage in terms of woman’s energy. She emerges from that dependence on relationships when everyone was looking at her for her utility. It has the potential to be the most powerful stage, and so a culture that disempowers women has to disavow it. This is why middle-aged or old women are witches and crones in fairy tales. It’s why they’re ugly. And if they’re not ugly, they’re dark. We have to make that power dark.”

From Kim Brooks’ “The emancipation of the MILF” in The Cut. 

Of course, this is not such a problem when you divorce and date – another path through motherhood.

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