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Virgin, Mama, Witch & Bitch
by Heike Boehnke-Sharp
sandra bierman When a girl baby is born, she is already born into a world of “must be”. Women’s roles start at this early stage. Girls are supposed to wear pretty dresses and do “girlie” things. God forbid the little girl child is not “cute”, since little girls are supposed to look like little dolls. How many times do you hear “I wish I had a little girl? I could dress her up and do her hair, they are so fun!” Little girls that play with boy things, or are dirty, rough, and wear pants all the time, are considered “tomboys” from toddler hood on, they are just not “real” little girls….

Puberty comes, and we are confronted with the term “virgin”, but not in the sense of generations past, when being a virgin was a status symbol of high honor. Society has teenage girls believing it is a disgrace to be a virgin. Their peers and their society pressure girls into sex early, thinking it is the thing to do, and the one who actually “does it” is the one who ends up a teenage mama. To the lucky girls, the “virgin” is the stage of beauty and growth. Girls grow breasts, have their first menstruation, and slowly become women. In many societies and cultures, this stage is still honored with beautiful celebrations and rites of passage. We women need to give our girls the knowledge and self-esteem that helps them develop. We have to teach them that THEY have the right to decide over their bodies and their destiny, giving them choices. The “virgin” is a stage of purity and beauty, not just a metaphoric term whether you have had sex or not.

family of threeFor most women, the next stage is “Mama”. They get married and become a wife, and the new mama to their husband, or they perform the miracle of birthing a new human child. Some women CHOOSE to skip this stage all together, though I believe we all have the “Mama” instilled in us, and play this role for someone or something in our lives. No matter how well we try to prepare, we cannot study up on this role, but grow into it. Intuition and experience turn us into masters, nurturers with the goal of protecting our kingdom. We portray this role with fierceness, and mamas are often compared to tigresses protecting their cub. The variations “Mamas” are as diverse as women themselves: some women stand by their man till death do them part, some women refer to their career or business accomplishment as ‘their baby”, and others protect and live for their children.

The “Witch” is not as the word in the dictionary, but the spiritual side of a woman. Witches, before their discrimination and elimination, were women of great intelligence and honor. Their rank in society was high and powerful. They were healers, and women whose intuition and knowledge let them perform great deeds. They were not always Beauties, but their aura of power and self-confidence made them beautiful, no matter what the outer shell portrayed. When today’s woman reaches this stage, she is ready for change and self-fulfillment. She is ready to find her inner self and true meaning in life. She turns to meditation, psychics, aromatherapy, yoga, or other forms of “natural healing” to comfort her inner spirit. In this stage, a woman stops dieting, dying, and otherwise torturing herself to fit into society’s beauty ideal, she turns her back and starts to find her beauty inside. She becomes more confident, starts making changes, and the “Bitch” comes out.

The “Bitch” is in us from toddler stage, we just don’t know it. When we discover her in us for the first time, we suppress her due to “etiquette”. But boy, when we need her, is she ever helpful!
She is our “other self” that comes out when we fell threatened, cheated, or confronted. When we are in a bad because something in our life is just not right, our first step to changing it is to become “bitchy”. Some women get stuck on this step for a very long time, but sooner or later they realize it and move forward. Others jump right on up! In corporate America, strong and powerful women are often referred to as “bitches” by their male counterparts or employees of both sexes, because that attitude is what keeps them above ground and in charge. People are intimidated, and of course annoyed, by bitchy women, but if you look at it as a stage of wonderful stage you will see your sisters in a much rosier light!

Look at yourself, what stage are you in now? And the next time someone calls you a “Bitch”, you can just smile and say “Why, THANK YOU!” The circle is becoming complete.


©2002 Heike Boehnke-Sharp.
Heike is the momma to two angels and two huge dogs, and lives with her best friend & husband in CA. A German native, see she's her society a little different, and comments on that in her articles. She is currently working on a novel, is a work at home momma, and the owner of http://www.goddessinthegroove.com, a website for women.

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