When you come to think of it, we boomers are doggone amazing! In a single generation, we gals came together to achieve previously unimaginable triumphs in the name of womankind. And today there’s little reason to think that we can’t or won’t continue our mission for reform and mount our battle to redefine the role of being an aging female in the culture.
Actually, rather than promoting a redefinition of what it means to be an older woman, we can simply call for society’s language to return to the hallowed insights of the ancients. They revered the wise women of their villages and used the power words to prove it. Yet, if you look up the definition of the word “crone” today, you’ll find a list of rather disheartening descriptions. Two of my personal favorites are “withered” and “half-witted.” But this wasn’t always the case!
The word “crone” was originally used in reference to the word “crown” and referred to the wise woman matriarch crowned in honor of her wisdom. Another favorite, “hag,” came from the Greek word “hagia” and meant Holy One who possessed sacred knowledge. Therefore, Webster’s irrefutable reputation aside, there can be little doubt that “withered” and “half-witted” represent a demeaning denigration of two words that had previously shown great reverence and respect.
So, my fellow female boomers, in the name of our own fair gender and maturity, how can we not continue our generation’s pursuit of justice and social reform and seek to banish such humiliating descriptors for women of a certain age?
It is our unique and proud history to have questioned, battled, and overcome enormous and deep-rooted inequities. It remains our destiny to continue. The crown of the crone has been tarnished for millennia and the ancient goddess is most likely getting a bit grumpy by now. It falls to the boomers to embody the wise woman archetype, give her a much-needed makeover, and renew her presence to its former reverence, grandeur, and glory. After all, that’s not only fighting for social justice… it’s the feisty thing to do!