The Heroine's Journey: A Woman's Quest for Wholeness

So, first I have to apologize for my 2 month absence. To quote God Help the Girl: "I've got to save some dough - I'm a working girl, you know." My day job hasn't been awarding me with much extra time for reading and writing. All the same, I've been struggling to make time to work on a personal project which will involve a lot of research before I can even get started on it.
That project is why I've taken some time away from reading fiction almost entirely and plunged headlong into non-fiction. Hence, I bring you a quick and dirty review on Maureen Murdock's The Heroine's Journey. This book was published in 1990, and I feel like that's important to mention because some of it's theories are - as I feel - dated. What I thought I was picking up when I got this book was a breakdown on a strong female character archetype (which would be immensely useful for the project I have planned). While I did glean some of that from this book, it was more of an old-fashioned Feminist Psychoanalyst? If that is even enough to encapsulate it. Regardless, I was half impressed and half disgusted with what I found. There were parts - the psychology - that I considered completely dead on. Very accurate; it hit really close to home. There were other parts - the feminism - that kind of made me disgusted. Yes, I am a feminist. But I'm a millennial feminist, which means that the modern definition of feminism has had 20 years to evolve from the feminism in this book. For the better, personally. In 1990, right on the cusp of the mid-90's "Girl Power!" phase of feminism, men where still considered something to beat back with a broom handle - at all costs. Women were still divorcing their husbands on the grounds that They Were Men, And We Don't Need Men. I believe the millennial feminist has more respect for men, as many more millennial men have more respect for women - and as it turned out that was half the battle. We are focusing more of our attention on gaining respect for everyone. So it's entirely cringe-worthy to still see what I consider middle-aged, Crazy Liberal Mama Feminism is an actual thing, though it helps to remember this book as a relic.
But there was still some nice things that it made me think about and realize - it isn't all flawed. For instance, as the heroine in our own stories, we get the idea that to be "strong" we must swing strongly in the opposite direction - we must be more masculine than feminine. That's the danger, Murdock says. We aren't built to be compatible with the traditional idea of a manly "strength." This isn't saying we can't be strong women, or that we shouldn't try to be strong women - but do so in such a way that you don't lose sight of your own femininity - whatever that means for you.

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