“Civilized” is Just a Fancy Word for Quieted Down and Emotionally Suppressed

I can feel her, the Wild Woman, coming more and more alive within me with each passing day.

She is not a part of me as much as I am a part of her.

She epitomizes collective female grief that has been buried deep for convention’s sake. Grief that got neglected because, at some point, she was told she had to “put herself together.”

She embodies collective female anger for rights and dignity stripped away or never given. Anger for our children who are hurt and used and exploited. Anger for our bodies that have been abused, sexualized, raped, tortured, murdered.

The Wild Woman encapsulates all the words left unsaid. The voices we’ve suppressed out of fear, or out of desire to belong.

She stands for feminine power and carries the ruthlessness of a mother protecting her young.

Inside the archetypal Wild Woman lies a fiery rage, one that remembers millennia of abuse perpetrated onto women. A rage deep and connected to the roots of Woman. The memories of witch hunts, rapes, incest, abuse, dehumanization… millennia of women stripped of their humanity all flow through the cells of my feminine body. This anger is a response to too many abuses, too much needless death, too much unnecessary pain.

The Wild Woman is Boudica, the 60 A.D. Iceni war queen who rose to fight Rome and avenge the theft of her land, title and later, to avenge the rape of her daughters.

She is Mis, the mythical Wild Woman who, after her father was killed in battle, tried to lick his wounds and bring him back to life, like an animal. But he did not return to life. She howled and raged. She was so overcome with grief and anguish that she ran, as fast as a four-legged animal, off into the woods where she stripped off her clothing and over time grew fur and claws, becoming more animal than human. More savage. More feral.

She is April Wheeler, the fictional character in the movie “Revolutionary Road,” when she says, “If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t mind being completely insane.”

She is the hag, the witch, the outcast. She answers to all of these names. She’s unrefined, she’s undone, she’s full of feeling and aliveness and sensation. Her knowledge is innate, pulsing through the generational line of which she is a part.

The Wild Woman lives in women’s bones and blood, where the history of our lineage is safeguarded and our pain is cataloged. The place we forget about when we try to be “proper.” The Wild Woman carries us deep inside ourselves, into our bone marrow, into the root of our trauma. She opens it up. She gnashes on it with her teeth, breaking it down into bearable pieces. She re-experiences her pain with a full range of emotions, which is the only way to healing.

Her presence, nay, her existence, is an affront and provocation to civilization which expects people to abide by certain social codes–ways of dress, talk, and beliefs. She is an affront to convention and norms, because she instills in others a stirring of discontent and disillusionment. She is a danger to the status quo, because she creates chaos with her nonconforming ways and unconventional thought.

The Wild Woman rejects “normal” and “common” and instead lives aligned only to her own internal voice and direction.

She says what’s she feels and she feels what she says. She’s done with the lies, and the games, and the falsehoods, and the masquerades. Only truth matters to her.

The Wild Woman is not interested in up and out. She is going down and in.

Root down, into the body. Root down, into the earth. Root down, into our emotions and our humanity and our center.

Here, there is blood. And there is pain, and toil, and anguish. And there is rage. Mountains of suppressed rage and denied emotions.

When our inner Wild Woman emerges, we might be deemed “mad” by society, but our madness is merely a response to the insanity of this world. What’s more mad–continuing to believe the same lies and propaganda that we have since we were a child? Or questioning those lies and propaganda.

The Wild Woman is considered dangerous, and she is shunned by polite society. But that’s better, because in her aloneness she can point out the absurdities of our social codes and belief systems. Unlike the masses, she is immune to the tune of the Pied Piper’s magic flute.

Women everywhere are descending into their wildness. We’re undoing and unlearning. We’re reclaiming and remembering. We’re letting ourselves feel suffering. We’re using that to channel the energy to demand justice and truth.

The Wild Woman says, when you strip me of my humanity, then I become the mythical Mis. I run into the woods. I become wild. I become everything you fear I am, in your stories about evil witches eating children and sorceresses making men do their bidding.

What is it about a wild woman that society is so afraid of?

Their power. And the fact that they cannot be shamed or manipulated. They live beyond shame. Someone outside of the codes cannot be threatened with exclusion.

Once upon a time, she did believe the powers-that-be when they told her that the world is ultimately fair. But they lied to her to get her acquiescence.

They told her that the enemy was other women, so women would not come together and speak words of such truth and power they could shake the paradigms down from their roots.

When she followed the codes, they made her feel small and unworthy. These codes were never designed for her. They were designed to control her.

The Wild Woman knows that now.

They wanted her to be good.

They wanted her to be quiet, obedient, attentive, agreeable…civilized.

But she saw through the flimsy lies.

The Wild Woman is in descent right now. She’s healing, she’s remembering, she’s connecting and uniting.

Soon, she will rise up.


  1. Kristi Lampe on at 5:38 pm

    Rise Wild Woman Rise!! I am feeling my wild woman rising! Watch out world hear Kristi ROAR!! I WILL be seen and heard and stifled NO MORE! Rise Wild Woman Rise! Love, love, love this one….

    • Keri on at 2:39 pm

      YES YES YES!!! She’s coming!

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