There have been many efforts to adapt the Hero's Journey to fit women's stories. However, the problems with adapting this model have some central failings in understanding women's experiences. Women have to contend with issues that men never have to concern themselves with. Women have to worry about sexuality- not just their own, but the sexuality of the men around them. Women have to worry about the role of motherhood and marriageability. Women have to be concerned with their physical safety. The Hero's Journey as adapted for women, assumes women are "wounded" not that we have structural inequalities constraining our choices.
When women take a Heroine's Journey they are already on the Queen's Path, as all women are. Every woman must reconcile the Divided Woman. If she takes the Heroine's Journey, without acknowledging it, then she is ostracized from the beginning. She is blind to the Path of the Queen. Any heroine automatically gets set in the track of the MIPE archetype. As heroes are by definition not compliant, a MISOR cannot take a Hero or Heroine's Journey. The MIPE is therefore outside of what is acceptable for her before she even makes the first move. This means that a woman who endeavors to be a Hero or Heroine will enter the Quest without recognizing that even if she succeeds in her goal, she will fail in her Quest. Not because she is incapable, but because the archetypal journey REQUIRES that she be a QUEEN first. Think of the Queen's you already know- Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Shonda Rhimes, Stacey Abrams, Christine Lagarde, Greta Thunberg, Anna Wintour, and Alexandra Ocasio Cortez. These women, regardless of their age, have all decidedly rejected being EITHER a MIPE or a MISOR. They rule their domains with grace and power. They ignore calls for them to sit down. They are not hobbled by those who would want to "put them in their place".
If a woman on a Hero's Journey doesn't acknowledge the journey of the MIPE, she will find herself up against the expectations of culture that she fit into the MIPE ending. For a MIPE, the story ends with either trying for, and failing at, Happily Ever After, or worse, Animus Possession, where the MIPE is overcome with ambition, will, or rage. Whether MIPE or MISOR, every woman must realize the sacred nature of her being through embodied transcendence. This experience opens the door to sovereignty for her. Sovereignty is the experience, knowledge, and physicality of owning herself. Every woman deserves to be her own Queen. This archetypal structure is NOT new, we have been telling the story for a very long time. But it has not been presented to women as an archetypal story in the same way that the Hero's Journey has been told. Women all over the world need the story of the Divided Woman. They need it to empower them against tyrannical regimes. They need it to fuel parity, in pay, benefits, and legal protections. Women need more models that demonstrate to them that being "submissive" is a construct, one that we continue to reinforce by the ways we structure our stories.
It is time to tell our own stories- ones that unite the Divided Woman, giving every woman the right to own herself.
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