Clarissa Pinkola Estés is the epitome of a Wild Woman. In Clarissa’s book Women Who Run With Wolves she discusses the restoration of this Wild Woman and why it’s so important for women to find their inner wolf. The book was originally published in 1992, but the lessons in the book are invaluable and still relevant today.
South Africa celebrates all women in the month of August and we thought that reviewing a book of this caliber seemed fitting. It’s not only the team at Catalyst and Fetola who think this book is great – it was on the New York Times best seller list for 145 weeks. We know.
For years society has dictated how women should behave and feel and we no longer need to follow these rules. We were tasked with being kind and submissive, waiting for an instruction, and holding our tongue. Clarissa’s book breaks all these stereotypes and ideals and we are delighted.
Clarissa found the wolf-woman comparison while studying wildlife biology – especially wolves. She said that women were a lot like wolves in many ways – they both possess great endurance and strength, curious by nature, and extremely concerned with their young, their mate and their pack. In the wild wolves have fought for their survival after nearing extinction because society deemed them vicious and overly aggressive. Clarissa makes the comparison that often strong, outspoken women are labelled in the same way by society.
Women have been tamed by society’s continuous preaching of virtue and being nice. Because of this our female powers, our ability to stand up for ourselves, express our opinion and fight for what we want, have been driven into hibernation. Clarissa says that the powers of womanhood can be summoned and used as tools in our fight for survival – we just need to learn how to unlock them.
Just like the wolf, women have the option to be vicious and wild. The wild that Clarissa describes is not uncontrolled. Rather a savage creativity, which allows women to break barriers and truly express themselves.
Before we give away the whole book and you take to the forests running wild – pick yourself up a copy from Takealot, Loot or Exclusive Books. Even if you don’t join us for the weekly howl, we hope this book teaches you something about being a Wild Woman.