Are You The Madonna Or The Whore?
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Are You The Madonna Or The Whore?

Mental Wellbeing
Team healthhunt
5 min read

Are You The Madonna Or The Whore?

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The women they respect or those they feel are ‘marriage material’ are placed in the Madonna slot while those who are perceived as wild—desirable been seen as ‘wrong’—are placed in the category of whores.

 

Women always seem to have a raw deal, especially in some countries where sexism is rampant and women are viewed as the property of men—a gender to be exploited for the pleasure of man. While viewpoints have changed over the years, women are still categorized, labelled, assigned names, if they are viewed as being too puritanical or too promiscuous. It seems like one can never do it right as either extreme draws its own share of nasty comments and labelling.

 

In the early, teenage years, it starts off by using lose terms like ‘chick’, ‘gal’, and ‘babe’ to address girls, albeit without any derogatory intention in mind. But, over time, many of these labels get deeply ingrained and are replaced by more nasty and prejudiced ones like a slut, whore, Madonna, or tart based on a man’s perception of the woman in a current situation. 

 

While some of these phrases infantilize women, like baby, doll, and chick, others like blonde, bimbo, or ditz are often used disparagingly to indicate that the woman is less than intellectually competent and better suited as an arm candy or a decorative item. 

 

This apart, one of the greatest generalizations is the categorization of women as either a Madonna or a whore. It should come as no surprise that the Madonna-Whore complex, as it is labelled, was first put forth by Sigmund Freud, the man who is considered as the father of psychoanalysis. This complex is used to define how men look at women and instantly categorize them. The women they respect or those they feel are ‘marriage material’ are placed in the Madonna slot while those who are perceived as wild—desirable been seen as ‘wrong’—are placed in the category of whores. These women clearly cannot be taken to family gatherings, and there is never an intention to get emotionally attached to or hang out with these women. 

Fantasy, Fire, Angel, Black, Magic, Mystical

 

 

As a result, most women are scared to tell a man who they see a future with about their past and the number of men they have hooked up with over the years for being branded a whore and losing credibility with the man in question. They hide who they really are instead and try and fit into the Madonna complex, desperate to be viewed as women who are pure, kind, patient, and a good catch.

Women are often instructed not to share too much information about their past, be vague about the men they have dated, and stay within the Madonna construct if they are looking to settle down and be part of the happily-ever-after tribe. 

On the flip side, men who have been sexually active with multiple partners are never judged by their sexual activities and are not branded on the basis of this. These very men though want to be seen with a woman who they believe will fit the role of a wife and a mother and very often, once she bears a child, they no longer look at her as a sexual being, choosing instead to ditch the Madonna for the whore who will fulfill all their wildest fantasies without them feeling guilty (after all she is a loose, slutty woman with very little to lose). 

Angel, Virgin, Goddess, Purity, Religion, Symbolism

 

 

While times are changing and theories such as the Madonna-Whore complex are being questioned, we are still a long way off from being part of a progressive society where women are treated as equals and are not labelled by sexist men who believe these women were in the first place created to keep them happy. On this International Women’s Day while we look into what still prevails in the society, the first step to ensure that these complexes don’t become more deeply entrenched is by making women more confident of their choices in life (personal as well as professional) where they are unafraid to be honest about their past and present. It is only when we move past these constructs that there will be hope for a happier, healthier, and gender-neutral society. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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