The Femme Fatale

To a smart girl

men are not the problem,

they’re the answer.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

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A bit of noir for Halloween?  This series is a tribute to the femme fatale, French for “deadly woman,” that mythical figure in film and literature of the irresistible woman who lures men to their downfall with seemingly supernatural powers. On my recent cruise down the Rhine river, she’s Loreley whom careless sailors blamed for their sunken ships. In Biblical history, she’s the one Adam pointed a finger at, whining, “She made me eat it!” She’s famously associated with noir films: glamorous, sexy, strong, duplicitous, sometimes lethal. She uses her charms on a male protagonist, usually a lonely man grateful for her attention and is willingly manipulated into unscrupulous acts.

Now that contemporary women are bent on professional success, women may bristle at the thought that they can only get what they want through entrapment, artifice, and seduction rather than through meritocratic achievement. We want to downplay, if not deny, the power of our sexuality as a tool to employ in navigating our place in the world.

Not the femme fatale.

She is at ease with her femininity and hold men in her thrall. She brings out their chivalry, the hero, the protector they want to be. She may want them to commit irrational acts yet they’ll be eager to please.  The femme fatale may be a man’s nightmare, but she is also his fantasy: a woman in charge of her own sexuality who’d take charge of his as well.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite femme fatale. Happy Trick or Treat!

xoxox

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xoxox

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of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Alice In Wonderland

 

 

Everything in the world

is about sex except sex.

Sex is about power.

Oscar Wilde

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Scarier than zombies, ghouls and witches, my Halloween thoughts wander down the rabbit hole of sexuality having three know-it-all teens curious about tricks and treats. Excerpts from Deborah L. Spar’s Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection:

Until the shift in social norms that Helen Gurley Brown captured and Erica Jong brought to conclusion, women were still bound by the contractual nature of courtship: sex in exchange for a husband/protector, two cows or true love.

Women may lead themselves to believe that now that they can have casual sex, they are truly playing the same game as men. In theory, hooking up means men are now commodified as easily as women. In practice, though, it also means women are no longer in a position to ask for anything but sex in exchange for sex–not marriage, not a date, not even a phone call the next morning or a ride home.

Unless women actually enjoy casual sex, they may have struck a deal that works against their own best interests.  Women may like sex as much as men. They may want it as frequently and in the same infinity of permutations. But the link between sex and relationship is stronger for women, as is the social penalty for promiscuity.

Ultimately, the question is whether women truly enjoy the freedom of uncommitted sex.  Are women equally content to give and get sex for nothing, or have they given men what men want (easy and cheap sex) without getting much in return?

The widespread embrace of the hooking-up norm may be one of womankind’s greatest gift to men: No real commitment. No real feelings required. This is like a man’s paradise!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you have gained in pursuit of this liberty.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

 

Face To Face

It’s not that I’m afraid to die.

I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

Woody Allen

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When I was growing up, Halloween was All Souls Day.   Parties, costumes and candy had absolutely nothing to do with it.  The closest it came to partying was how we had to hang out with relatives at the cemetery, saying hello to the families in the grave next door as we cleaned up family plots in honor of our dear departed. I have no doubt I would have much preferred trick or treat.

From Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart”:

We are raised in a culture that fears death and hides it from us. Nevertheless, we experience it all the time. We experience it in the form of disappointment, in the form of things not working out. We experience it in the form of things always being in the process of change. When the day ends, when the second ends, when we breathe out, that’s death in everyday life.

Death in everyday life can also be defined as experiencing all the things we don’t want. Our marriage isn’t working; our job isn’t coming together. Having a relationship with death in everyday life means that we begin to be able to wait, to relax with insecurity, with panic, with embarrassment, with things, not working out. Time passing is as natural as the seasons changing and day turning into night. But getting old, getting sick losing what we love–we don’t see these events as natural occurrences. We want to ward off that sense of death, no matter what.

Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, to make friends with yourself, to not run away from yourself no matter what’s going on. Fear of death is the background of the whole thing. It’s why we feel restless, why we panic, why there’s anxiety. But if we totally experience hopelessness, giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship with our lives, an honest, direct relationship, one that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death.

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. From an awakened point of view, that’s life. Death is wanting to hold on to what you have to have every experience confirm you and congratulate you and make you feel completely together.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your thoughts.  Trick or treat!

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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