Quick, lock the bedroom door, she’s angry again

Published 7:42 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By Staff
Is she crazy, is she hormonal or is she finally shouting the truth?
We're all familiar with the stereotype of the angry woman.
A shrieking shrew who sends her family scurrying for cover anytime she threatens to break.
The only way to make her more upset is to suggest that she's being "hormonal."
My own dear husband has learned that nothing unleashes a torrent of female rage faster than for him to hint that I'm cranky because it's "that time of the month."
Talk about feeling dismissed.
The only thing worse is for him to suggest a little "love" to improve my mood.
Well ladies, guess what? The men might be right. Pleasure is closely connected to anger. No, you don't need to get angry to experience pleasure; in fact it's just the opposite.
You can't experience pleasure when you're angry.
Best-selling author and women's health guru Dr. Christiane Northrup says, "When you're holding onto anger and resentment, you are incapable of feeling the degree of pleasure you could feel."
In her newest book, "The Secret Pleasures of Menopause" (yes, you read that title correctly) Northrup says that recognizing and releasing anger and negativity is one of the seven secret keys to opening the door to wonderful sexuality and sensuality.
But I think the operative word here is releasing, as in releasing the anger, not stifling it.
Which circles back to the screaming shrew and our female stereotypes.
There's a commonly held myth that middle-aged women get mean when they go through menopause, or at the very least experience crazy mood swings.
It's like "that time of the month" on turbo charge.
However, Dr. Northrup suggests that what's really happening is the hormonal veil – a potent cocktail of hormones that hits at about age 12 and often causes women in male-dominated societies to shut up and play nice – is lifting, and decades of suppressed anger and resentment are finally coming out.
Which explains the increasingly common phenomenon of a middle-aged man who spends 10 or 20 years thinking everything is OK, and is then suddenly confronted by a crazy woman who drags out his every mistake.
"Women have memories like elephants," Northrup says. "At the time she wasn't even aware of the sacrifice. But when the filing cabinet bursts, all the ways we did not get our needs met, every slight, is out there on the carpet."
"It's when our subconscious finally meets our consciousness," says Northrup.
So how do you go from rage to pleasure? And is it too late if you're already angry and middle-aged? Actually, Northrup says that middle age is the perfect time for women to get aggressive about pursuing pleasure. "The Secret Pleasures of Menopause" (Hay House) was birthed out of her desire to write about "how pleasure heals the body."
The book – a short easy read, about a tenth the size of Northrup's previous magnum opus best-sellers – describes how to achieve maximum levels of nitric oxide, an amazing little molecule which is quite literally the "spark of life" (think female Viagra).
But Northrup's primary message is emotional.
"Pleasure," she says, "is not optional, it's something your brain needs," advising women that physical and emotional health are connected to a passionate sex life.
"Desire" she writes, "is the voice of God." So listen up family, you're on your own for dinner. God is telling me I deserve a bubble bath and after that who knows what I might be in the mood for.
Her books include "Forget Perfect" and "Finding Grace When You Can't Even Find Clean Underwear." Contact her at www.ForgetPerfect.com.