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Woman Torn


Daily Prompt: Memoir Madness – It was the best of times

The sun began setting

as everyone gathered around –

the sand beneath my feet

served as a cool barrier

to my warm heart

our eyes connected

with each other’s souls –

making promises…

smiles and tears

filled the salty air

the happiest day of my life,

I knew I was loved

Shannon's Creative Work: Weddings &emdash;


Daily Prompt: Memoir Madness

Frida Kahlo – Works of Pain and Anguish

One of my favorite artists is Frida Kahlo. Since I am a huge fan of symbolism, her work sparked my interest while taking a humanities course in college. I immediately found myself wanting to know more about her because of the unusual ways she portrays herself in her paintings.

The Two Fridas

The Two Fridas

Kahlo’s paintings convey both physical and emotional pain that she endured throughout her tragic life. She often dressed herself in men’s clothing to rebel and annoy people, but she had issues with her body after having an injured leg from a bout of polio. She’d been in a bus accident when she was 18 years old, which left her with several broken bones, a fractured spine and confinement to a bed for many years. Probably worst of all for her was the inability to have children.


Kahlo often did destructive things, too. At one point in her life, she cut her beautiful long hair to spite her husband, Diego – probably because of his affairs with other women. In return, she also began having affairs and painted a beautiful portrait of herself to give to her married lover.

Self Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill

Self Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill

It seems that almost all of Kahlo’s paintings I found are self-portraits (and a few still lifes). In none of them does she portray herself as a happy person, which leads me to wonder more about this woman. Was she obsessed with festering in her own self-pity? Was she in more emotional pain than physical? Was she a bit of a narcissist? I think the mysteries lie in the symbols of her artwork.

A little tune about Herland

If Herland was a comedic Broadway play, this is a little tune I wrote for it:

(“Herland” – a Broadway tune written by me)

Males: Herland!

Females: Herland!

All: What is to become of HER?

Solo Male 2: Is it like Themyscira?

Solo Male 1: Is Aphrodite and Diana here?

Males: For two thousand years it was SHE, SHE, SHE!

Females: Strong as any HE, HE, HE!

Males: Short hair! Long pants!

Solo Male 1: The only curves were in the land!

Females: Education!

Lead Female: No reproduction without it!

Males: Education!

Solo Male 2: No man, no hog, no man’s best friend

Solo Female 2: Not even some little Lepidoptera…

All: Only Education is important in… Herland!

Solo Male 2: I will serve and protect!

Lead Female: Will not!

Solo Male 3: I will conquer and win!

Lead Female: Will not!

Males: It’s Herland!

Solo Male 1: New language, new clothes, new country, new fortress!

Solo Male 2: New land!

Males: HERland!

Solo Male 3: Now we must plan our escape.

Lead Female: Don’t think so.

Solo Male 2: But our biplane is covered in a giant cape…

Lead Female: You must master our mastering.

Males: We must obey.

Solo Male 3: We must discover their secrets of reproductivity…

Solo Male 2: We must befriend and seduce…

Lead Female: Now all of their attention is He, He, He,

Not one, not two, but three –

NONE is enough for me!

Solo Female 1: I got my eye on…

Lead Female: Enough!

Solo Male 1: I got my eye on…

Lead Female: Enough!

Males: We’ve got our eyes on Herland!

Females: They have their eyes on Herland!

All: All the eyes are on Herland!

Solo Male 2: I got my eye on HER!


Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Sexual Innuendos, Weak & Evil Females

I took an online course taught by University of Michigan professor Eric Rabkin. Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World. Our first assignment was to read Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales (Lucy Crane translation with Walter Crane illustrations) and write a themed essay of 270-320 words.

Shannon's Creative Work: PARANORMAL PROJECT &emdash; History Repeats

Several of the Grimm stories contain sexual innuendos and exhibit female characters as either weak or evil. In the weaker female character versions, they can only be saved by a male.

In “The Rabbit’s Bride”, the female character (maiden) is both lonely and gullible. The male character (rabbit) lures the maiden to sit on his tail, which is clearly a sexual pun, and the gullible maiden agrees to run off with the rabbit to get married. Likewise, the female character (mouse) in “Cat & Mouse in Partnership” is both gullible and weak. She believes her male (cat) partner’s lies and in the end becomes his victim when he no longer wants her to speak. The weak and gullible female (princess) character in “Faithful John” is taken by the merchant upon false pretenses after he opens his coat and shows her his “golden wares”, which could be yet another sexual innuendo. Even after being fooled, the princess still marries the King and later believes the lies he tells her.

“Clever Grethel” lives up to her name. She is conniving with both her gullible male master (who is perhaps her husband) and his guest. Giving that she is cooking two “cocks”, it may be suggested that the guest is someone with whom Grethel is having an affair.
Shannon's Creative Work: PARANORMAL PROJECT &emdash; Out of the Darkness

Some of the stories contain both a weak and an evil female character. While the princess in “The Goose Girl” is too weak to fend for herself against the wicked waiting-woman, in the end it is a male character that saves her. “The Raven” is another example of a story in which the main female character (princess) can only be saved by a male, and the male is deceived and drugged by an evil female (old woman) to keep him from rescuing the princess.