"Oh thank God," was my first thought, "something that's not maiden/mother/crone!"Female Archetypes: Warrior, Healer, Queen
I haven't read the novels hapaxnym
is referencing here, but I really like this new triad. The whole maiden/mother/crone thing has always bothered me. I'm pretty sure it works for some people. (There's someone in the comments there saying it works for them!) But for me, "maiden" brings up obsession with virginity and "purity" and slut-shaming. Ick, bleck, ptui. Motherhood doesn't resonate with me at all--I don't want children myself, and would far rather be the awesome aunt or the big sister or the non-family mentor of a younger woman (if I ever get my shit together myself) than have my own kids, bio or adopted. And "crone"? I know that's been reclaimed by some older women, but it doesn't do much for me. Though I could deal with being as badass as Granny Weatherwax, someday. In general, given that I like being female fine but don't derive a great sense of my place in the universe from having a female body, maiden/mother/crone makes me twitch more than it gives me a useful framework.
But Warrior is Eowyn
and Susan Ivanova and Kira Nerys and Jago
and Nita Callahan
and Zoe Washburne and Trinity. And probably my girlfriend. It's strength and protection and being a wall between harm and the innocent. My heart starts pumping a little faster just reading those names. It doesn't have to mean having no heart, or violence for the sake of violence, but it's about being confident in yourself and competent in what you do and willing to use that in service of others who maybe don't have the capabilities you do. I admire warriors.
Female Healers are harder for me to think of in the stories I draw my myths from; female characters are often written as nurturing to the point of losing any independence (as Hapax points out is a failure mode of this type) or interesting plot of their own. So a lot of the healers I draw inspiration from are male (Dr McCoy!) and a lot of the interesting female healers you get are also warriors. But there's Nienna and Estë and Kai Opaka and Martha Jones and Faiza Hussain
and Kaylee Frye (she fixes ships, not people) and Beverly Crusher and Deanna Troi. People laugh at Troi for being too emotional, but I loved the idea of empathy as a healing tool. I want to be someone who builds and heals and defuses flamewars. (Personally I'd colour this one blue and green more than orange--but that's because I love blue. :D Though there is the Red Cross.)
And Queen--queens are Galadriel. And Delenn. Varda and Yavanna. The Doctor Donna. Liz X. Haleth in the Silmarillion was a warrior, but she has the qualities of leadership and strength of will that I associate with a queen. Inspiring people. Seeing the bigger picture and being able to communicate that to other people who fight or heal or create or invent. Queens inspire worship, even as they need other people around them to keep them grounded at times.
So, yeah. This is the kind of thing that makes me love being a woman and shows me how to be a good person in the world. I think there's probably room in there for "creator" or "inventor", but maybe that's a subset of the Healer? In any case, lots of food for thought.