Jean Shinoda Bolen is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst in private practice, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a feminist and former member of the Ms. Foundation for Women. In this lively manifesto, Bolen calls all women in the third phase of life after menopause to become crones. The term as she sees it is just the opposite of dried and old — it refers to "a juicy older woman with zest, passions, and soul. If you aspire to be one, the secret is to be yourself, while your mind, heart, and body still function well enough, and you appreciate being alive."
Bolen has identified 13 qualities for crones to cultivate, including meditation, being fierce about what matters, choosing the path with heart, speaking the truth with compassion, improvising, laughing together, and savoring the good in your life. The author believes that whining is "conduct unbecoming of a crone." She believes that men can be crones too if they are nurturing human beings who care for others.
We concur with Bolen's assessment that women tend to be more conservative when young and become rebellious and radical as they grow older — just the opposite of men. That is why it seems like all the most interesting people in our lives are women. Empathy has radicalized them and an ardor for justice has made them into activists working for future generations.
Crones Don't Whine is a winning and wise little volume!