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Menopause and the Old Hags in Fairy Tales

Updated on August 24, 2014

My experience with menopause has caused me to rethink some of the fairy tales of old and that maybe, just maybe some of those old witches and hags actually were given a bad rap. I mean those old women were probably just suffering from menopause. It's not like they had hormone replacement therapy or supplements back then. There were no beauty parlors, hair coloring kits or make-overs. They were on their own. It kind of gives you a whole different perspective when it comes to reading these stories.

Lets take for example, the wicked queen in Snow White who turned into an old hag to kill the beautiful Snow White ...jealous much? If that isn't a parody of what happens during menopause I don't know what is? Not that I would actually carry out my murderous thoughts towards these young beautiful girls but hey, these ideas don't come from nowhere and it's not easy to see your looks fade while little miss snow white flaunts her smooth white skin and lushes black hair while singing all over the palace. I can see it now, how annoying. And back then when this story took place there was no make-up, Botox or face-lifts...what's an old queen to do, even her friend and confidant “The Mirror” betrays her. I think we should give the broad a break. Instead she ends up hurling down some cliff in a tragic end to a much misunderstood life.


The wicked witch in Hansel and Gretel lived in a forest in a candy covered cottage. How many of you out there have dreamt of the peace and solitude of life in the country away from every annoyance that seems to come out of no where and is everywhere? How many of you want to be left alone to eat candy or ice cream or what have you without the constant stress of worrying about every single pound that will not depart from your hips no matter how many miles you jog your ass on that damned treadmill or how much you starve yourself? Isn't it the dream of every post-menopausal woman to just be left alone with her cake, in peace and quiet. That’s all the old witch probably wanted..and then what happens? Two annoying little kids start to eat her house! Who wouldn't get upset! So she went a little far and thought about eating them too. There was no Wal-mart or Home Depot close by. Give the hag a break! There was no hormone replacement therapy back then. I'm sure she would have been just fine if there was..poor thing. Hansel and Gretel should have left her alone and I'm sure she would have left them alone. After all who wants to go through all the trouble of fattening up and cooking two little kids when you have a candy house to eat..it doesn't really make sense now does it?

In Sleeping Beauty the old witch gets pissed off because she was excluded from the party. So she casts a spell and everyone falls asleep for 1000 years give or take after Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger. Here's another example of a poor old woman who was excluded from a social gathering and misunderstood. I would feel pretty bad if that happened to me. I might even want to cast a spell as well. And really, what's so wrong with sleeping for 1000 years, doesn't sound so bad to me since I haven't had a decent nights sleep in months. Maybe, the poor old witch was thinking she was doing them a favor, she probably hadn't gotten a good nights sleep in a long time either. All she wanted was to be invited to the party. I hope you think about this the next time you throw a party and don't want to include that crazy aunt or old mother of yours, even witches and hags have feelings!

Wretched, old, ugly, grumpy..yes, misunderstood? Most definitely!

So next time some book or movie portrays an older woman in a bad light I hope you think twice about it..the poor thing is probably suffering from post-menopausal syndrome and just trying to get through the friggen day without killing herself and/or others. Show a little compassion and understanding. And if that is too much to ask just give us a little candy cottage in the forest and leave us alone, we'll be happy and you'll be happy too!!! :)

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    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Oh I am sure of it. Thanks for commenting "ologinquito".

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 

      4 years ago from USA

      This is a cute article. :) Some people, women included, do seem to get grumpier with age. However, I bet at one time there were herbal remedies to deal with hormonal changes.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Wonderful, thanks "LeslieAdreinne"

    • LeslieAdrienne profile image

      Leslie A. Shields 

      4 years ago from Georgia

      Hysterical!!! I am sharing this with my friends, (both pre and post menopausal).... Great post!

    • alienangel555 profile image

      alienangel555 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Ain't it the truth!

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Storytellersrus.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Great twist on one of my favorite subjects- the fairy tale. Having gone through menopause a decade ago, I can really laugh... as my bones crack.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Trish, my mind works in mysterious ways :)

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      5 years ago from The English Midlands

      A very interesting take on the subject :) :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      It's a dream though :)

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 

      5 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Being left alone to eat what you like can have it's consequences - remember, 'There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" - food for thought!! ;-)

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      Me either, until ...now :) Thanks for commenting.

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 

      5 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      I never really thought about the "old hags" perspective in all of those stories. But, indeed, menopause does make a lot more sense of it all!

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      We should form a Union! Thanks for commenting, I'll take all the camaraderie I can muster.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      OMG. I can totally relate to this. THanks for the laugh and comraderie with a fellow crone.

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