Virago means a woman who demonstrates exemplary, heroic qualities. Female Warrior is the original Latin meaning of the word virago. Unfortunately, over time the word’s meaning took on a negative connotation and virago was used to describe a domineering, violent, or bad-tempered woman. Kate from The Taming of the Shrew is one such “virago“. I do wonder though, if perhaps it’s not so much that women were (and are) bad-tempered viragoes as it was that they were/are rebelling against the caged-in existence they were/are supposed to oh so sweetly accept as their lot in life. Truly it doesn’t matter because I am declaring a full take-back of the power that belongs to the word Virago – It means a warrior woman and each and every single woman has a warrior insides her, a Virago waiting to break free and be heard! Women with voices, women with viewpoints, with opinions, with ideas, with power and might – these are Viragoes and they mean business in an awesome way! They are our grandmothers, our mothers, sisters, teachers, friends, US – Viragoes are all around and it is their time to be recognized, honored, and seen!
So beats the heart / it’s pulse a steady beat / the Virago’s heroic soul / meeting head-on the demons that shriek. / She speaks out when it’s hard / listens to the meek / fights with ancestral courage / never giving up nor acknowledging defeat. / She carries on/ forges the way / shouldering the weight of time and history. /Many try to beat Her down / label Her with hate / mark Her with scarlet / demean Her fate. / Still She fights on / in Her unique way / Never surrendering Her soul’s very flame…Ella
Virago may have taken on a demeaning definition, but that will never change it’s origins or true meaning of a Female warrior, one who shows exemplary, heroic qualities. To be named a Virago means a woman who showed Her strong inner core no matter what society or man has or had to say about it and it’s past time we honor that! Let’s reclaim Virago’s positive origins and meaning!
Namaste ~ Ella
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to contact me or suggest it in the comments – I love feedback and recommendations!