For some reason I never really linked up Lycanthropy with repression before reading it in Kier-La Janisse’s wonderful House of Psychotic Women, today. Which is weird because I always made that connection with Jekyll and Hyde and the Hulk. I guess I saw the wolf as may be less repressed, than expressed
The wolf was always the real thing to me, so the human I viewed more as a skin.
So not so much repression as a deception, which is the same thing, but not the same thing. And I mean deception in the sense of survival, not predation. The wolf has to use the human skin, because otherwise the pitchforks and torches come out, and its being chased through the swamps time.
The werewolf is ostensibly an internalized doppelganger, though. It is a double. Or the human is it’s double. It’s usually not until one side becomes aware of the other that the struggle begins. If the werewolf kills its other half, it becomes a vampire. A monster with no human skin, divorced of its history.
I think that the discord of the werewolf is in its inability to accept both of its halves as part of the same whole. To be a werewolf is to have both the wolf skin and the human skin, concurrently. The struggle that arises is often because of societal pressure to either be one thing or the other, and in doing so, divorce itself entirely of the history of the other.
I see it this way because I project my own transgender history into it, and think about how I am the same being that I was before I came out. There are components to me that society has judged inappropriate in their conjunction, and the pressure has always been to divorce myself from one half or the other, and in doing so lose my history on either side. To go from one closet into another. The choice, the way it is posed culturally, is to either keep the wolf in its skin, or become fully monstrous. To become a soulless vampire with no history before its vampirism, hunched stealthily in the shadows, hiding from the light. I don’t really think that decision makes very much sense. Part of identity is the way you order the events of your life, and you really do need the totality, to have any kind of agency in who you are, and what you can do with your life. To abrogate large chunks of that, simply so things are clean cut and less threatening to people’s need for clear answers, and defined dichotomies is unhealthy.
A werewolf is a thing unto itself. It is neither human or wolf. It is both human and wolf. It’s just wolf. It’s just human. It is the totality of all of those things as truths irrespective of their apparent surface contradiction. I was born with boy parts, and lived my formative years being treated as a boy, and being expected to be a boy. But I am a girl, and I was then, and I am now. I’ve lived almost as much time in my life out as a girl, as I did as a girl who was expected to be a boy. Who I am is an immutable series of experiences that were both shaped by who I am, and shaped me into who I continue to be. That that doesn’t fit into the shoebox of column A or Column B, is a you problem, not a me problem.
…I also think i read somewhere that werewolves came from witches and the devil getting it on