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Quick, lock the bedroom door - she's angry again

Is she crazy, is she hormonal or is she finally telling her truths?

We're all familiar with the stereotype of the angry woman. A shrieking shrew who sends people scurrying for cover anytime she threatens to break.

The only way to make her more upset is to suggest that she's just being hormonal.

My own dear husband has learned that nothing unleashes a torrent of female rage faster than for him to hint that I'm cranky because it's "that time" of the month.

Talk about feeling dismissed. The only thing worse is for him to suggest that a little "love" might improve my mood.

Well ladies, guess what? It turns out the men might be right. Anger and pleasure are more closely connected than you might think. No, you don't need to get angry to experience pleasure, in fact it's just the opposite. You can't experience pleasure when you're angry.

Best-selling author and women's health guru Dr. Christiane Northrup said, "when you're holding onto anger and resentment, you are incapable of feeling the degree of pleasure you could feel."

In her newest book, "The Secret Pleasure of Menopause" (yes, you read that title correctly) Northrup says that recognizing and releasing anger and negativity is one of the seven secret keys to opening the door to wonderful sexuality and sensuality.

But I think the operative word here is releasing, as in releasing the anger, not stifling it.

Which circles back to the screaming shrew and our stereotypes about women. There's a commonly held myth that middle-aged women get mean when they go through menopause, or at the very least go through crazy mood swings. It's like that time of the month on turbo charge.

However, Dr. Northrup suggests that what's really happening is the hormonal veil - a potent cocktail of hormones that hits about age 12 and often causes women in male dominated societies to shut up and play nice - is lifting and decades of suppressed anger and resentment finally come out.

Which explains the increasingly common phenomenon of a middle-aged man who spends 10 or 20 years thinking everything is OK, and is suddenly confronted by a crazy woman who drags out his every mistake.

"Women have memories like elephants," Northrup said. "At the time she wasn't even aware of the sacrifice. But when the filing cabinet bursts, all the ways we did not get our needs met, every slight, is out there on the carpet."

Sounds like good times.

So how do you go from rage to pleasure? And is it too late if you're already angry and middle-aged?

Actually, Northrup said that middle age is the perfect time for women to get aggressive about pursuing pleasure. "The Secret Pleasure of Menopause" was birthed out of Northrup's desire to write about "how pleasure heals the body."

The book - a short easy read about a 10th the size of Northrup's previous magnum opus best-sellers - describes how to achieve maximum levels of nitric oxide, an amazing little molecule which is quite literally the "spark of life" (think female Viagra).

But Northrup's main message is more emotional, "Pleasure," she said, "is not optional, it's something your brain needs," advising women that physical and emotional health are connected to a passionate sex life.

"Desire" she wrote "is the voice of God,"

So listen up family, you're on your own for dinner. God is telling me that I deserve a bubble bath and after that who knows what I might be in the mood for.

Snellville resident Lisa Earle McLeod is a nationally recognized speaker and the author of "Forget Perfect" Contact her at www.forgetperfect.com.