I have a confession to make to you sisters, and it isn’t a particularly pretty one. I hope you’ll hear me out. It brought me to a personal realization of how woman can change the world.
For the majority of my life I have looked down on women and feminine traits.
Emoting was seen as weakness. I believed nurturing was codependency. I looked at affection as neediness. Women who wanted to stay at home with the kids were oppressed. Women who showed their bodies through revealing clothing were desperate. Being soft meant being ignorant. Being vulnerable was basically asking to be taken advantage of.
I know, it’s pretty gross. I’m not proud of it.
Intellectually I understand that emoting is healthy, nurturing is natural and affection is necessary. Women (or men) who stay at home with the kids are full of courage and stamina. It requires defiance to love your body as a woman – a defiance that deserves to be honored. Softness only exists with strength, and vulnerability is built on valor.
My brain knows all of that, but something deep inside of me sneaks up in dark judgement from time to time. It sucks. I want to lovingly embrace the feminine outside of me as well as within.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Recently I’ve been making my way through Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ incomparable book Women Who Run with the Wolves. It is an exploration of the Wild Woman archetype, how she has shown up in stories and our lives. A major theme of the book is the suppression of Wild Woman and all things feminine divine that she holds, such as intuition and psychic capabilities.
I grow increasingly frustrated with the passing of each mind-blowing chapter. For the love of all things good and whole, let Wild Woman be! Why has she been pushed, punished and banished for so many years in so many cultures?!
Through this question, internally yelled in anger, an answer sprung forth eagerly. An answer for Wild Woman and the negativity I’ve felt towards women in my own life.
For the most part, Wild Woman has been forced into the shadows of society and the inner psyche by men – and women like me. Is that because we’re a bunch of jerks? Villains? Well, that certainly would make things easier.
For countless generations the feminine divine has been under attack – in women, yes, but more aggressively in men. Any sign of feminine traits in men is humiliated out of them at a very early age.
Somewhere down the line men were expected to ONLY express or have masculine traits. Everything outside of that is socially punished, thus making men feel shame for their feminine energy.
It’s not hard for me to understand that this message, received at such a young age, was deeply programmed in despite being polluted.
Feminine traits = being weak, less than, unacceptable. Unlovable. Meanwhile, masculine traits are rewarded.
In a young mind this translates to boy = good, girl = bad. As the years go by the natural evolution of this is man = superior, woman = inferior, and I don’t have to go into detail of the treatment that results.
As I discussed in a previous post, I was brought up surrounded by masculine traits – both in my home as well as the culture. This might sound strange considering I grew up with a single mom and only sisters. We were a house full of women, but that doesn’t always translate to feminine.
As a girl growing up in the midwest on a farm with 5 brothers, my mom learned that men were more important, that masculine traits were desirable and that women were meant to serve them.
My father grew up just a few hours away in another farming community in Iowa where any sign of “weakness” was severely beaten out of him. The message came across loud and clear.
Of course, they weren’t the only ones getting this message. It has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries.
Being abused as a young girl, I learned quickly that men have power and can take what they want from you. As a result, I learned masculine = power, feminine = unsafe. Unfortunately, this theme shows up all too often in this country and cultures around the world. Leaning into my masculine energy was a no-brainer.
Over the last several years I have worked to get rid of this programming. I explored power in all its forms and came to rest in the ultimate power – that which comes from self-sovereignty. I continue to engage in the harmonious dance of masculine and feminine, and I still step on my own feet.
Embracing my own feminine divine was an obvious first step, but it can’t be the last one.
As women, we don’t have a shot at proper treatment until the feminine divine itself is honored, and that won’t happen until it is embraced in ALL of us.
Now more than ever we need to push for evolution. The evolution of perception, belief and action. An evolved world that embraces the harmony of divine feminine and masculine to achieve the greatest human potential.
As unfair as it is (and it really is unfair), I believe the onus is on today’s women to bring forth this new world.
Let’s be real, the dudes aren’t going to do it. Why would they? The system was built to benefit them (superficially at least). How could they? The breaking of their natural state began before their precious naked form emerged from their original goddess mother.
Truth is, they have been as screwed as we are.
Isn’t it time we start working together to birth a system – a world – that honors the sacred in each of us whether that expresses in leather or lace?