For over two hundred years, women have been fighting for their rights. Rights to vote, own property, join the workforce, equal pay, and so on. Yet, despite our seemingly endless fight for inclusion as a gendered category, something I have yet to encounter is any mainstream or educated discussion on what it truly means to be feminine, and the value it holds for us as a larger society, and individually.
To me, it appears that in order to fight for our equal, and certainly deserving, rights, we’ve simultaneously found ourselves neglecting much of our feminine essence. Throughout this agonizing process, women have had to adapt to a “work-world” almost entirely based on masculine directives. Therefore, while adapting for our survival, we became exceptionally good at wearing our “masculine masks.”
Overtime, these “masks” became a normality, and have since seeped into all wakes of our lives. Young women and girls grow up among a society that puts negative value on ideas of vulnerability, exposing one’s emotions, community, and emotional connections as a whole. In other words, young girls become women having only been taught the strengths of masculinity, and the weaknesses of femininity. And the worst part? They haven’t learned this in any direct way; it has been handed to them silently, without choice.
“It is my personal belief that most women must feel a deep-rooted longing to reconnect with a part of their authentic feminine selves, that they have endlessly been taught to neglect.”
Much of feminism has been widely misconstrued into an idea that we not only can, but should be everything a man can be. While I agree that we can, and undoubtedly deserve equal freedoms regardless of gender, the inherent problem lies in the aspect of should. So much of our mentality has been based around masculine toughness, and the idea that we should fight for what we want.
“Admitting that we are tender in any form has seemingly become some kind of social suicide.”
Yet, if in this new era we are truly going to move forward as a society, what we refuse to see is the immensely lacking logic that lies within our plan. Throughout history we have seen the lives of people propelled by aggression create war, murder innocents, and lose battles, only to get us right back to where we are now. Everywhere we go there are people yearning for genuine connections and crying for our help.
Yet, our refusal to find our fearlessness by means of facing our weaknesses continues. And, as difficult as it may be, until we can get back to a place of authentic vulnerability, both feminine strengths, we cannot win the endless battle we face.