Something really powerful is happening: women all over the world are empowering themselves and others through reconnecting with the feminine. It appears that for way too long we have been living in societies dominated by the masculine. Masculinity is generally regarded as more powerful than femininity and its power has brought us to where we are today, but to grow further we need to embrace the feminine and reclaim our feminine power.
My interested in femininity got renewed after reading and hearing about the ongoing developments. This is a movement I would want to be part of! However, first I’d have to connect to the feminine myself… What is femininity really? And how does it relate to female, and to masculine and male?
In my search, last December I suggested to a feminism discussion group to discuss a theme related to it: sexuality, femininity and masculinity, to which extent we identify with our sex and gender and which role this plays in society. A few weeks later I found myself hosting the very discussion. Most of all, I was hoping to get loads of interesting input from the group, for it to be a fruitful discussion of which we could all learn.
First, I set out to get clarity about the terms male, female, masculinity and femininity. I assumed we’d be on a similar page, or that we could work it out quickly, but it wasn’t easy! The discussion never really headed to where I intended it to go, because it kept being stuck here in the conceptualisation stage. For clarity and fun, we constructed lists of qualities we thought fit masculine and feminine. Sadly, they were really messy. After playing, the conclusion from the group was: ‘This is bullshit, this is what lives in our society but it’s not true. There’s no such thing as masculine (male) or feminine (female) qualities.’ (The terms masculine and male, as well as feminine and female, kept being mixed up throughout the discussion.)
Then I asked the group: ‘So if this is your conclusion, does that mean that you do not identify with being either male or female?’ Eyes widened by surprise. Things were about to get more interesting! And that’s exactly when we were asked to leave the café, because it was closing. We drifted apart.
I was disappointed by how the discussion went, but it also illustrated that it is indeed a tough subject to talk about! For most people it is not clear what these terms are supposed to mean. Is there even a clear definition? Is it possible to define?
My search didn’t end here. I browsed some books about related themes and I have been following a few websites, etcetera. And now, finally, I found an awesome illustration of what the difference between the feminine and the masculine. I am thrilled to pour at least some of it into this blog post, hoping to make it more clear for myself and others and to keep the conversation and movement going and growing.
In my understanding femininity and masculinity are energies. We all have both in us, but in varying ratios. Most females have more femininity than masculinity, and most males have it the other way around. I find it plausible for these energies to be at play when selecting a partner: we seek a partner whose energies complement our own. However, these energies are not static; they flow. There’s an ever-changing flow of energies.
Illustrated by Claire Zammit
Before, I listened to a podcast by Claire Zammit, co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses which have helped hundreds of thousands of women to get empowered. She talked about the feminine in a way I hadn’t heard before.
In this post I will use the transcript of this interview with Claire Zammit by Emerging Women, to get to what I thought was super interesting! You may also choose to just listen to the interview instead of reading my shortened version.
In the interview, Claire tells a story to explain the feminine. It is about how years ago she and her ‘women coaching’ partner, both of them successful women, actually felt ‘a very painful and confusing gap between the deeper potentials that [they] sensed for who [they] were as women‘. They recognized that women all over the world felt like this.
With a group of women, they did the same exercise as I did with the discussion group: they listed feminine and masculine qualities. The feminine qualities they found were: flowing, intuitive, receptive, surrendered, nurturing. Their identified typical masculine qualities were: logical, linear, hard, angular, penetrating.
It is interesting that they found that they, all women, were drawn to the feminine qualities, but that they were actually afraid to lose power: ‘what was noticed was that we were hungry, as a group, as women, to experience these more feminine qualities. We were very drawn, but there was a collective fear that if we allowed ourselves to be scented in these qualities, that there would be a loss of power. So there was [this idea that] we were drawn to power, we’re drawn to this feminine, but it occurs like somehow there’s no power available to us.‘
They looked up the word power in the dictionary and this is what they found: ‘To do, to act, to accomplish, political force, might.’ Well, these things are all (related to) masculine qualities! The group of women came to realize that they have been living in more of a masculine version of power.
Claire continues with the exploration and explanation of the difference between the feminine and the masculine (power). Claire explains that ‘the masculine system of power [or] anything that’s predictable or controllable that you can create with a step-by-step plan—like building a house.‘ She speaks about how the masculine has lead us to huge accomplishments as mankind, like science and industry.
This line is spot on:
‘It’s not that [the masculine is] wrong and bad, it’s just insufficient to create the things that we’re now most yearning for.‘
To me, this makes so much sense! I cannot put it in better words than Claire, so I happily keep using the interview transcript.
Feminine power is about creating ‘our lives as an expression of who we truly are and an expression of our deepest gifts. We [want to] realize our higher spiritual potentials, our potentials for our relationships, for our larger creative contribution.’
‘So feminine power is really the power to create those things that can’t be controlled: true love, intimacy, higher creativity, the realization of your spiritual potential, your creative gifts, being able to impact others. All of these things we need to be able to access with more of a feminine system of power that we’ve found is based upon the feminine principle of relatedness.‘
I am so thrilled by this!
But how to go from here? How do we go from a masculine power system to a feminine power system? How do we use feminine power?
The conversation goes on for quite some time, and I cannot cover everything here. Also, I don’t fully grasp everything. What is the feminine principle of relatedness? Well, Claire is actually referring to relationships! First, we need to work on our relationship with ourselves.
‘In our work, we teach that [there are] three primary sources of feminine power, and [the first is] our relationship with ourselves, getting into an empowered relationship with our feelings and emotions so that we can transform and embody the deeper truth of who we are. (…)
Secondly, to be able to step into this rich co-creative relationship with the energy and intelligence of life and access our own inner guidance and the intelligence and creativity of the life process. And finally, in our relationships with each other. I think we’re so deeply entrenched in a paradigm of competition and autonomy. We feel like there’s something insufficient in us if we need help or partnership or support. But we’ve really found that the truth is we can’t become ourselves by ourselves, and we actually need to learn how to open up and receive and generate support at an unprecedented level to be able to create in this way.‘
We got work to do peepz.
So what are we going to do about it?
If you are interested, you can take Claire’s ‘free online class’ here (it is good to listen to!), check out her website and other materials (explanations and such). She is also hosting a Female Power training program and I am sure this is good too, but this is rather expensive (it can totally be worth it, though, please judge for yourself what it can bring you!).
With boiling enthusiasm I will continue the journey and exploration of the feminine! I am thrilled to get to learn to work with it.
Also, if you are reading this: be sure to check out the free, 2-week Woman Rising Event that is happening right now! I am very thankful for finding it and for being able to connect with and learn from these 36 (!!) powerful women through watching their videos, browsing their websites and downloading the free materials (which are mostly Ebooks, and for what I’ve seen: very valuable!).