I want to tell you a story about a little girl, the little girl above, who was born in 5th Ward but grew up in Alief, Houston, Texas. She was a beautiful chocolate little thing. One of two granddaughters out of 17 grandchildren. She loved playing with Tonka trucks and running track. To her mother’s chagrin, she preferred climbing trees over playing with dolls. Every chance her mother would get, she’d buy her daughter Barbie dolls, for which said daughter would promptly say, ‘She doesn’t look like me’ and promptly rip the head off and throw its remains on top of her grandmother’s roof. Or something even more devious, make them hump naked Ken or G.I. Joe dolls. Mama Dear, her grandmother’s, roof was literally a cemetery for perky breasted dismembered Barbie dolls.
Despite her dislike of Barbie dolls and the countless fights over Tonka trucks with her male cousins, she enjoyed her easy bake oven and making paper dolls and clothes. But these fanciful things were not good enough for her mother, she was still too TOMBOYISH. Growing up the message was that a gentle voice, a soft hand, passiveness, and poofy pink dresses were feminine and she did not come near the mark – in fact, she despised, nay loathe the color pink. She would throw tantrums any time her mom would come near her with the color.
Let’s keep it real, home, wasn’t the only place that little girl heard that her form of femininity was not truly feminine or acceptable in fact. As she got older and started dating, she would often hear from her boyfriends that she was too bossy, a few said she was too damned independent, many said she needed to tone it down, and the list went on. Many times people used the term lesbian to bring her to heel. As if being a lesbian is a bad thing—she knew plenty of queer folks that were quite awesome. And when she decided at 21 that she was not going to have children, ever, the shit really hit the fan. To this day her mom thinks something is wrong with her.
Many of us women were fed this ideology of the feminine. Many more were bullied by our mothers or other women and girls because we did not fall into the two main categories of women; Housewife or ballbuster. Well, I hope to help debunk the outdated, antiquated, patriarchal bastardized versions of femininity. Through my Women of the Week posts, I aim to help you create your true meaning of femininity, and experience the many aspects of it and the power that comes with it.
SO, what is the difference between masculine and feminine? Well what that young lady’s mother and many other mothers do not know is the version of feminine they were trying to press upon their daughters isn’t feminine at all, it is the performance of femininity.
Let me first express to you what the feminine is not…It is not high heels, red lips, or Betty Homemaker. It is not always passive or overly aggressive. It is not giving or results oriented. It is not conformist. No, most of those things are either a performance of femininity or masculine energy.
Simply put, feminine energy is the manifestation of the divine. It is not the opposite of Masculine. The Masculine creates, the feminine manifests. It represented by the portrait of Kali standing on her husband Shiva the creator. Many feminists today misinterpret this scene. They believe it is Kali or Shakti taking her power from the patriarchy. This observation could not be further from the truth. This depiction shows that Shakti or in this case Kali, is the physical manifestation of the divine and in order to manifest the physical, you must be grounded in the divine, the creator, the masculine. These two energies are not polarized or at war. No, they work together to create AND manifest the realm we live in today. And since we are divine sparks or manifestations or expressions of the divine there are many attributes to that energy and how it shows up.
The feminine is nurturing, creative, chaotic. The feminine knows how to go into the dark and grow and come out better than ever. The feminine is fierce, it fears nothing. It is abundant, accepting, and strategic. The feminine is experiential, it is about getting knee deep in it, having the experience, and being present in the moment. There is no such thing as succeeding or failing in the feminine realm, it is all about the experience. The feminine is like this planet we call home. It is always fruitful, mysterious, and unexpected. It can be generative at times and dissolving at others. It carries the power to give life and take it away—that very phrase our mothers would say to us ‘I brought you into this world, and I can take you out’ was unbeknownst to them, tapping into feminine power.
Walking in the feminine allows us to attract love, support, and abundance. It gives us the space to be uniquely and authentically ourselves. It provides the ability to collaborate.
We have accepted unbalanced masculine AND feminine ways for the last few millennia and as a result, our planet is sick, there is inequality, hunger, poverty, and war being waged all over the world. Time is up! It is time for us to embody and integrate the feminine in all areas of our lives. She can longer remain in the dark and resigned to the back of the bus. It is time for a revolution.
Remember the story about the little girl that I was telling you about earlier? Well, that little girl grew up wanting to travel the world. At age 18, she joined the military so that she could travel beyond her neighborhood. She wanted to go to Europe, so she was stationed in Sicily. Anything she set her mind on, she would aim for it and somehow managed to attract all of the opportunities to her.
She wanted to teach in China and Korea, she did. When she was 25 she packed up her little car and drove to NYC because she wanted to sing and act and spent a year there. That little free-spirited little girl, who saw the beauty in the world and understood that there was more to see beyond her borders, no matter the pressure placed on her by other men and women to get married, settle down and have babies, her little bohemian soul took her places those people could only dream of.
I am sure that there are many women reading this post that identify with that little girl with the knotted hair and dirty dresses. That little girl was me, she’s some of you. Continue to follow my blog to learn more about the Psychology of Jung’s feminine archetypes. I will be using women from pop culture to educate you on them.
Until next post…