Why embracing your femininity is NOT a betrayal of the feminist movement

couple black and whiteI like to think that I am a feminist — although these days I’m not too sure what it means.

OK — I looked up the definition of feminism …

Defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. 1

Somehow along the way, being a feminist has meant that you have to be the physical, spiritual and emotional equivalent of a man. Things like the feminine ability to be intuitive, to be “feeling” centred and to inhabit the moment rather than observe it are seen as somehow diminishing the female form.

Ega Jones has written a post about online dating, suggesting that wanting to be pursued by a man is encouraging sexism. I don’t agree. I think it is part of our feminine essence to want to be desired by men and have them work to win our affection. It shows us their character, their ability to be focused and reveals the way they go after what they want. When a man woos us, it demonstrates his ability to negotiate his feelings and to express them appropriately.

At the heart of an intimate sexual relationship is polarity. Masculine and Feminine essences are oppositional (not to be confused with male/female – this applies to same sex relationships and heterosexual relationships where the female takes the masculine role and the male the feminine). The part of your personality you identify most with will attract a partner who inhabits the opposite end of the spectrum.

After living so long in my masculine essence being the big boss in a big job, the financial controller at home, the dieting and exercise discipline queen (or king?) I discovered that I was tired of being in charge.

I wanted someone to take care of me, to open the door for me, to kiss me and tell me how beautiful I was, to adore my naked body no matter what its shape, to listen to my crazy ideas without judgement and to be stronger and tougher than me. So I let all the control go and relaxed into the feminine part of me.

Principally I pulled down my emotional defences and abandoned my desire to be perfect. I asked for what I wanted, I cried when I didn’t get it, and I embraced the part of me I used to think was weak and needy.

And you know the rest

So being a feminist doesn’t mean that you have to inhabit your masculine essence. On the contrary. It means that the feminine essence is to be celebrated as beautiful and precious. It is stripping away this belief that living from our hearts and identifying emotionally with the world is less important than being indestructible and driven.

I’m not saying you have to be this woman that I describe, what I am saying is that you have a choice. You can be as much of a woman as you want without promoting sexism or betraying the feminist sisterhood.

Love fully – give everything now – unfold your heart – resist nothing – breathe everything – open while failing – ravish beyond safety – shine as love’s light – hold nothing back – unguard your sex 

~ David Deida

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About Katie Paul

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Midlife Women

17 thoughts on “Why embracing your femininity is NOT a betrayal of the feminist movement

  1. bloody awesome post!
    I sometimes get stuck in man-girl mode when i’ve been with the blokes at work and then get home and feel like a failure for wanting to feel girly and soft and vulnerable. Its my right to be any combination of these things I just need to train myself to be ok with it.
    thanks Katie.

  2. A good relationship is where the nurturing is both ways – when one is weak, the other is strong. When both are strong, it builds reserves to work when both are weak. That is my 2 bob’s worth.

    1. A loving nurturing relationship is important and takes emotional and intellectual equality but to have a passionate time in the bedroom one needs polarity — one partner in their feminine and the other in their masculine essence.

  3. Great post! I totally agree that we should be as feminine as we want, and not feel that we’re betraying feminism in any way. There are so many different ways to be feminine, and all of them are wonderful. That’s the idea, right? That we don’t all have to fit into one narrow view of gender identity.

    In my post, I was referring to the historical, patriarchal idea that women should be passive receivers of men– and how I saw that mirrored in my own online dating habits. I love to be pursued, and I see nothing wrong with that. I do think that as a general trend, my waiting around for a man to pursue me, plan, and pay for a date falls into that sexist pattern, which is something I’d like to change. I think women can be as passive as they want– but I don’t think the default mode should be passivity, unless it really works for you. I guess that’s my overarching idea– I don’t think there should necessarily be an expected approach for women OR men. I think we should all do what feels right to us.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by.

      I totally agree that our behaviour shouldn’t be just a default mode based on a cultural idea, but that we should all do what feels right for us.

  4. I love this! Personally I’m a christian and i’ve been struggling lately with a relationship that i’m in. I’m 21 and before that was single for three years, was okay with that, and i like cats a lot. :p I was finally coming to a point where i didn’t feel like i needed to get married to have someone else. Gah :p But now i do, at that’s really great in certain areas…but i’m just learning, and how hard this is to swallow..that i want to be cherished, pursued..not like a freaking princess or queen…but not a warden either. It’s such a hard balance 🙁 It’s hard to admit…to this guy, that i feel like i really need to be pursued in a romantic way…even though we’re terrific friends and have a good courting relationship..that fire just wasn’t there. I will still never love pink, but i’m learning to tolerate it..in small doses. And what that looks like if i’m trying to teach my boyfriend how to be romantic..when i’m not even sure what i want or need. Any ideas? :/ I feel inadequate to be the teacher when i burned the textbook.

    1. Perhaps you should just tell him what you just told me. Just talking about the fact that you are not sure what you want will maybe uncover some things. Lead with your heart and he’ll meet you exactly where you need him. Good luck x

  5. Yeeeesssss. I’ve often felt rejected from the feminist movement because I don’t have strong identifications with one side of the spectrum or the other (although I’m not sure that exclusion is actually bad). The ALL GIRL OR NOTHING attitude is exhausting for me mentally and emotionally because it denies us our masculine qualities. The EVERYONE AT MAN LEVEL end is monumentally frustrating because it denies the feminine. Expecting everyone to be the same *anything* is ridiculous and detrimental to our Selves.

    Can’t we all just be awesome people, whatever shade of the spectrum we’re at?

    1. Amen! Since age 9, I identified as a feminist but one I started taking university level English and ‘women’s studies’ classes, I began to have severe doubts. I can remember one class I took which was pretty much controlled by eight women who fit every negative stereotype about feminists that has ever been written. Very demanding, butchy etc. They made you feel like if you had ever had sex with a man and liked it, that somehow you were a traitor. To me those sorts of women give feminism a bad name. Not only do they hate men, they inwardly hate themselves.

  6. Excellent article. I think there is far too much either/or out there. I don’t think one has to eschew femininity in order to be a feminist, nor should one have to abandon equal rights in order to be treated as a feminine lady. The smartest women know how to combine both with alienating anyone. One of the best examples I’ve read of a woman who does this is found right in Proverbs 31 in the scriptures. She was no ‘Stepford wife’ or ‘girly girl.” She was a sensible mature woman who not only kept her house in order, but she was also knownn to be a shrewd and respected entrepreneur.

    1. I agree totally that we can be equal as well as feminine.
      *off to read Proverbs 31*
      I’m not sure about this woman though — living like that sounds exhausting!

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