I have struggled with defining what feminine is for the past few years. For most of my life, I have resented femininity without knowing it. I will not say that I am a product of society and point fingers in every which way but toward myself, but neither will I deny the power of developing and living in a patriarchal world where the true language of the feminine has been rejected and buried alive.
When I first began studying Paganism and Wicca, the concept of divine femininity was both frightening and enticing. No doubt part of that enticing was a streak of rebellion flaring up against what was ingrained in me since my birth and what had never really felt quite right. And while I sidled up to the notion of feminine divinity and began to embrace it, something was still off. It was at this time that some close friends gently guided me toward a mirror where I saw a reflection of resentment. Resentment of what I’d been taught was ‘femininity,’ resentment toward being a woman. The image sent me reeling. After the confusion and anger settled down a bit, I ventured to define feminine and became completely perplexed, yet without understanding why. I could make some meager attempts at identifying what feminine was not (and these were tenuous at best), but I couldn’t articulate what feminine was and is.
This plight is not my own. It belongs to all womankind, the vast majority have been right here with me. We stand together, but separated, attempting to express something deep in our being that is only just out of reach. Something for which we yearn, for which we ache, but which we cannot describe. We are reaching for our selves. Our true selves. And one of the obstacles standing between us and embracing our selves is language.
The reason why defining what is feminine without expressing what it is NOT is due to the masculine context in which we find ourselves. As women, we are aliens in a foreign land trying to verbalize an intimate and boundless expression and are forced to use someone else’s language to do it. The translation of what we are, our very essence, becomes lost and muffled as we take up masculine words and concepts like shackles and irons pulling us ever downward, suppressing that essence further within our selves so that we start to resent its presence or forget it is even there. So when you begin to try to define what feminine is, recognize that the language you have been trained to use is a corrupted, bastardized expression of something pure.
The women’s liberation movement was the beginning of a shift in modern society. It led us to begin to identify what feminine is not, and it started to define what feminine is. But consider what happened: when women were portrayed as strong, the masculine culture twisted that strength and acknowledged it as woman adopting masculine traits. That strength did not belong to woman. It was on loan from man. It said, Sure, you’re strong, but that’s only because you’re taking our traits upon yourselves. Furthermore, it dared to declare that those women who were assuming strength were consequently NOT feminine. By that very change, they were supposedly becoming masculine.
But now, a new feminism is taking shape. A feminism that redefines the very concepts of feminine and masculine. A feminism that is balanced. A feminism whose roots are in Spirit, not a patriarchal society. A language that is Feminine is being formed and taught to women everywhere.
If you are a woman and you are reading this entry, and anything that I have written has in some way struck a cord within you, has triggered some feeling – any feeling – and caused something within you to sit back, to raise your eye brows, to question my incredulity, has cried out ‘Yes! But now what?’, has cried out ‘Not another one’, then I invite you to view the source of inspiration for this post. http://www.venusforaday.com. I dare you to enter the site. I dare you to click ‘download’ and begin reading. I dare you to be open when you do. Open to change, open to the unknown, open to new ideas, open to learning, open to rediscovering that which has been lost, open to becoming. Open to the Feminine.