Why Modern Female Empowerment Has Got It All Wrong
Plus, 16 ways to step into your real feminine gifts
If you identify as a strong, independent woman, or if you know any of these women, you probably imagine yourself as one of these women below:
The red cape.
Spinning the world in your hand.
The invisible muscles or wings…
But this is not what feminine power is.
A little known fact that is not spoken about today is that women actually have held power and influenced households, local and global events since the dawn of times without having to demonstratively spin the world in their hands or wear the red cape. Leave that to the Wonder woman. After all, she is superhuman. You and I are not.
If you’re a woman who understands her true feminine power and uses it to her own advantage, you know exactly what I mean.
The look in his eyes.
The willingness to please you and do anything to win your attention, time and your presence.
His care. His soft touch. His complete surrender to your feminine gifts.
The magic that lures him in that he can’t even explain.
This is just an example a woman can influence or have power over a man. (And “power” over men is a tremendous resource. The trick is to use it wisely and with great care. )
Historically, the one who has power has influence, can make important decisions, rule and govern people and territories. Power comes with great responsibility. Power gives people the ability to set the course of their own lives and also of the lives of others. Power gives the opportunity to rule, to decide, to be free, to buy, to own, to create.
Power has been continuously abused for personal gains and profit. Oftentimes those in power are not worthy or self-aware to hold this great privilege and know what to do with it. It was true 500 years ago and it is true today.
Power gives access to natural and intellectual resources, possibility and opportunities to produce, build and dominate. Men have had the power for centuries because they owned land and assets, had access to most beautiful women, ruled towns, cities and countries. All that so they can impregnate as many women as possible and pass on their genes to future generations (plus, inflate their egos.)
Power is also a physical quality and is represented in muscle strength, stamina, and resilience.
The one who is physically strong is powerful.
The traditional, “visible” models of power are inherently masculine: achievement, progress, net-worth, muscles, and access to financial resources.
This is the definition of masculine power that doesn’t really apply to women in its straightforward manner. This masculine definition of power involves what we can see and touch. It’s all our assets and bank statements. It’s our muscle capacity and what we can do with our physical force.
Modern women have access to the same masculine power and are measuring their “influence” by masculine definition: earning potential, bank account statements, net worth, properties owned, material possessions, and variety lifestyle options.
So what is feminine power and why we need it?
Power can be an energetic force. Power can be an intellectual force. Power of someone’s character is also power. Power of strong connections and relationships is what makes the world go around. These are examples of invisible power.
Feminine powers and gifts are quite “invisible” and, therefore, not valued as much because they can’t be quantified.
The masculine approach to success has to measurable, otherwise we can’t quantify and compare success. Competition is key in masculine success.
However, how do we quantify love, caring for children, deep connection and bonds we form with people and our communities? How do quantify the subtle ways of influence and living a life that feels good instead of a life that looks good?
Femininity itself is power. We have been led to believe that it is our weakness when, in fact, it is our greatest gift.
Female power sits in a woman’s hips, her heart and her womb. So many women are completely disconnected from the neck down because it is quite unproductive to “be in the body.” Modern women are disconnected from their hearts and wombs and are constantly in their heads rationalizing, intellectualizing, strategizing and “being busy.” Constantly “parking” their bodies at desks in board rooms and meetings we have lost touch with our own deeper, instinctual knowing as women.
The essential source of our creativity, intuition and life force has been cut off. That is why so many women don’t know how to listen to their voice, are stressed, drained and exhausted most of the time. The masculine idea of power and success is sucking the life out of us and we don’t realize that there is another way.
So many women have a broken relationship with their wombs and their natural cycles — rejecting it, degrading it and wishing that the womb wasn’t even there.
I was definitely that woman who was always complaining about having to deal with my period every month. I wished my cycle would have disappeared once and for all. Birth control was the best invention of the 20th century! Only that I have to still remember to take the damn pill. I saw my cycle as an obstacle and a hindrance to my “success” and my masculine drive to achieve.
Connected to my heart?!
WTF does that mean?
Being sensual and sensitive?! Who’s got time for that?! I gotta run to my next meeting! Not time for this bullshit.
And then, after many years of working “like a horse,” we wake up and like one of my clients in her 40s put it:
“I’ve been just living life on autopilot in my 20s and 30s, not really engaging with life. Not really allowing myself to feel and just be.”
I am tired of hearing that women do not have “power” and that we all need to be “empowered.” The truth is that we have always had feminine power that has equal weight as masculine power. (Besides, no one can give us or take power away from us because power is an internal job.)We have just never learned to use our feminine power properly and reap its benefits and thus, when we had access to all the possibilities and opportunities, we started competing with men.
The problem is that we can’t really compete with men because we do not have their bodies, their physical strength and we are built differently in the biological, emotional and energetically sense. Understanding this is key to being an empowered feminine woman.
A man cannot pass on his genes without a woman to carry his child. That is one of the biggest powers women have had since the dawn of time. Of course, we can look at repercussions of what women had to deal with over the years not having complete control of their bodies and decisions. But that is not the point of this article. I am not negating the terrible trauma, shame and centuries of conditioning women had and still have to deal with.
What I am trying to do is turn the tables around and help see women what I see: that we have always had power. Perhaps in obscure, hidden ways. Perhaps in subtle ways. We have just never been taught how to use it and really reap its benefits. I see this as a tremendous opportunity and a much healthier mindset than talking and blaming the patriarchy and all the other forces that are keeping women disempowered.
There are many cases of women in the past who have used their incredible feminine gifts to influence decisions, change courses, save nations and even rule countries. When they couldn’t do it themselves they have used men to achieve their goals.
A woman is such a resourceful being. It runs and flows like a river through all possible faucets: if there is no door here, there is always another door. We just have to find and open it. She fills in the banks, she is fluid, flexible, dynamic, and robust. When she is connected to her instinctual self (The Wild Woman, they call her) she can also sense and see things that give her perspective and deeper knowing,
Today’s reality for a modern western woman involves access to masculine power that has never been quite possible. And so the main question is why would she need a man?
Previously, when women didn’t really have a choice of when and how to have children and whether to be married or not. Being married and bearing children was her greatest accomplishment and direct access to well-being, security and financial resources.
Today, she can have all that on her own. The only thing she can’t really do by herself is have children. Hypothetically, she can even do that but she would still need a sperm donor.
So how I see it, the tragedy today between genders is not that women are disempowered. The trouble is that men are disempowered because what they had to “offer” to women in the past is no longer relevant (besides his sperm, of course.) I am not suggesting that we go back to the past and let men have their complete authority and power. Nor I am suggesting that women renounce their access to possibility and opportunity they have today.
I am suggesting a new paradigm for modern relationships: where healthy masculine and healthy feminine come together in a partnership. Where we use and leverage our natural gifts and powers to create a better future. Together. The future is not female. The future belongs to self-aware, conscious powerful men and women who create abundance of resources and possibilities.
Men are questioning their role in society, family, and relationship. Where does he stand today? What is his role? What can he bring to the table beside his sperm?
The modern solution to this dilemma is a 50/50 environment in family and relationships between men and women. All that seems great on paper but doesn’t really work in real life for women who identify with a feminine essence and men who identify with a masculine essence.
Women are not really fulfilled by this 50/50 arrangement (although they might not know it yet). What’s tragic about the 50/50 arrangement is that it is an illusion. It creates the Superwoman syndrome (an idea I learned from Michaela Boehm’s new book “The Wild Woman’s Way”) in a lot of women where women feel like they can and have to do it all: have a successful career, earn an income that provides for all their needs and wants (and a 50% of the household expenses), have a fabulous lifestyle, children, a great marriage as well as take care of themselves.
This is quite an impossible task. Even the Wonderwoman can’t do it.
We have depolarized our relationships. As the woman rises in masculine power, the man rises in his feminine power to balance this dynamic. We are in a constant dance in polarity. Perhaps this is why our relationships don’t work.
We are trying to live this 50/50 arrangement but it doesn’t fulfill us because neither of us are leveraging our strengths and our natural powers.
I can’t imagine a complete role reversal in family and relationships and I hope we never get there. I know so many women would disagree with me and that’s okay. There is space for all kinds of relationship and family dynamics. I am not advocating that everyone should do this. Everyone is free to choose — that is the beauty of living in a diverse world.
We are entering a new horizon of relationships where the boundaries between feminine and masculine power become blurry. A woman can do anything that a man can do. A man can do what any woman can do (besides bearing children, of course.) This is not about gender (or sex.) This is about understanding our differences and levering them. If a cat would learn how to bark and a dog would learn how to meow, does that mean that they should?! Understanding what’s easier for us and leveraging our strengths is key to sustainable, happy relationships where everyone plays their natural roles.
Because women are trying to do it all, they rob themselves of their feminine power and gifts and never get to actually use them.
The solution is for the modern woman to stop trying to do it all, drop into her femininity and reconnect, and rediscover her feminine power. Not to be weak and give up the power she has access to, but to create the polarity between feminine and masculine powers and to leverage her natural way of being as well as know how and when to switch between the masculine “go” and feminine “flow.”
So who is an empowered woman today?
The same one she was 1,000 years ago.
An empowered woman is happy & fulfilled.
A happy and fulfilled woman is a woman who has arranged her life in a way where stress happens rarely or she had learned how to diminish the effects of stress on her life. A fulfilled woman is the one who has the energy to lift herself and everyone else around up.
Every woman knows that effect she has on people around her when she is angry, frustrated and exhausted. Everyone is on alert because they don’t know what to expect. Her man, her children and people around. An angry woman is a powerful force. Everyone is tip-toeing. Everyone just wants to hide and get away from her. Because she is destructive in those moments. And that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with being in states of destruction and fire, in fact, repressing these emotions creates and stores frozen tension in our bodies. She goes through her own cycles of highs and lows, she’s riding her wave. The trick is learning how to deal with the storms without affecting others around.
So being fulfilled becomes the essential quest for a woman. Once this quest becomes a priority, everything else is simply created and organized to support this quest. Does this career fit your idea of fulfillment? Does this relationship support your image of fulfillment? What is the lifestyle you would choose to further enhance this idea?
16 Ways to Step Into Your Feminine Power:
- Let go of the need to constantly be in control
- Realize that you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You are enough.
- Work on your self-worth and enough-ness outside of the masculine idea of power
- Do not value yourself by the number of your achievements
- Don’t compete with men. Co-optate instead.(competition + cooperation)
- Work with liberating shame
- Learn to appreciate men & their masculine power
- Take full responsibility for your life and dreams
- Get out of her head and into her heart and her womb through embodiment practices
- Give yourself permission to relax more, “be” more, create more
- Spend A LOT of time in nature and close to the water
- Smile and laugh more. Don’t take yourself seriously.
- Surround yourself with uplifting people, ideas and events
- Spend time in silence (meditation)
- Repair her relationship with your menstrual cycle
- Dance. Move her body often & free