Women, it’s time to evolve beyond Feminism!
There was a time, not too long ago, in our developed world, when a woman wasn’t allowed to do many things that were normal for a man. She wasn’t allowed to study, to work (apart from in the house), to have an opinion, to vote, to run a marathon or to wear trousers for example. Often she did not even have a say in whom to go out with or to marry, when to have children and how many… The notion was that women were weaker, less capable, less intelligent and in general less worthy – and their only role in life was taking care of the household, the man and the children. And to be beautiful and attractive of course. Naturally, women rebelled against this inequality and fought to have the same rights and freedoms as men. Nowadays, there is nothing a Western woman cannot do, at least in theory (even if there are still many inequalities and glass roofs). We can live by ourselves, run a marathon, win Nobel prices, lead and manage teams, companies or even countries, choose our partner and take birth-control. No doubt about it: Feminism and emancipation have been very good and very important. However, I believe that now it’s time for us modern women to evolve beyond them, to take them to a new level. A level in which we embrace and value our true Feminine nature – and don’t actually reject part of it. Let me explain.
Overemphasizing the Masculine
We live in a dual world in which everything has two opposite poles, a yin and a yang, a Masculine and a Feminine. These are energies which are not tied to gender, although women tend to have easier access to the Feminine and men to the Masculine. One of the things the law of Polarity teaches us is that when we exaggerate one side, we will eventually have to drop into its opposite extreme, before we can bounce back into balance. Since for so long women have been suppressed and denied access to everything associated with the “Masculine”, it is no surprise that we started to consider those forbidden fruits as highly desirable. So it is no wonder that once we actually were able to have a good education, a successful career, or simply an opinion, we jumped on it. And rightfully so!
However, the problem is that collectively us women have come to link our self-worth with performing and achieving – just like men – while keeping our limited view on what it means to be Feminine (basically pretty, skinny, sexy and dump). An academic title, a top-management position, a large bank account – that is what we have been conditioned to believe we need to feel worthy of love and happiness. In fact, running the household and raising the children is often outsourced, at least to some degree. Having a beautiful and attractive body, a nice home and smart kids is of course still important, but usually no longer as a stand-alone. At least not if we don’t want to disappoint anyone’s expectations, including our own. And hardly any woman wants that. We have a strong people pleasing tendency, and so we often don’t even question whether the path we are on is the one we want to be on, and if it really fulfills us.
So we work very hard, constantly striving to assert ourselves in what is still often a “men’s world”, striving to prove that we are just as good as (or even better than) our male colleagues, striving to win their approval and respect, striving to climb up the career ladder. And – with the memory of our mothers or grandmothers still present – striving to be independent and to stand on our own two feet.
In order to do so, we usually focus on developing our left-brain, energetically “Masculine” qualities: Being straight-forward. Ambitious. Analytical. Rational. Thinkers. Direct. Fast-paced. Goal-orientated. Pro-active (and active in general). Disciplined. Structured. Competitive. Controlling. Pushing through. Following the rules. Making things happen… Those are assets valued in the business world. Energetically “Feminine”, right-brain qualities (which of course, men also have), like being fluid, soft, intuitive, feeling, compassionate, collaborative, empathetic, contemplative, slow, silent, cyclical, unstructured (one could also say chaotic), sensual, spiritual, free in spirit, connected to the needs of the body, the soul and the Earth, trusting and allowing things go their natural flow… and even being creative and a team-player – are usually not as highly appreciated or even rejected (even if lip service is paid to them), including by us women.
Without even noticing, us women have thus reproduced the same situation that we rebelled against: The Masculine suppressing the Feminine. Just that this time we do it to ourselves.
Yet having to be or choosing to be so immersed in our Masculine all the time is exactly what is becoming our pitfall when it comes to our physical and mental health, our fertility and also the health of our romantic relationships. Striving to be “one of the guys” is neutralizing polarity and denying our true Feminine core.
Yes, women and men are equal and should have the same rights, no question. Still we are far from being the same. In fact, we are very different. And it is time for us – us women first and foremost – to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate the unique qualities and strengths that come with being a woman. It is time to stop limiting our self-worth to our achievements, or to measure our worthiness in terms of energetically “Masculine” qualities. It is time to stop suppressing the needs of our body and soul for the sake of outer success. It is in fact time to stop allowing our inner Masculine to suppress our inner Feminine. It is time to evolve them both.
Of course, there is a wide range of energetic constitution among women. There are those with a naturally strong “yang” (Masculine) energy and those with a naturally strong “yin” (Feminine) energy (the same is true for men as well). Personally I still remember how in 2010 I told a therapist that I was simply a Masculine woman. I never forgot the way she smiled back at me kind of amused and said: Sure… In this short moment she challenged the story I had been telling myself and gave me permission to discover and embrace that dormant Feminine in me. In the meantime I can see what she already saw back then. If you too are Feminine in your core (even if you have well-developed Masculine traits), you have the gifts and needs that come with that, even if you are not aware of them.
Implications for fertility
Conceiving a baby requires us to drop deep into our Feminine. It is an inherently passive act that requires us to be relaxed, open and in reception mode. It is a Divine act, often beyond our direct control. If we are always on the run, used to making things happen, to getting what we want when we want it, to being the manager, to controlling things… we will likely approach pregnancy just like any other “project” – another goal to achieve – and we will have a hard time to simply lay back, open up, let go, surrender, trust and receive. More, if a woman’s self-worth depends on her achievements, she will put a lot of pressure on herself to also “perform” in this area of her life. And even if she actually feels the deep yearning to just drop all that control, she usually doesn’t know how to do it – or it seems she just cannot, because things just have to “get done” and there is nobody to take them off her shoulders.
If she used to live mainly for her career, she is likely to face an identity crisis, too, when the moment to start a family arrives. After all the effort she has put into her career she now has to take time off from work, at least temporarily, with all the disadvantages that come with that? Frustration about this “inequality” is not rare. And if she actually feels the wish to be a “stay-at-home-mum” (which for many is a term with a quiet negative connotation), and is brave enough to acknowledge that to herself, it is not unusual for her to be ashamed about that fact and to feel the need to justify herself in front of others. After all, she will be reduced to being at home and taking care of the kids?? How lazy. How unambitious. How unworthy. How betraying of her ancestors. How dangerous actually, because it often implies dependency on her husband to some extent. So she feels ambiguous, torn between her innate feminine wish to raise a family, and the expectations of her masculine ego (and those around her) to be considered successful in classical career terms. All of those things, the pressure to perform, the frustration about being the one to have to sacrifice time, and the inner conflict can create so much unconscious stress, that it actually blocks her ability to conceive.
However, we hardly ever make those connections. If for whatever reason the body doesn’t follow our plan, we don’t usually stop and look for the physical or emotional reasons. Instead, we try to make the body do what we had so perfectly figured out. We turn to hormone stimulation, artificial insemination or IVF. Instead of seizing the opportunity to finally get in touch with the Feminine in us, to enter a dialogue with our soul, to look beyond the surface, to discover our deeper needs, to read between the lines, … we continue doing the only thing we know to do: applying the energetically Masculine strategies of pushing and forcing.
Evolving the Masculine and Feminine
So after having lived through the two extremes of 1) a Feminine reduced to being pretty and a good housewife and 2) a Masculine defined by the overvaluation of professional and cognitive development at the expense of the needs of the body and the soul, it’s time for us to grow into the direction of 3) the evolved Masculine and the evolved Feminine.
This means getting back in balance and to find the middle way between our different roles. Yes, us women have proven that we can keep up with men. But just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean we should or have to. Trying to be like men won’t make us happy nor will it serve the world.
Just to be clear: I am by no means suggesting that you abandon your Masculine (and with it your job, your ambitions, your purpose) and go back to being a submissive housewife. You should definitely keep and use your Masculine, just not at the expense of your Feminine. It is time to remember your Feminine core and to reconnect with it. In order to do so, you need to take both, your Masculine and your Feminine to a new level.
Evolving the Masculine
The Unevolved (inner or outer) Masculine is intimidated by the Feminine, because it feels her strength in ways incomprehensible to himself. So rather than realizing the tremendous power that would come from joining forces with her, the Unevolved Masculine tries to pull her down by suppressing and controlling her. If that is not possible, it will turn to emotional manipulation, making her doubt her self-worth and withdraw love from her for no apparent reason (this includes negative self-talk).
While these strategies might indeed temporarily weaken the Feminine, they only serve to make her stronger over time. At some point she will try to break free from the toxicity. This can happen in a conscious way, when we bring in awareness (a trait of the Evolved Masculine), or unconsciously, in the form of unwanted symptoms and behaviors, such as for example binge or emotional eating, mood swings (incl. mania and depression), hormonal imbalances and also fertility related symptoms.
On the other hand, the Evolved Masculine does not derive its strength from keeping the Feminine small. To the contrary, it protects it, supports it and even fights for it. By providing structure and safety (both physical and emotional), it allows the Feminine to relax and surrender to it, rather than rebel against it. She is free to express herself fully – in all her comprehensible and incomprehensible ways – and to become a powerful and equal partner at his side, complementing his own strengths and making them an invincible team that is able to rise much higher together than any of them could have by themselves.
It is never a sign of Masculinity or of strength to suppress the Feminine – not inside of us nor in the outside world!
So if you feel like your own inner Masculine is holding down your Feminine, work on evolving your inner Masculine into a Warrior of Light who fights the good fight. Evolve it into a good-hearted king. A courageous king who fully assumes his responsibilities, a king with a purpose who gets things done, a king who draws and respects boundaries, a compassionate king who is able to forgive his enemies, and first and foremost a king who treats his (inner) queen with appreciation and respect, keeping her safe and granting her the time she needs to reflect, connect and attend to the needs of the body and soul. By being that kind of man to your own inner woman, your inner Feminine will be much more comfortable to express herself and become a valuable partner at the side of her Masculine.
Evolving the Feminine
The Unevolved Feminine reduces herself to her outward appearance and how she can serve others. The Evolved Feminine on the other hand knows that she can only give to others if she takes care of herself first. She does not limit herself to her outward appearance (although she does appreciate beauty), but is rather looking for inner connection and connection with everything around her. She is in touch with her emotions and expresses them fully and fluidly through her body and voice.
Masculine and Feminine interactions
In order to evolve our Feminine, it is a pre-requisite that we evolve our Masculine and in order to evolve our Masculine it is a pre-requisite that we have access to our Feminine. The two are interdependent, need each other and complement each other. In order to illustrate those rather abstract concepts, let’s look at some concrete examples of Masculine-Feminine interactions, whether those take place inside of us or between people (some of those examples are inspired by the book “Eating in the Light of the Moon”):
- The Feminine feels lonely. The evolved Masculine takes notice and calls a friend. The unevolved Masculine is either completely unaware of that feeling or it insists that she has no reason to feel that way.
- The Feminine produces a dream. The evolved Masculine writes it down, organizes and translates it. The unevolved Masculine either does not remember it, laughs at it or dismisses it as “just a dream”.
- The Feminine feels upset. The evolved Masculine is able to hold space for those feelings without judgment and puts them into words. The unevolved Masculine tells her that she is “too sensitive” or that she is inadequate to have an opinion at all.
- The Feminine feels hungry. The evolved Masculine responds by getting and preparing nourishing food or by asking “is this physical or emotional hunger”. The unevolved Masculine criticizes her for eating too much, tries to ignore her hunger or quickly feeds her with low-quality food.
- The Feminine feels tired. The evolved Masculine takes a break, takes a nap and/or goes to sleep early. The unevolved Masculine gets a cup of coffee and continues working.
This interdependence is also true for our romantic relationships. If we want passion with the love, we need Masculine-Feminine polarities. It is hard for a woman to really drop deep into her Feminine, if her partner is more in his Feminine, too, or worse – if he is still stuck in his toxic Masculine. Then there is no one there to provide her with the frame she needs to be able to completely let go, no one there to witness her in her surrender, to penetrate her (literally or figuratively) with presence and awareness. Then she might want to give her Feminine gift, but there is no one there to take it from her. Likewise, it is hard for a man to give his Masculine gift of presence, awareness and protection, if there is no one there to fully receive it, because the woman is also in her Masculine.
By focusing on evolving and balancing your own inner Masculine and Feminine, you will in time start living that new reality on the outside as well. By modeling how you want the Masculine to treat the Feminine, you will attract more good kings or Warriors of Light (or those that want to grow there) into your world. By living more in your Feminine core, you allow the men in our life to actually step up into their Masculine core.
If you wish to dive deeper into the topic of Masculine-Feminine dynamics, I can recommend you the following resources:
- Eating in the Light of the Moon – How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling by Anita Johnston: While this book targets women who have a troublesome relationship with food, it is really useful for any woman wanting to reconnect with her Feminine – and even for men wanting to better understand and support the women in their lives.
- Women Who Run with the Wolves – Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
- The Way of the Superior Man – A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Deida: While this book is written for men who want to evolve their Masculine, it is really useful as well for women who want to evolve their inner Masculine, too – or to understand how to better support the men in their lives. A bit black and white, but still full of inspirational pearls. You can also find a great free video review of this book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_H75Mq5K_M
- Tony Robbins: He has some great free stuff on youtube on Masculine-Feminine polarities and what makes relationships work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYBWeOvnJrQ . I also recommend his coaching video on How to rebuild a broken relationship, just to see him coaching a real couple and pointing out the concrete issues in terms of Masculine-Feminine. His 6 needs framework is also very insightful and powerful to assess the quality of any relationship you might have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsqTZZUM–M
Group Coaching for women
- Eating inspired by the Moon: I have designed a virtual Mind-Body-Nutrition group coaching program for women who want to nourish their Feminine, balance their hormones (maybe even prepare for a pregnancy), find peace with food and their body and/or come back to Life after a burn-out or chronic fatigue. You find more information on this program here.