Has Feminism Had Its Day?

Has Feminism Had Its Day?

When I hear women calling themselves feminists I feel uneasy – a strange reaction for me given I wholly support equal opportunities for women in society. For many reasons, when a woman states that she’s a feminist it creates a reaction or an opinion of sorts – in men and women alike. But what I’d like to know is why does being a feminist appear to so often go hand in hand with an abandonment of femininity? Is this just judgemental stereotyping or is there a grain of truth to it?

The online dictionary describes feminine and feminist as:

Fem•i•nine (adj)
1. Pertaining to a woman or girl: feminine beauty; feminine dress.
2. Having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness.
Fem•i•nist (adj)
Sometimes, fem•i•nis•tic.
1. Advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

While the true meaning of a feminist is clearly positive, why is it that when you ask someone (I’m speaking generally here) what their perception of a feminist is, more often than not the dominant opinion or reaction is a negative one?

If being a feminist means we have pay parity, then I’m all for what feminists have achieved. If it also means women having the same opportunities as men, then I’m all for that too. And if it means women having political opinions, intellectual discussions and respect for who they actually are, then I’m all for that as well.

If it wasn’t for suffragettes and feminists blazing a trail, I probably wouldn’t have many of the privileges and opportunities that I have today. I’m an educated woman with her own business, I get to make my own choices and I have a political voice.

I am not arguing that the fight for women’s opportunities was wrong, because clearly women have achieved a great deal and that can only be described as a good thing. But it’s in that fight, that struggle that I wonder whether we lost something, something within ourselves that perhaps was avoidable?

Have there been unforeseen consequences of the feminist movement? I think so. I hear men complaining that women have become too independent, that women want to do and be everything they possibly can, that women have become hard and aggressive and that because of these changes, they are unsure of their role and where they fit in. On the other side of the coin, thousands, and I mean thousands, of women are signing up for workshops and courses where they are learning to reclaim their feminine power. These courses describe how women have been cultivating a male version of power and how, while feminism has born fruits, some women have been left feeling discontent or unfulfilled. So it’s not hard to work out that there’s an imbalance. Something isn’t right and (generally speaking of course) men and women are ultimately feeling dissatisfied.

The main issue I have with the feminism is that I believe women have mimicked men in order to get on in the world, and in doing so, they’ve rejected a part of their true nature. In my early 20’s when I was into Germaine Greer and Naomi Wolfe and anything feminist, I opposed men rather than worked with them and I certainly didn’t see any advantages of being feminine, in fact, I thought it was a weakness! Now with wisdom, maturity and the awareness of my true nature and purpose, would I call myself a feminist even though I agree with what the movement has achieved? No, definitely not. Do I believe there’s another way of achieving equality and respect for women? Yes, but from the space of being true to who we really are and what we love, and by creating an internal balance of the masculine and feminine.

The other night a fascinating television documentary titled “Spitfire Women” showcased a group of women pilots who assisted during the war effort in World War II. In sharing their story as now women in their 80’s, they spoke of their absolute passion for flying and how they were devastated when the war finished as it marked the end of their flying days. Only one woman from their group had the opportunity to become the first woman commercial pilot.

We’ve come such a long way since those days and while our journey in achieving equality and respect in the western world isn’t over, perhaps this time achievements could be made with the inclusion of what nature actually intended for us – and that includes the values and standards of being feminine.

xx



6 Comments to Has Feminism Had Its Day?

  1. Jaimi

    I know that this article is nearly 7 years old.
    I am sorry to necromance it.
    I wanted to say that this was an excellent read. I also wanted to know if the author has any further points to make on this subject, 6 years on.
    I agree with what you are saying.

    I was discussing this with a colleague at work today. Who got very angry and refused to discuss, demanding that I speak no more about it.

    Thank you for writing this. These were the words I was failing to give. And you wrote them perfectly.

    I believe that any and all intolerance should be challenged. I believe all are equal. No matter your gender, colour or creed.

    What does this make me?

    Ps. I’m male. Is that a bad thing?

  2. Christina

    Very thought provoking piece Annie. It struck a particularly timely chord for me, on my journey of re-discovery as a newly single woman again! As I meet new people of both sexes, I realise just how divisive and limiting words and labels can be…and although feminism richly deserves its place in history as a movement which brought about meaningful change for women, the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. The truth is… we have… many of us men and women, lost our way. And there is a real resentment and imbalance out there with as many men looking for answers as to what it means ‘to be a man’ as there are women looking to find their own essence. Ultimately, words are just that…words. We need to dive far deeper to discover that beautiful place which connects us, in your words ‘includes’ us, as well as that which makes us unique and keeps us separate.

  3. Anonymous

    You have so hit the nail on the head. I don’t think for one minute you have offended any woman with this and if so, then maybe they need to ask the question….when/why did I abandon my femininity? Most importantly, why did I have to abandon it in the first place? I know I did at a very early age of 10!! It was noticed and accepted by my peers – both boys and girls. I cut my beautiful long hair off, dressed in bush shirts, learned to fight, spit, play rugby and toughen up and not be ‘such a girl’. I certainly got noticed, but for the wrong reasons and when puberty hit I started to reject my femininity even more! Being in a catholic school and being told everything about me and my urges was a sin, I hated every thing about my feminine body and damned God for making me a girl. How unfair it was! Then in my 20’s I knew something was missing but could never put my finger on it, until I started being drawn to feminine women and wanting so much to be like them. I had no idea how to be that feminine girl or how to be soft gentle any more – yet I had a deep craving for it and I still do!! I’ve certainly come a long way and work hard every day to allow that energy in me to flow. If I’m honest I still have an under current still lurking in there wishing I was a boy….but like everybody, we are all a work in progress and I thank God for the feminine women that are in my life today (Annie) that remind me it is OK… and it is safe to have a voice, be listened to, to stand out….but most of all, it is safe to be a soft, gentle, loving, vulnerable and SUCCULENT FEMININE WOMAN!!!

  4. Anne Loyd

    Thank you both for your comments. I believe feminism is a challenging topic for us on many levels as if we challenge it, ultimately we’re challenging something deep within ourselves. Thank you for your honesty. Anne xx

  5. Anonymous

    Although I am reluctant to admit it, deep down I know you are right. You speak for many.

  6. Carole

    A subject very close to my heart Annie. Thank you for another thought-provoking and wise blog. Carole xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


three × = 24

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Follow Me

Social

  • The Art of Mastering Technology The Art of Mastering TechnologyFacebook. Twitter. Email. Instagram. Pinterest. Facebook Page. Email.…
  • Diets Don't Work Diets Don’t WorkIt has started already. Magazines and newspapers are…
  • Mindfulness is Kindness Mindfulness is KindnessMindfulness is kindness… It took a while for…

Categories

Networked Blogs