When International Women’s Day first came within my radar, I noticed it for its emphasis on the undervalued women in the world, for the role it played in advocating for the rights of women in the most impoverished and unjust societies, and I celebrated the opportunity to promote fairness and justice for these, for all women. Since that time the Day seems to have expanded its reach to incorporate the concept of celebrating ALL women, in and of themselves, regardless of their circumstances, their power or lack of it. The global understanding of what Feminism is and what it can do, has altered and evolved to include a much broader remit. For me personally, and professionally in my role as Therapist, I am celebrating International Women’s Day as something a little different from either of these camps. Today I would like to celebrate the feminine within. Not just the feminine within me, or within the women I know, but the feminine within all of us. All of us humans.
It is commonly accepted that all people have both masculine and feminine traits, to greater or lesser degrees than others. We have the stereotypical version of what it means to be “male” in what has been, for much of history, a patriarchal society. This stereotype encompasses traits both “positive” and “negative” in the world’s eyes. We have the opposing stereotype of what it means to be “female”, again portrayed both in “positive” and “negative” lights. What if we were to ignore the concept of what a positive or negative trait is, and simply accept the feminine or the masculine as is?
In this version of exploring our gender, we might be able to note the feminine or masculine traits within ourselves and simply appreciate them for being there, without judgement. In this version of appreciating our own identity, we might then be able, today, to welcome-in the feminine within each of us, men and women, and be curious about what it allows us to do. Perhaps the feminine part of you allows you to care for another person with a focus and intensity that, at times, obliterates other, more utilitarian or practical considerations. Perhaps this aspect of your femininity paves pathways for solid, lasting, trusting relationships. Perhaps the feminine within you allows you to empathise with those you meet in a way that brings connection and meaning to even the smallest aspects of your life. Perhaps the feminine within you alerts you to another person’s need so strongly that you feel it at the deepest place within your being. Perhaps the feminine within you gives you the capacity to push through any manner of physical pain when you know there is light, or life, at the other side.
Whatever aspects of yourself are connected with the feminine, today might be the day to ask yourself, which of these are currently serving you? Which of these are not? And what parts of your femininity may need to be fostered and appreciated more….by You?