Feminine-ist Entrepreneurship, Part I

Let me first clarify what I mean by “feminine-ist”.  And let me offer this disclaimer at the outset: I will be using the word “feminine” to describe an actual kind of energy or way of being in the world.  I know that the words “masculine” and “feminine” are so heavily charged with cultural crapola that many prefer to never use the terms anymore at all, opting for “yin” and “yang” to describe basically the same things that I mean when I say “feminine” and “masculine”.  That is fine.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you that I will be liberally sprinkling this tract of writing with a word I personally love: feminine.

Now.  What makes “feminine-ist” different from “feminist,” I hear you ask?  I think of feminine-ism as the latest and greatest iteration of the waves of feminism that came before.  Earlier waves were focused on fighting for women to win the most basic human rights that men had always enjoyed (like the right to vote, or own property, for example).  The next waves were focused on setting women up to be able to reserve a seat at the men’s table, getting them into jobs typically reserved for men, and into higher and higher positions of power in a man’s world.  (Note: Women often felt they had to stuff themselves into a “man-suit” in order to do this, adopting more classically masculine qualities in order to be taken seriously at all.  Not only that, but they often also felt like they had to work ten times harder than the men in order to ever be taken seriously at all.)  And AT LAST, I give you: Feminine-ism, after a long, slow strip tease.

Feminine-ism is feminism, all grown up, as far as I am concerned.  Instead of shoving women into men’s suits and tables, women are encouraged to create their own tables.  Their own damn fine tables where they can paint the chairs whatever color they darn well please, and where pretty soon the word will get out that THIS is where all the fun is happening.  And all are welcome, ALL.  I am being a bit silly.  So let me take you further.

Have you ever noticed that the jobs that involve care giving, service, or nurturing tend to be the very most societally important (if you are really honest with yourself), but they are also the very most low paid and are often afforded low levels of respect?  And have you noticed that professional athletes often make millions of dollars per year and are sometimes seen as living gods?  Have you noticed that those care giving jobs have typically been held by women, and have been associated with the classically feminine quality of nurturing and attunement?  And have you noticed that the professional athlete jobs have typically been held by men and associated with classically masculine qualities?  My contention is this: We need to recognize that we have collectively devalued the feminine, very deeply, and for a very long time.  I am speaking more of what the great Jungian analyst Marion Woodman would call The Feminine Principle here.  And it is a part of all of our lives and all of us, no matter our gender.  I repeat:  The feminine has been devalued inside all of us.

Feminine-ism is a brand of feminism that allows women, and all people, actually, to fully embody their authentic qualities of juiciness, nurturing, creativity, flow, pleasure, intuition, receptivity, without having to feel any less powerful or important because of it.  In other words, you don’t have to put on a man suit or fight your way to the top of a corporation to join this parade.  You can be every bit as feminine (yes, I said it, FEMININE) as your heart desires and be considered powerful, whole, and worthy of respect and reverence, and yes, of course, fundamental rights (Jesus, already).  You can wear your Little Bo Peep costume and lead a rally if that is what you damn well feel like.  You can put dahlias on the table that YOU created for yourself and your friends and colleagues (friend-leagues?).  And a bowl of jelly beans, too.  Whatever tickles you, whatever takes your fancy.  Take these statements as lesson 1 in feminine-ist entrepreneurship.  You can also fully express any and every expression of the feminine principle, as it wants to express through you, in its magnificent childbearing glory, its flowing sexiness, its resplendent heart (NEED that), and sometimes, yes, its sailor mouth.  The feminist writer Camille Paglia once wrote, Mother nature is the most fowl-mouthed of us all.

Let me add here also that feminine-ism does not glorify the feminine over and above the masculine or over and above anything.  Feminine-ism recognizes that we all contain all of these energies, in fluid, mysterious, difficult-to-categorize ways.  The goddess Hecate would approve (She of the disdain for categories).  That means you don’t HAVE to be ultra-feminine.  You don’t HAVE to be anything except exactly what you are right now, and what you are as you continue to answer the call to authenticity, which is a sacred call.

Everything that the Feminine Principle represents has been buried, and disdained, for too long.  I would argue that everything that the Feminine Principle represents is exactly what we need, exactly what we are dying for, on the planet right now.  I’ll close this one with a quote from Ruth Fisher, the mother on the HBO hit series, Six Feet Under: Feminism means being accepted for who you are.

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