As a woman in my mid 40s, I am blessed and grateful to have witnessed several iconic generations of women going through very very different social, societal, sexual and political trends that have greatly impacted:
Our views of ourselves as women
Our relationship to our physical, emotional and energetic bodies
What we consider our place to be in this world
What we are capable of
Our definitions of happiness, fulfillment and success
What kind of families we create
What children we raise and how
How we relate to each other as women
How we relate to men
...And ... most importantly: what our beliefs are about "what being a woman is"
What is a woman?
I have, like any other woman, inherited some of my mother's beliefs and before her, my grandmother's generation’s ethos about who I ’need’ to be as a woman, and having been socialized during my adolescence with the messages from films such as the 1980’s Working Girl, with the broad-shouldered, suited-up Melanie Griffin’s lead in the story FIGHTING for her right to climb the corporate ladder, snatch work opportunities, be heard by high-up male executives in the boardroom, face modern workplace competition, manipulate her way through being robbed of her idea by her female superior and become the ultimate embodiment of the FEMINIST WOMAN.
The key word here is: Fight. And I’ll come back to that.
Fast-forward many many years to the 2003 film, Mona Lisa Smile. This film was a huge landmark to me as I was coming of age and still grappling with the demands of a new career and those of being with and sharing a life with a man. I was still receiving extremely conflicted massages, feeling completely lost and just exhausted from trying to be, act, talk, work and compete like a man. Something did not compute. And the harder I tried, the worse I felt about myself because my “I am not good enough” limiting self-beliefs were being reinforced every single day. With every work project. With every snide comment. With every fight. With every promotion that went to someone else. With every sexist joke.
Back to the film. I have watched Mona Lisa Smile several times, and went back to it a couple of years ago when I chose to enact an angry monologue from the film on the stage of a local theatre. I would like to focus on the era portrayed in the film and how “making a home”, “being the devoted wife” and “raising children” was the ultimate success-story for a woman. Even when the ladies in the story went to ivy-league schools and graduated with advanced degrees, they were ‘expected’ to prioritize their roles as ‘homemakers’. I remember being triggered by the Middle-Eastern college-women whom I taught at the time and their obsession with marriage and competing to land a husband.
Why am I talking about these movies?
Well, I am a change-catalyst for women from different generations today. I look at what “being strong and free” for a woman today means: asking a man’s hand in marriage, having ‘friends with benefits’, initiating every conversation, and feeling the need to turn everything into a debate, to win every argument and have the last word. Today, sadly, [and for whatever combination of reasons] being a ‘successful career woman’ means that you:
Are not to feel ‘emotions’
Are not to ask, nor receive ‘help’
Are not to feel tired, nor ‘rest’
Are not to spend quality time away from the office with your ‘newborn’
Are not to even have nor express your legitimate ‘needs’
Are not to take a health-day off during your natural monthly cycle
Since when the above things are wrong for a woman, who is the ultimate embodiment of emotion, healing, nurturing, intuition and creativity…?
How dare we deprive her of those very feminine gifts that she blesses the world with every single day???
What have we come to?
Often, I talk about women being able to BE WOMEN and honour their feminine, empowered qualities while not trying to want to control every situation, without pushing and being aggressive, without trying to take from someone else, act, manipulate, compete nor deceive. I talk about a new paradigm where the being, the feminine and the doing, the masculine can not only co-exist but also complement each other, collaborate, and co-create something BIGGER than the sum of both of them. I also talk about the need for women to embrace more of their natural WOMANHOOD and here is the problem….
Women usually get triggered big time; their ego, inner-judge and reptilian, ‘small brain’ gets flagged and they blurt things like:
“It sounds too good to be true”
“This is the way it has been so we have to keep fighting and working hard”
“Are you telling me that I have to go back to being a ‘weak’ woman from the 1950s?”
Well, I sympathize with you my lady. I also sympathize with you men out there for ending up in this messy state of confusion about who have become and how disconnected we are from our womanhood.
The fact is, is that we women have been CONDITIONED to work constantly to prove our worth, our brains, to look a certain way, to envy and judge other women. I used to be like you. I want you to stop and look at success stories today and here is the message that is emerging, that is serving us women and that has completely transformed me to a free, powerful leading lady myself.
You do not need to fight back and refuse help.
You do not need to hide and censor your voice.
You do not need to suppress your womanhood to be accomplished.
You do not need to ‘be less than’ even when you respect and receive from your fellow human males.
and YOU DO NOT NEED TO 'FIGHT' TO BE A WOMAN; instead you need to 'FLOW' WITH YOUR FEMININE.
From feminist to FEMININE.
Yes, you can have success without burnout.
Yes, you can have happiness without sacrifice.
Yes, you can have confidence without the need for validation.
Yes, you can take out negativity from your life without guilt.
Yes, you can be happy with your man and family without giving up your success.
Yes, you can be the best YOU without competition.
Yes, you can heal without blame or revenge.
Let's look at some trends; shall we?
Divorce is at an all-time high.
Burnout and stress are at an all-time high.
Plastic surgery is now considered daily make-up (yes, I consider plastic surgery the new-age addiction)
Cancer and other toxicity-related conditions are at an all-time high.
You know why?
It is because you, my dear lady, are disconnected from your womanhood – your true POWER.
Being loyal to your womanhood is your true power.
***NB. By womanhood, I am not referring to manipulative, toxic, weak tactics to get what you want, nor prostituting yourself, body or emotions to get what you want. No.
Conclusion 1: You do not have to be either the 1950s damsel in distress (my Pupa Archetype©) nor the 1980s feminist pushy Working Girl (my Caterpillar Archetype©).
Conclusion 2: I LOVE being the woman I am today and what I love more than her is the fact that I created her from everything: the imperfections, the losses, the wins, the flaws, her history and her future.
Conclusion 3: You can come to LOVE you FULLY as well because the BEST you, the MOST you is the one YOU create, no matter what.
Curious? You would like to get support on how to banish that disconnect in yourself, your life and relationships?
Join my free-support, sisterhood tribe on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFreeButterflyTribe/