This summer was one of weddings; there are seasons like that in life. I enjoyed sharing in celebrations with friends, but I was the first surprised by how visceral my reaction was to a few vows.
I was in a church and the ceremony was essentially promoting servitude, having man at the head of the unit. I should say, I am not married. I am partnered, but not married. I do believe that partnerships are about how to best serve the “relationship” and how to best love the other. Often, this takes the form of “acts of love” or “loving service”. I do not feel, however, that any one partner is reduced to servitude, as it does not equate “service” in my belief.
This opened a can of worms for me.
“Do I believe in marriage at all?”
“Am I a woman worthy of the title?”
“How does one redefine being woman?”
“How does one find a place in a relationship if one doesn’t fit the mould?”
Given that I’m not a typical girly girl or the fact that I wasn’t popular in high school (in the way cheerleaders are popular with boys and other girls want to be them), I wouldn’t describe myself as “feminine”.
I sometimes like to wear dresses and skirts. I like nice things, but I often favour comfort over aesthetics. I dread the time it takes to “clean up nice”. I struggle with the mainstream definition of “sexy” or how it’s skin-tight to definitions of women in most countries. I’ve been compared to other women, by men (and women), and refused to play the game. That’s often made me reject the idea of my own attractiveness, which is silly because our personal value and qualities have nothing to do with those of others. I’ve too often been privy to cattiness and competition, slut shaming and jealousy that I find it difficult to trust women with intimate details about my life.
As many of my friends have moved away over the years, I no longer have a possey of female friends for girls night out. I also chose to interact one-on-one or small groups (hey, I’m an INFJ).
I can say that despite being a woman and being moved by women’s issues, I’ve never felt like I truly belonged to “womanhood”. I’m always surprised by genuine sisterhood and altruism. I think “Oh right, I’m one of you…” and “Oh, that’s right, we’re not in high school anymore, many women are nice”. Saying that I struggle with concepts of “women” is an understatement.
I often have fears, pain and negative emotions or preconceptions related to being a woman. My safety is always a concern when commuting or travelling. Yet, I very much identify as a woman, just not a “feminine” one. So how do I claim my feminine power?
It’s part of the journey and I am in the process of healing. I am accepting being woman. I am looking for the good in being woman, in a world that so clearly favours man. I am healing my womb and my sacral chakra, the centre of creativity, problem solving and nurturing relationships. I look forward to the blessings of motherhood and to building meaningful relationships with other women in both my personal and professional lives. I support causes that promote women’s rights and I support female entrepreneurs whenever possible.
What part of femininity do you struggle with, whether you are a man or a woman? What do you love about femininity or being a woman?