“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” Nancy Rathburn
When I look at women in power, mostly I find it difficult to see their feminine. Seems like to be a woman in power we also have to lose our femininity. We put on a coat of toughness.
My curiosity takes me to the differences of women in power who didn’t lose their softness and those that showed that exterior hardness. Princess Diana and Mother Theresa and two women who to me allowed their softness to be public. Margaret Thatcher and Julia Gillard are two women that I saw as showing a hard exterior.
Of course we can always look at adaptations people make in their lives as part of surviving their families, which will have something to do with how we are in the world. For this piece of inquiry, I would like to look more from the place of the perceived perception of women in power. Acknowledging that we all have different perceived perceptions, I think you would agree with me that there is a huge difference in how the examples I have mentioned presented to the world.
One way we present ourselves is in how we dress. Why do we as women feel the need power dress? I’m sure you have heard to wear red if you want to present a sense of power in a meeting. There is a common perception in our society that women power dress by wearing red. The feeling in my body even as I write this is tension through my core, like a bracing for something. I hadn’t noticed that before when I have been contemplating women and power. I have many questions that rise in me as I write this.
- What do women brace themselves for when they enter the male energy of their working environment?
- What are they trying to prepare themselves for?
- Do they enter the battlefield of a male domain?
- What do they fight for?
- What is the cost of putting yourself into this arena?
- Is red supposed to be their battle armour!
- How do we as women keep ourselves small when we struggle/fight for power?
- How do we make others small in our fight for power?
I don’t propose that I have the answer to my musings because these questions are for individual women to contemplate for themselves, and, I would like to offer some insights. I believe that it is important for us as women to really look and feel into our bodies and see if we need to operate from this struggle/fight or is there another way?
To me, we as a society have lost the honouring of the feminine and the important place the feminine has in society. When I use the word place I am not talking about the 60’s type place, that a woman should be at home in the kitchen kind of mentality. This type of thinking is oppressive and from this, struggle and fight will always come. We are looking for equality in the wrong way. Should we look for equality or should we look for honouring? We as women do not have to take on the male energy, that will never work. We are not male!
When I think of what is happening in the workplace, what comes to mind is stress, bullying, endless hours of endless work, lack of satisfaction, exhaustion, no fulfilment, money focussed and disconnecting from our heart. Is that really how we want to live our lives?
There is another way!
We as women are responsible for how we wish to be honoured in our society and it starts with how we honour ourselves and each other. I believe the only way we have come to this place of fighting for power is because we have lost touch and connection with our inner power. The Goddess, the Warrior Woman, the holder and bearer of new life, the nurturer, the healer, the wise woman, the seeker, the nourisher, just to name some of the feminine qualities.
The question for me is what can the feminine offer male dominated work environments?
If we stop the fight for power, we become more powerful! And this is not meant as a tool to take power from men, I mean this as a way to work with men and to add our balancing yin energy. It’s about complimenting each other by honouring the place of both male and female energy in our working environments.
We need to start looking at who is right for positions and what energy does it need rather than meeting our number of females in departments or jobs for the boys. These ways won’t build us a strong and stable society. We need to move our focus from pushing into male dominated work environments and ask ourselves, is this the best use of my feminine or am I needed somewhere else. We as women don’t need power for the sake of power. We need to feel into the place we belong and stand there with all our power and authenticity of our feminine.
We are the nurturers and the bearers and holders of life, therefore, we can nurture and bear new life into our working and home environments. We need to become aware of the power of our feminine and use our beautiful qualities to bring what is needed at any given time. We also need to honour the men and give them their place. Without them we wouldn’t exist, just as without women the men wouldn’t exist. We need to find our rhythm again and start creating a balanced way of being in this world.
If you are curious like me about changing how the feminine supports our society then you may be interested in my Master Class: Women and Power.
May you be well and may you be happy