I don't want to be labelled a feminist because deep down I believe it's out dated, aggressive and all about "the fight" - the fight for equal rights, the fight for the vote, the fight for freedom. I acknowledge all the work done by our predecessors and for what they have achieved. I am of course, thankful. I am now one of many women who have their own business, can vote and freely express an opinion. Historically there was a lot to fight for, by why now in 2012 do women in the West still feel the need to fight for the things we want?
You only need to look to countries like Africa or Afghanistan where women have to fight. They have every reason to fight because more often than not, they're fighting for their very lives.
I don't want to be labelled a feminist because I simply don't want to be labelled and I don't believe that the label of feminism is the best way for the next phase of the development of women in western society. I want to be a woman in a harmonious world, not a woman masquerading as a man in a man's world. Yes, I would love to see more businesses accommodate women with flexible working practices, childcare facilities and with pay equality. I'd also love businesses to really honour the differences women bring to the workplace including their intuition, compassion and collaboration. We all know the issues but do we not see these changes are already happening albeit slowly?
Netmums recently released a survey of 1,300 women, which asked what feminism means to the modern woman. I'm not surprised by the results. Only 1 woman in 7 describes herself as a feminist. 39 per cent believe it's out dated, aggressive towards men, divisive and not relevant any more.
I am surprised however at one of the questions asked by Netmums - "What would you like to see women 'fight' for next"? Why are we still fighting? Is fighting the best way to achieve something we now want? Do we have to be aggressive? Is this truly the feminine way?
If fewer women are labelling themselves as feminists it's perhaps not surprising that thousands are taking workshops learning to reclaim their femininity. Claire Zammit and Katherine Woodward Thomas have established an incredible following, teaching women the keys to true feminine power. This feminine power is co-creative, giving rise to three different kinds of power: the power to change your life, the power to realise your destiny and the power to transform the world.
Zammit and Woodward Thomas have found through research and communicating with women that while the women's movement achieved great things, women's overall sense of happiness and wellbeing has been on a steady decline. They believe women are feeling unfulfilled, personally and spiritually, because they have been cultivating a masculine version of power, and this version of power is no longer relevant to women in todays society.
If women today do not associate themselves as feminists and if Zammit and Woodward Thomas are indeed correct, then it stands to reason that perhaps change needs to occur within ourselves before change can be experienced externally. When I was in the corporate world, my only role models were women and these women were aggressive, competitive, hard and tough. This is how I learnt to be in business. While I was earning great money, I felt deeply unsatisfied as I had turned into someone I was not. It was only when I started to delve deeply within that I became aware that a big part of me was missing - my feminine. If I was to find any joy in my life and if I wanted to bring any sort of change, I had to honour what nature had intended for me. I had to be myself.
The focus now in our modern world needs not to be on what's wrong and what we need to change, but on what's already right and what we want to truly achieve. The first step is for women to be women and to embrace those feminine qualities we naturally possess. These qualities include compassion, intuition, multi-tasking, collaboration, receptivity, and creativity.
Accordingly to Julia Margo, a British authority on female skills, emotional intelligence and communication are far more important than brawn. From the time girls enter school, she believes girls apply themselves and work harder then boys and this makes them far more employable once they leave the education system.
Women have a great deal of responsibility in the world right now and it's up to us to lead any change from a centre of being true to who we are. If 50 years ago it was a man's world, then I would argue that today, in the West, we are moving into a woman's world. Women have opportunities as never before. Surely one opportunity is to make the world a bit more feminine, not make ourselves even more masculine.
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