August 26th was dubbed “Women’s Equality Day” by congress in 1971. This celebrated and commemorated the anniversary of a woman’s right to vote which came about in 1920. Originally, the date gained power from the first women’s rights convention in 1848 in New York City following a huge peaceful, women-led civil rights movement. Today, women’s equality looks very different than it did back then. More than about basic rights of pay and equal treatment in the workplace, voting rights and recognition of a woman as a human – by the same standards as a man – woman’s equality today is about reclaiming the true feminine.
Living in the western world means women have opportunities like never before in history and like no other place in the world. Women can own property, run businesses and have a family all on one key chain. Women have become powerful in the workplace and the world. Politics are even starting to see the face of women moving in to take a seat as an influencer of nations. Outwardly, a woman today can walk in the shoes of a man without much of a problem, though still – the female image is largely abused. Despite the equality which has come through the workplace, women have yet to truly discover the real essence of what it means to be a woman without the negative influence and conditioning of advertising and Hollywood.
Advertisements today do not support a woman in finding her true feminine power. Power does not come from sexual manipulation and sex appeal. These things distort the reality of what a woman really is and leads to abuse of the feminine spirit. Girls are growing up today wearing shorter and shorter shorts and make-up before they even hit puberty. They are looking at their sexuality as a commodity to trade for popularity and confidence. And why wouldn’t they when the movies they watch and the ads they see show them this is acceptable? Where are the positive female role models showing girls in this day and age what a woman can really be?
These ads to the left are just a few examples of advertisements today – depicting the defilement of the feminine.
Are women just body’s to be looked at and used to promote products? Absolutely not! In fact, this type of advertising ought to be an outrage to every female, and every real man.
What is the true feminine?
This is a question every woman needs to ask. The only place this truth can be accessed and seen- is through honestly looking within the self and peeling away self-judgment, degrading beliefs and unhealthy habits. The true feminine expresses authentically her own beauty from a place of self-love and creativity. Unfortunately, in today’s age, most girls only see women in so-called ‘power’ positions who have made it there by using sexuality and negative publicity. It seems even the most powerful and successful actresses in Hollywood find themselves performing questionable actions in the name of fame.
The true feminine is a woman who is not only unafraid to be honest in her self-expression, embracing herself in every possible form, but is also not afraid to be boldly sensual without ‘selling her sexuality.’ It isn’t that there is anything wrong with being ‘sexual’, it is a natural part of life, both masculine and feminine. In fact, sexuality, when used correctly, is the most powerful force for ‘good’ in the universe and the creative energy behind all of life. It is only when sexuality is used as a commodity to ‘sell’ something – including popularity – that its power is tarnished. Sexuality, in its pure form, is a creative energy so powerful – it simply flows through a person without trying. There is no effort needed by a woman who is truly in her feminine power, to ‘prove it.’
Advertising and the movie industry has done women a great dis-service by suggesting success, power and beauty be obtained by possessing a particular body type, attitude or ‘look.’ The true feminine has no formal shape or size conformity, no one ‘way to be’ dictating her reality – except authentic, pure expression. One might argue that being sexy is their authentic nature, and to a degree this may be true for some women. Though to limit oneself to such a narrow confine would belittle the grandeur of any woman’s potential expression – which encompasses so many facets and textures.
On this day, when we celebrate the equality of women, let us celebrate the true woman – not the woman in men’s clothing. The female gender is not supposed to be ‘just like a man’ able to perform and live up to tasks cut out for manhood. This doesn’t mean that we ought to be restricted from doing them if we want to, but there is a purpose for the different creative structures of our bodies.
True equality might just mean each person begins to see their purpose and live it fully; that we do not seek to restrict the behavior of one another, but rather encourage the best from each other in hopes of seeing a more perfect world. Women have the potential to be so much more than they are currently expressing under the guise and motivation of ‘being equal to men.’ Bah! Let men be men and women – let’s be women. We are curvy, emotional, strong, deep, fluid, powerful, nurturing, flexible, multi-tasking beautiful goddesses who can bless all beings with whom we come in contact with while at the same time, create the life of our dreams, dance with passion and slumber like a beautiful princess.
The true feminine has yet to fully rise in all of her power through the women of the world. Rise up women and stand in your beautiful natural self. Do not bow to the labels of consumerism and societal confines. Refuse to be less than all that you are, no matter how ‘different’ you may seem to be. Woman is diverse, multi-faceted and ever-changing. Woman is wild, loving and healing. Women have the power to extinguish the wars that rage in the world by loving ourselves and healing the wounds of our past. We have no need for fear – for we have one another. Women can change the world as we stand together in sisterhood and compare our bodies no more. We have birthed the world, so let us now know women’s equality as the embodiment of the true feminine.
Written by: Stasia Bliss