Summary. The world currently faces challenges that can only be understood and overcome through a feminine mindset and action.
The Future of Feminism. The future of “feminism” will transcend gender. It will not be so much about the gender of femininity as it will be about the spirit and source of femininity which is accessible to all – regardless of gender.
Impact of Feminism. Some predict that feminism will evolve into a balanced fusion exemplifying the greatest positive attributes of traditional feminine and masculine roles (Yin / Yang) as all potentially negative attributes of male and female are removed. The next wave of feminism is considered to be like a cocoon that is to give birth to something that transcends its source and original form.
Defining Feminism. The concept of “feminism” has at times in history involved women wanting “equality with men.” This was understood and acted out through women embracing and taking ownership of traditionally male roles and lifestyle choices. Men and women involved in the feminist movement worked toward this end. One example of this might be women in the military. It has now been demonstrated that when women compete along with men in combat, they can, indeed, blow things up and hurt people with the same ruthless efficiency as men. Yet many people are wondering, why didn’t the feminist revolution of the past few decades involve women competing with men in Olympic-like categories such as diaper changing, bottle feeding, knitting, cooking, helping with home work, and nurturing activities? Instead, women have had to compete with men in Olympic-like categories such as: corporate corruption, toxic waste dumping, overthrowing governments, illegal detention of prisoners, torture, kidnapping, assassinating democratically elected leaders, drug trafficking, illegal arms trade, breaking treaties, exploitation of workers, and other “manly” things.
False Assumptions About Masculinity. Unfortunately, the act of leaving the feminine to embrace the masculine may inadvertently convey acceptance of the false premise that what is “masculine” is superior to or more important than what is feminine. A similar paradox exists when a country sets out to “fight terrorism” and then becomes as violent, destructive, fascist, controlling, and oppressive as the “enemies” it seeks to destroy.
Feminine is More Spiritual Than Masculine. Many well-developed and widely accepted world religions (such as Orthodox Judaism) assert that the feminine is higher spiritually (more enlightened or more advanced) than the masculine.
Dangers of Masculine Lifestyle. A recent study showed that when countries like China embrace western (U.S.) foods and lifestyle, western (U.S.) illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes were soon to follow (see Diet for a New America). Similarly, when women try to attain “equality” with men by embracing that which is traditionally masculine, the stress, illnesses, and dysfunction of the male domain follow in short time. Such realizations have caused many to reexamine their opinions.
Anti Feminine Actions. Extreme cases of a distorted gender view can be witnessed in countries where pre-born or infant females are often aborted or killed in favor of male children. This has resulted in a gender imbalanced population in countries like India, for example [Source: BBC News, Wikipedia, LifeSiteNews]. Such practices are now the focus of attention by world organizations such as the United Nations. Rita Patel, M.D., explored this issue in her article, “The Practice of Sex Selective Abortion in India: May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons.” [PDF | Web]
Feminine Gender Equality. Today, men and women are seeking gender equality under the banner of what has traditionally been considered feminine. Some believe that this vision may represent a truer struggle for feminism. Rather than bringing women down to a lower level of existence (where one finds societal wars, power grabs, competitive Alpha-egos, and machismo), this new movement represents a struggle to bring men to a place where one finds a spirit of nurturing, cooperation, kindness, and diplomacy – a place on our “cultural mountain” where mostly women have dwelled.
Femininity and Gender. Some debate exists about the extent to which women are born with an innate ability to foster traditionally feminine traits due to biological differences. However, it is undeniable that much of what society views as “feminine” or “masculine” is simply the result of sexist gender-centric cultural child rearing – rather than innate tendencies. It has been demonstrated that young men can be raised to effectively take on traditionally feminine roles where traits such as nurturing, gentleness, sensitivity, and kindness are essential. It’s also been demonstrated that young women can be raised to effectively take on traditionally masculine roles and become soldiers, boxers, wrestlers, truck drivers, and even suicide bombers. An example of non-traditional upbringing is found in a Google video showing a young girl being trained at a firing range to operate a high-power armor-piercing fully-automatic weapon. The video footage is not from the Middle East, Vietnam, or some far-away land, but apparently was taken at a firing range in Oklahoma (USA).
Women in Government. Not all countries are teaching young girls to shoot automatic weapons and destroy property (as depicted in the video mentioned above). In fact, there is a global trend to move toward a more gentle and peaceful way of life for men and women. Many countries are moving in this positive direction. For example, the citizens of Chile elected Michelle Bachelet to be their president, making Bachelet the first female president in the history of South America. A news report released by United Press International had the title, “Chile’s new government heavily female.” This is because President Bachelet’s Cabinet had an equal number of men and women. In less advanced societies (such as the U.S.), the number of women in government positions is significantly smaller than the number of men holding government positions. For this reason, when there is gender equality, such as we find in Chile, people are astounded and declare such a government to be “heavily female.” United Press International appropriately filed the story about President Bachelet under the general heading of national security. Other nations are also quickly moving to achieve national and global security through “heavily female” governments. In fact, women presidents and prime ministers are now found on every continent of the world (except for North America which is lagging behind in this regard).
Feminine Government Goals. Regarding the roll of government, President Bachelet stated, “The task ahead of us is so beautiful — to create a country which is more prosperous, more just, a country of greater solidarity, a country of and for the people.” Such statements are in stark contrast to comments by “heavily male” governments such as that found in the U.S. where a more militant view of domestic and world relations is maintained.
Femininity and Longevity. Statistically, women live longer than men. Some believe their longevity is the result of a wisdom that leads to life affirming, life sustaining, and life supporting choices and attitudes. If this is true, then global female wisdom translated into domestic and foreign policy decisions may likely result in greater longevity for all beings on the planet and perhaps a greater assurance of human survival.
Christian Femininity. Many Christian men and women today firmly believe that there is an indisputable Biblical mandate to take upon oneself a mantle of feminine gentleness. They believe this feminine gentleness should be lived and preached world-wide. They believe this is the essence of Christianity. The Apostle Paul (the founder of today’s predominant expression of Christianity) was at one time “a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man” (1 Timothy 1:13). He later became very gentle person and commanded others to follow in the path of feminine gentleness stating, “we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7). Such words describe the highest degree of gentleness. The Apostle Paul did not necessarily see gentleness as a uniquely feminine trait. In fact, Paul taught that there is ultimately neither “male nor female” among humans but only one body of gentle spiritual people united by the example of Jesus (Galatians 3:28). The following commandments from Paul are examples of the call to gentleness:
- “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
- “But you, man of God, flee from all this [the love of money], and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)
- “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” (Philippians 4:5)
- “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
- “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Practical Feminism. Most of us are removed from significant involvement in the arena of global politics. So, we often feel there is little that one person can do to change the landscape of society and alter the course of human history. Yet, collectively many people are making small personal decisions that can have a huge impact. Here are a few practical examples:
- Career. In male-female relationships, couples sometimes favor the career of the man if it can provide a better immediate income. Instead, choose to empower the career of the woman (rather than the man) when making a geographical choice of where to live.
- Competitive Model. Rather than competing against each other, embrace the idea of competing with each other – encouraging one another on and cheering for the other team as well as one’s own. In this way, people pursue their own personal best.
- Family Leadership. Choosing to have a mantle of leadership (or guidance) that is handed down maternally and entrusted to the wisdom of the women in the family. In some traditions, the oldest born male is assumed to take over the leadership of the family. This new model would suggest that the oldest born female is to become the next family leader.
- Family Name. It is becoming increasingly common for women to retain their last name after marriage. Passing a family name down maternally through generations is a way of affirming the history, traditions, and heritage of women.
- Leadership. Support and vote for women in leadership of companies and organizations. Support the companies and organizations they lead.
- Maternal Continuity. In male-female relationships, choose to live closer to the woman’s immediate family for maternal continuity.
- Organizations. Support traditionally feminine organizations. For example, men seeking to lose weight can join groups like Weight Watchers that are predominantly composed of women members and leaders. The global Weight Watchers organization/movement has demonstrated a high success rate in helping women lose weight and gain confidence through empowering information and life techniques. In some cases, weight gain and ongoing weight challenges can be a result of other issues in life which are reacted to with emotional eating. So, overcoming and addressing these attitudes and issues can be part of one’s journey to healthier living. Such groups help build community around values that are traditionally feminine.
- Value Female Babies. If you are in a country where it is common to abort or kill pre-born or infant female children in favor of male children, work toward stopping this custom.
- Volunteer. When volunteering time to support community leaders and activists, choose to work for women (or men who affirm and support feminine wisdom). Note that all leaders who are women aren’t necessarily supportive of feminine goals.
- Religion. In male-female relationships, choose to embrace the religion of the woman’s family by marrying according to her family’s tradition and faith. Historically, in Judaism, the mother’s status as a Jew (and not the father’s) determines whether the children are considered Jewish or not. If she was born Jewish or converts to Judaism, then her children will be considered Jewish.
- Publications. When choosing a magazine or publication, purchase and subscribe to magazines and publications that are targeted toward a female demographic. This boosts the market share and influence that these publications have. For example, there are numerous magazines about health and exercise. However, Fitness Magazine is an example of a magazine that is primarily written to an audience of women. Yet, most of the information provided is relevant and useful for men. In some instances, men will get better (more life affirming) results by following a magazine like Fitness rather than the “bulk-and-hulk / high-blood-pressure” periodicals pushed by the nutritional supplement industry.
- Politics. Supporting and voting for women in politics and leadership is a good way to increase the presence of the feminine voice and wisdom in our society. It is important to support women who are not puppets of a male-dominated and corporate-controlled political machine. Therefore be sure to research the women you plan to support. There are many articles found on Google about women in politics.
Keep in mind that the above examples assume women fulfilling traditionally feminine roles. Because men and women are migrating to a shared cultural nexus of kindness and gentleness, gender will increasingly loose its significance in the dialog about the feminine.
The Global Feminism Revolution. While the global feminism revolution will be partially driven by media and movies, much of the movement will need to happen at home and in the work place. Like any successful revolution, it must go beyond fad to result in long-term changes. Here are some excerpts from a song by Gil Scott-Heron: “The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox. NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32 or report from 29 districts. The revolution will not be televised. There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock news and no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists… The revolution will not go better with Coke. The revolution will not be televised, … The revolution will be live.” – Excerpts of lyrics from the song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott- Heron (featured in this month’s Heart Songs selections).
Resources. Below are resources for supporting and monitoring the global feminine shift.
- CDC – Women’s Health
- FDA – Women’s Health
- Kiva.org – “Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.”
- Consider loaning money to women through Kiva.
- Medline – Women’s Health
- National Women’s History Project
- Rutgers – Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)
- Sacred Texts – Women and Religion
- United Nations – Women Watch
- United States Department of State – Women in Politics
- WebMD – Women’s Health
- Wikipedia – International Women’s Day
- Women’s Health Magazine