Nov 29, 2021

Feminism has failed, dramatically. 

And, ironically, women are suffering for it most.


We are burning up and burning out. We’re stressed, depressed and anxious. We are leading the way as sufferers of auto-immune conditions, where the body literally attacks itself. Think about that for a moment. 

We fought for our freedom, and instead were complicit in creating a world where there’s now an undercurrent of expectation for women to do & be all things - to work like they don’t have a family, and to raise a family like they don’t have to work. To be career-driven, financially independent, “successful”, as well as keep a nourishing home, be a great mother, confidant & support for friends. So many hats - and choosing to wear just one and let go of the others brings guilt and shame. It’s a lose-lose situation. And the thing we’ve lost the most, is ourselves.


Feminist thinking and the origins of the movement touted equality for women, that we should have the right to do all the things that men get to do by default - to work, to actually be paid for the work we do, and be paid fairly, to have freedom of speech, thought, and self-ownership. All great things, all needed, and yet… something vital was overlooked.


In our up-in-arms-lets-make-a-stand fervour we opened a lot of these doors (even if not fully, yet), but instead of claiming all of these things for women, as women, as the feminine creatures we are, we claimed them in the model of men, of the masculine. Yes, we can work in the same roles these days (and sometimes get paid the same), but those roles are modelled around a linear, consistent way of being. One of externally determined structure and routine - same thing, day in, day out. Reductionist, analytical and logical thinking (all masculine traits) are favoured over creativity, freedom, fluidity and feeling (all feminine).


To fit the mould we insisted we wanted to fit, we developed a negative relationship to our bodies and denounced our cycles, denounced our feelings, which were ‘getting in the way’ of us showing up in the same way as men. We developed a negative relationship to our need to slow down at times (because to be slow is to be “weak”, or less productive in the material realm, which means we are worth less, right?), and so we learnt to “power through”, to tune out our own needs in favour of others, in favour of showing up the same, day in, day out and proving that, yes, we are as good as men, and as worthy. Just look at how many hours we can put in, how much we can do, how much the same we are. 


But we are not the same.


We denounced our feminine intuition in favour of quantifiable, evidence-based, analytical ways of doing things, and in the process, our feminine shrunk away, buried, hidden, even deeper within. We severed ourselves from the very essence of ourselves. Is it any wonder we are feeling increasingly disconnected, anxious, stressed and depressed?


Stress is a physiological response of the body, alerting us that SOMETHING IS WRONG.


Woman, something is wrong.


You know it. Even if not consciously, your soul knows it. You feel it in your bones, in your life-force. That stress response, that fatigue, that anxiety? They’re simply messages from your body, from your soul, that something is deeply wrong with the way we are collectively living.


Feminism has failed us. Instead of claiming rights for women, as women, we have created a scenario where we force ourselves into a box that was never ours to begin with. We fight for the right to be free…. in a world that has been designed for, and favours, the masculine. So that freedom is simply an illusion, and our souls quietly suffocate. We need to be claiming our right to be fully expressed in the feminine. To move in cycles, to know that, actually, that is our power, and that we are powerful, vital beings in our own right, just as we naturally are. That we are free to celebrate ourselves as women, with wombs, with rhythms, with cycles. To ebb and to flow. To turn outward at times, and at times, to turn inward.


Only when you open your eyes to it, can you begin to understand how deep this runs. It’s everywhere. We can even look at the personal growth world, and traditional coaching models. An industry built around personal development, i.e. tailored to the individual. And yet so much coaching is results-focused, analytical and linear. You are here, and you want to be there, and this is the most efficient way of getting from here to there. It’s very dry, there’s no room for feeling, for listening in, for attuning to your body, your rhythms, your personal (emotional, physical and spiritual) needs. It’s very masculine - all about efficiency and productivity, which can be useful at times, but is not necessarily the best thing for your wellbeing on a soul-felt level, and doesn’t give space for the expression and exploration of the feminine. It’s all in the head, and linear, and we are designed to live from the body, and move in spirals. It’s just that we’ve had those natural instincts trained out of us, from birth.


Take a look at any model of success, any article on productivity… all of them say the same - you need a set routine that is the same everyday: get up at the same time every day, do the same thing every morning, same routine every day. All linear, all rigid, written from the masculine, for the masculine. 

5:00am get up, 

5:10 take a run, 

6:00 get home, shower, 

6:15 kettle on, make lunch, 

6:25 drink coffee, eat breakfast, 

6:45 out the door to work, 

8:00 am in the office. 

And those buildings that breed “success”? Grey building, grey carpet, grey walls, square edges, boxes, cubicles, computer screens and artificial lighting. Stay for 9 hours (or more), fulfill external demands of you, go home tired, drained, stressed and anxious. Sit in a square room, staring at a square box. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Do the exact same thing tomorrow. As if tomorrow, you’ll be exactly the same person with the same needs, fitting in to the same boxes. 


Except that you won’t. 


Because you are cyclical. You have natural rhythms, just like the seasons. The feminine flows, like water, it twists and turns and eddies. Tides come in and tides go out. Living only in the masculine doesn’t allow for this part of ourselves to be expressed, and so we feel smothered and trapped by the daily grind, our souls starved in a wasteland of sameness. The gremlins creep in, we feel like we don’t belong in a world where, frankly, we don’t belong, because it is not ours, we didn’t create it, we do not fit… but we are forcing ourselves to fit. And as a result we have become severed from our true, instinctive, wild, unpredictable nature. We feel hemmed in and stressed out.


So what do we do?


There is a deep need to create a new paradigm, one where women lead, and lead from the feminine (and, yes, for men to lead from this place too). The masculine supports, for sure. It’s not about one over the other, that’s what has led to this current state of affairs. It’s about creating balance and harmony. And in a patriarchal society that perpetuates and celebrates the masculine and actively discredits the feminine and grows increasingly disconnected from MOTHER earth (to its own detriment), it is a new feminism that is needed. Not a feminism that has women embodying the masculine in order to be valued. A feminism that has women standing up as women, reclaiming the feminine and all the strength, wisdom, healing and magic that comes with it. A new model for how to be in the world. The old model doesn’t work, that’s clear to see. And I’m talking for women AND men here. The leading cause of death in men under 50 in the UK is suicide. If that’s not a cry for a societal shift, I don’t know what is. 


There is a new feminine rising, being birthed in a way only women can do. We have a task on our hands. We are creating something from scratch. We have no model to follow, no instruction manual for how things should look. But we do have our innate wisdom, our intuition, and the powerful feminine ability to envision and create. So, to begin, the most important thing is to reconnect to ourselves, to unapologetically move with our own rhythms, recognizing them for the gift that they are, and to trust ourselves, our deep knowing, and to begin to unearth the wild women buried within. At the moment, we are swimming against the tide, but when enough of us are swimming, the tide will turn, and instead we’ll finding ourselves flowing in a way that is so natural, so right, and so ours.


We’ll create a way to live in flow, not force. To move from an energy of collaboration, not competition. A future for the collective, long-term good, not just the short-sighted individual. And when we do that, stress dissipates, anxiety falls away and we come home to ourselves, our whole selves - our fierce, wild, untameable, fully-expressed selves.


It’s time to come home.


Stay Fierce and Free, Sister.

Hayley x


If you want help growing your wellness business while managing stress, healing from burn-out, and reconnecting to your wild, innate wisdom, join our group of impact-driven women in The Fierce and Free FB group. If you know in your bones that you need a deeper dive with highly personalized support designed with your business success in mind, schedule a Level-up Your Legacy Discovery session with me, Hayley.

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