The future is (mostly) feminine.
“For real change, we need feminine energy in the management of the world. We need a critical number of women in positions of power, and we need to nurture the feminine energy in men.”
— Isabel Allende
As we step into a new year and a new decade, I can’t help but feel excited and inspired by the rise of feminine energy that I see in society today. I’m not just talking about the pursuit of gender equality, but moreso, about the celebration of the more feminine side of us all, regardless of our gender.
We all have a feminine and masculine side, it’s just that society has long preferenced masculine qualities over feminine. Our little boys, who are naturally born with a strong feminine side, are trained to emphasise their masculinity – to never cry, show emotion, or be too touchy feely. And our girls are told they need to be stronger and tougher, that our emotions are our weakness, and that our empathy can be taken advantage of. On the flipside, women are put down for being ‘too bossy’, instead of being praised for simply displaying their leadership skills.
So as we step into this new decade, let’s all embrace the feminine side of ourselves which is so often silenced, suppressed or ignored. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately in this space:
Feminine business principles
Sister are a feminist business consulting agency and they have some incredible resources on their site, including their 12 Principles for a Feminist Business. The first two principles are great (as are the other 10, but we’ll start with two!):
You have a body.
- You are connected with the earth, the plants and all living beings.
I have been trying to use these first two principles to guide how I run my business – to remind myself that I have a body that needs rest, care and exercise. That I’m not just a productivity machine that can run on adrenalin with no end in sight. And like I’ve mentioned in previous journals, the second principle really guides our new business initiatives to be more sustainable – that we are connected to the planet we live and work on, and we can either choose to have a negative or positive impact on that planet.
No matter what you’re doing, I think it’s so important to remember these two principles every single day – to always treat your body and the planet with care.
A feminine style of leadership
The feminine emphasises qualities of empathy, care and collaboration — qualities that can be so easy to forget when you’re running a business. You fail to have empathy for a customer or supplier who might have made a mistake or is failing to deliver what you need on time. In the haste to meet deadlines and maintain cashflow, you forget to show care for your team. And you see all other businesses in the same industry as a threat, rather than a potential source of collaboration.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “I don’t run a business, why is my bikini label telling me all this?!”. We all have some sort of job and play a role in our families and communities, so we can all show more feminine leadership in our lives. And when we do, that’s how we start to shift our society to be fairer, safer, and kinder for all.
Start to think about how you operate in a workplace or at school. Think about whether there are times you could show more care and empathy for those around you. Find ways to collaborate, rather than compete.
It doesn’t have to be entirely one or the other
“Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.””
— Margaret Fuller
For too long, society (ahem, the patriarchy) has favored only the masculine and while we need to elevate the feminine in all of us, perhaps we also just need to see more of a balance of the two. Sometimes in our lives we might need to dip into a masculine mindset to be more action-oriented. Other times we need to dip back into the feminine to be more caring and nurturing. Both sides exist in us all, and once we bring the feminine more to the fore, there is room for both to be more fluidly evident in our lives.
I’m still figuring out how this looks for my life and my business, but I’m so glad to be on the journey.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too!
We got this, ladies.
What we're listening to