Recently I read an article about women in Saudi Arabia and the positive progress that has been made in behalf of their rights.
Starting in 2018, the government has agreed on allowing women to finally–
- Drive a car.
- Enter sports stadiums and view games (however, they do need to sit in the “family section” that is separate from the men.) Due to the separate and segregated entrances that have been assigned to women in most establishments, the sports stadiums will be going through renovations in order to accommodate families.
While the article announced that this is a big step for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, (and I am beyond happy for their progress), it breaks my heart that something like this is still an issue today. Yes, women have come a long way as far as rights and equality (go us!), but after reading articles like that; it puts into perspective how much farther we still need to go.
For the most part I have been lucky enough to rarely experience extreme oppression and persecution because of my gender. However, some women haven’t been as fortunate and feel adversity everyday for being a female.
I know this topic is pretty big and I know discussion on this could last forever, which is why I am only going to touch on a few areas where I think females can embrace more of their femininity.
WOMEN + EMOTIONS
Sometimes as a woman, being emotional can have a bad wrap. Often it can be interpreted as overly sensitive, weak or unstable. You may even feel like you need to apologize for being emotional because it’s awkward or inconvenient. But this could not be farther from the truth!
Emotions are how we experience life. Whether you cry from feeling sadness or from being over-joyed, you are experiencing moments in life that are meaningful to you. Being expressive simply means that you are in-tune with your feelings, passions, excitements and grief.
There is nothing weak about that.
Women are hard wired to be sensitive to children’s needs, intuitive in relationships or perceptive to the environment around them. This quality is a gift, not an inconvenience.
Everything you feel is valid! So be authentic with your feelings, genuine through your emotions and embrace your emotional femininity!
WOMEN + PERIODS
Yep. I said it. The P word – period. There can be a lot of embarrassment, taboo and shame when it comes to women and the menstruation cycle. In some countries, women are discriminated against, denied equality and actively shamed for having a period. And in extreme cases, they even become a man’s property once the first menstrual cycle begins.
This monthly visitation from Mother Nature has always been a very uncomfortable and misrepresented stigma that feels more like a curse to most women than a natural and accepted process.
Why does this have to be a problem? Having a period is normal. Having a period means that you are healthy. Having a period means that your hormones are balanced. Having a period means that you can do one of the most amazing things as a woman- create, carry and give birth to another human being.
That is powerful.
If there is nothing we can do about this lovely monthly visit then let’s embrace it as part of our femininity. Don’t be ashamed, don’t feel less than and don’t let it hold you back.
So next time you get your period, tell your body thank-you for being healthy. Because being a healthy and strong woman is amazing. Period.
WOMEN + PERFECTION
News Flash: Embracing your femininity does not mean you need to look and be perfect all the time. I know, I know. It’s ridiculously hard to not get caught up in society’s idea that whatever a woman is doing, she should look sexy while doing it.
Yeah that sounds awesome! – Said no female ever.
How can anyone take a woman seriously if she is supposed to be more concerned with looking attractive than doing other responsibilities like – caring for a messy baby, being an athlete, gardening in the dirt, training for a marathon, cooking for a family or hours of studying for a final exam.
None of that work is glamorous (rewarding, yes) but glamorous, no. So from now on, don’t let yourself think that being feminine means you need to look amazing while doing everything.
Because that’s not reality.
Instead, embrace your femininity everyday by recognizing your strength, creativity, spirituality and beauty from within and use it as a vehicle for good.
Give yourself permission to be messy. Authentic. Real.
WOMEN + WEIGHT
If you ask any woman if she wants to change something about her body, most likely the answer will be yes.
So I’ll just skip right to it. Femininity is not about being skinny. Being a worthwhile woman is not about being skinny. Being accepted as a woman is not about being skinny.
Whether you are short, tall, curvy, straight, dark skinned, light skinned, etc. you are a woman because you nurture. Because your body can carry a baby. Because you are emotionally connected. Because you have intuition. Because you love deeply. Because you are strong willed. Because you are creative. Because you are intelligent. Because you are you. (I am not saying every worthwhile woman needs to have these qualities, if you don’t connect with any of these that’s cool too! You do you.)
To sum this up nicely, here is a lovely quote about femininity I found on the interwebs.
“Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength.” -James E. Faust
To wrap up, femininity to me means that no matter what you wear or what you look like, you can be a force for good when you are developing your own unique qualities as a woman and as an individual.