Growing up I was a champion for the feminist movement. I played sports with the guys, even hockey, because I was determined to prove that I was better than them. I won third place in my 5th grade speech contest, stunning audiences with a speech entitled, “Women in the Workforce”. I was often quoted as saying, “I can do anything a boy can do, only better”. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in equality for all people no matter the gender, color or sexual orientation. I am not saying that we should settle for less and I appreciated that the pendulum sometimes needs to swing to the extremes to get us back to center. Even beyond that, if women can complete the demands asked of them in combat, then they should be able to serve, but I think we should take pause and really explore where this drive has spawned from. Is what we were seeking true equality or sameness?
Sameness or True Equality?
As I have gotten older, my drive to prove myself against the ‘Man’ has lessened considerably. I chose to stay home with my son. I take pride in making a loving home and having the time to prepare healthy meals. I don’t do this because it is my role, but rather it is in my heart and my priorities. And with that, I believe all people need to do their heart’s calling. It is not my place to make other’s personal decisions, or deride them for making one contrary to my own. Having tried so hard, for so many years to be better, I realized was trying to be better by other’s standards and not my own.
My concern with the feminist movement is basically this; we have looked for equality using the patriarch’s measuring stick. Fundamentally, women and men are different and we have allowed our patriarchal society to deem traditional feminine qualities as weak. We have allowed what makes us special and unique to be belittled and devalued, not just by men, but as women. Of course we can open a door for ourselves, but can we allow a man to do it for us and not see ourselves as weak? It seems to be that this small act is done out of respect and not out of perceived weakness.
In Taoism, there is a cyclical nature moving from submission into domination and back again. Ultimately, it is the weak that overcomes the strong. The water that wears the rock. There are no inherent good or bad qualities; there is the no better or worse. The male and female energies exist for a reason; they bring balance to the universe. The primordial Mother and Father, the Yin and the Yang are complimentary. Neither one is better than the other, they are both necessary. The only reason a trait such as being emotional is seen as weak or lesser, is because we allow our patriarchal society to define it as such. While equality is necessary for the functioning of a civilized society, we must not lose sight that equal does not mean the same.
Embracing the Feminine
Many of the world’s crises exist because we there is not balance amongst the feminine and masculine energies. We live in a time where we have allowed science to reign unchecked, linear logic to dominate and reductionist thinking to equate truth. These left-brain qualities, while absolutely necessary, dominate our consciousness. What about the abstract, the creative, cooperative and the emotional? Where would we be today if those were nourished and cultivated, rather than stifled. There is nothing wrong with emotionality, cooperation and nurturing, it is the balance. There is a movement right now that believes we are shifting and ushering in the Divine Feminine, but we can’t do that if those energies and what they stand for are labeled as undesirable.
We continue to perpetuate this line of thinking that equality is tantamount to being able to do what a man does. That is where feminism went awry. We wanted to be as valued as men, but we diminished our uniqueness to get there. We have spent years proving that we could be as dominant, determined and as individualistic as a man and at the same time allowing that which makes us special to fall away. So ardent in our quest to prove ourselves worthy we have lost sight of the divine within us. So in a sense it is not true equality we are seeking, it is more of mimicry. A mere illusion of what it is we are truly looking for; that is to embrace all that we are and be seen as equal.
More Nurturers Not Soldiers
Again if we use the masculine energy and qualities inherent in the patriarch as our barometer, having more people who can fight would be seen as progressive. This is not progress in my eyes. I would argue that it perpetuates the already overbearing masculine energies of our collective consciousness and further weakens the Divine Feminine. It seems to me that this decision, while just, does not bring more balance, but takes us further out. A woman in combat seems to perturb further the true nature of the universe.
Let me end this by saying this; we do need people in the military and the people who serve our country and their families deserve our gratitude. My point is we need balance. That it is ok for us to be who we are and be of equal value. Woman in combat is not a triumph of equality and a win for women. It is further denial of the Divine Feminine. If what we want is a more peaceful world, it isn’t accomplished by having more soldiers, but more nurturers.
Angela Levesque is health educator, writer, exercise physiologist and energy healer. She hosts a weekly online radio show called On Health & Healing with Angela Levesque on a2zen.fm. Angela teaches several classes on self care, meditation & weight loss. Visit www.hestiahealth.com for more information. Follow her on https://twitter.com/HestiaHealth and http://www.facebook.com/hestiahealth.