Alive with Dr. Zive: Discussion of the Other F-Word-Feminism

The topic of our March 3, 2022 session was feminism. When you hear that word, what immediately comes to mind? What does feminism mean to you?

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” -Marie Shear

For many, the look, feel, and sound of feminism is one of anger. Those feminists are “man-haters” and angry. Dr. Z was that type of feminist. She was called a feminist, bitch, and opinionated for being angry about the injustices that women suffer. But going on her second marriage and having a son, being a man-hater was no longer an option.

So if real feminism isn’t about man-bashing, anger, or sexuality, what’s it about?

The old definition of feminism: The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It encompasses social, political, and economic equality.

The definition of new feminism: Supports the idea that men and women have different strengths, perspectives, and roles while advocating for the equal worth and dignity of both sexes.
Wikipedia, accessed site on 03/03/2022

We are all capable of having feminine and masculine attributes. Feminine qualities include nurturing, intuition, creativity, love, and openness. Masculine qualities are focus, activation, willpower, and clarity. Today our feminine and masculine energies are not balanced. In fact, we find ourselves in a world dominated by toxic masculinity. Wars, greed, dominance, and power are the cornerstones of this energy. Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, says, “Men are afraid men will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.” Toxic masculinity doesn’t just oppress women; it affects men (and other marginalized not status quo groups) who don’t behave in either “manly” ways or the ways the dominant (heterosexual, ethnic, gender, etc.) culture acts.

Deepak Chopra states the world is “desperate” for feminine style leadership. During the time we were hunters and gatherers, the dominant male energy was necessary for survival. It’s not necessary for our survival today. Yet, our world runs as if we are reliant on men to hunt and kill.

Feminine energy opposes toxic masculine energy. Compassion, empathy, beauty, joy, nurturing, nature, are all part of feminine energy. It’s less about the fight to get ahead and more about resting into being. It’s about finding the balance between the feminine and the masculine and we need to start from within. We need to embrace love, beauty, and compassion for ourselves to then encourage others to do the same. Moving from toxic masculinity to feminine energy will create the balance we need to heal the world.

Our Representation Rebellion rebel, Haley, says, “Believing in ourselves and supporting other women,” is a great way to get started.