A Plea for the Enlightened Feminine
Updated: Aug 30
Sisters, I have a radial call-out. Feminism lied.
Okay, let me be fair. She didn't pathologically lie. Much of what she said is true, and most of what she has given us is good. But there is one lie that she's told - a lie that keeps women and men entrenched in our endless struggle for power. A lie that keeps us all from getting what we really want.
The lie is this: Men are more powerful than women.
You’ve been fed this lie your whole life, haven’t you? If you are a woman born in the post-feminist era you probably swallowed it whole. All you had to do was turn on the TV while your mother went to work. If you were raised religiously, your male clergy dismissed all sorts of ideas like that while in your academic classrooms you learned it as gospel truth. Perhaps like me, a well-educated professional woman, you may have taught it to your daughters or students without acknowledging that feminism is a theoretical construct.
If feminism is a theory, why is it not okay to critique it?
Why are we so afraid to deconstruct it?
Why can’t we hear other voices, including those of men?
I offer a new thought, a new theory: Women are more powerful than men.
Let me be clear, sisters. Our pain inflicted by men and the patriarchy is not a lie. Our stories of unfairness, powerlessness, humiliation, abandonment, and abuse should never be deconstructed. Our voices must be heard, supported, honored, and treasured. Furthermore, men’s refusal to acknowledge their atrocities justifies our anger. Our outrage is acceptable because it is our truth.
Yet what is also true is that (most) men do not do these things to gain power over us but rather to gain power back. Because deep down, whether aware or not, men know the power of women.
For she, the feminine, is wild. Her natural erotic love-energy makes men feel in ways that they do not naturally feel, and they crave that energy more than you crave chocolate frosting on the first day of your period. The beauty of the feminine erupts chaos within every cell of a man’s body, igniting uncontrollable passion. He is rendered helpless in the pursuit of oneness with her; she is the silkworm weaving his fragmented heart back into his being. She makes him better, and he needs her. With her, he becomes a benevolent and unstoppable force.
Men, who have been socially conditioned to be strong, find it unacceptable to succumb to powerlessness and neediness. In their fear, in their shadow, men believe the only way to have the feminine is to tame her. He must keep her down, and penetrate her consciousness, so that she will stay.
The root of patriarchy is fear of losing connection with the feminine.
The feminists, myself included, believed the root of patriarchy is men’s hatred of women. Through my own reflexive process, I've no longer believe this. The root of patriarchy is men’s fear of losing connection with women, or fear of becoming disconnected to the feminine. And whether feminism will ever acknowledge this or not, to continue to teach that misogynistic men hate us is a lie that oppresses just as much as patriarchy does.
Men love women. Men adore women. Men need women. Men want beautiful, transformative, conscious, intimate, passionate, sexual and non-sexual, connected relationships with women. This shift in thinking changes everything, for healing fear is much different than combating hate.
As women, we are unaware of our power. Yes, this unawareness comes, in part, from the bondage of patriarchy. But it also comes from our own refusal to accept our power and use it in ways that heal and transform. The natural feminine love-energy is eros, or passionate love that generates connection. As depicted in my theory of Love & Power, eros is pure power.
I’m not excusing men or their bad behaviors. They must take responsibility for how they've hurt women. I’m asking women, myself included, to develop a new consciousness. I’m asking us to take responsibility for what we can do, and then do our part.
Men want to love us. We women want to love men, and we want to be loved by them. If we believe that men hate us, and we continue to dehumanize them as oppressors, we will never trust them. If we don’t trust them, how will we ever open our hearts to receive their love? In this way, neither women or men get the relationships we want, and oppression continues to win.
It’s time for a new consciousness.
Sisters, this is my plea. There is another truth: Women are incredibly powerful. It's time to step into your erotic power. This is an expansion of feminism; this is the enlightened feminine.
Amy O'Hana is a writer and a teacher. Find her and other posts like this one on the web at amyohana.com