Denying Our Womanhood

Somewhere along the way I lost my pride in being a woman.  I lost the thrill of everything that comes along with playing for this divine goddess team…Spending valuable time with girlfriends, loving my curves and most of all connecting with my feminine side.

Society throws a lot of crazy messages at us, many of which just aren’t simply true.  I got the message loud and clear growing up that being a female was tough, painful and at times shameful.  This message was spoken to me from many directions of my life: the media, school, boyfriends, friends and family.

Message after message I heard things like girls had too much emotion and acted irrationally.  Crying was bad and made you weak.  Being emotional was not attractive and showing emotion made you disgusting.  Talk about a winning recipe for female self-hate!

Unfortunately, I bought into these crazy messages and lies.  I denied my womanhood.  I shut down any feelings or emotions that might put me in the category of “weakness” and I hid what I now value as one of my best characteristics— vulnerability.  Being vulnerable was the worst one of all because this meant I was open to feeling all of the things I was trying so hard to deeply suppress.

On top of this I started to involve myself in athletics.  I got into weight lifting, volleyball, basketball- anything that might make me look “strong” and “tough” like one of the boys or a cool chick, while downplaying my feminine qualities.

I got really good at “hiding” my feelings and avoiding any feeling that might lead to actually having to deal with what was going on in my life.  I did this in relationships with friends, family and especially boyfriends.  In my romantic relationships I would play it off like I was aloof, easy-going and emotionless so as not create an image of weakness and unattractiveness.

Within this self denying practice I had developed I became extremely unaware of just how much this was actually affecting my womanhood and my ability to connect to being female.

My message of women who show emotions are weak and powerless got reinforced through many job roles I took on.  Bartending in a pub visited predominately by male patrons harassing and barking at me exaggerated my toughness and ability to not let anything phase me.

Each time I walked in the door to work I would check my feelings and emotions at the door and put on my iron armour to protect myself from any chance of getting emotional or upset from all the crap I would have to endure just to make a dollar.

In my role as a an ESL teacher in South Korea I learned pretty quickly that as a female living in Korea, unveiling your emotions only meant that you were weak and pathetic.  An encounter with my boss on a particular day where I accidentally allowed myself to cry in her presence ended in a screaming match with her yelling at me how pathetic, weak and ugly I was for crying over what I felt to be an important matter.

In my relationships with certain women, friends and family included I would make a point of denying my female side of vulnerability and emotions to come across as cool and put together (even though on the inside I was often struggling to hide my true self and keep it together).

In my relationship with my significant other, there were so many times I caught myself holding back the tears and pushing down my true feelings to avoid looking like a weak woman, led by emotion rather than reason.  I wanted to appear strong, independent and attractive.  I thought that this equaled never crying, pretending that everything is okay even when it wasn’t and pretending that nothing bothered me even when it really did.

Reconnecting

Over time, I have allowed myself through a great deal of self-awareness and self-love to reconnect with my lost inner goddess.  I have made the realization that denying my emotions, feelings and thoughts about being a woman is not only damaging to my health and soul but also to all women.  By denying the divine feminine within myself I was also denying all things great in this world.  Without women all balance would be lost in the world.

Women are strong, resilient and powerful but we are also soft, sensitive, emotional and fragile beings.  There is nothing wrong with being in touch with this side.  In fact, I believe this only makes us stronger and more resilient.  Embracing our entire feminine being only allows us to give more love to others who are lacking.

Today, each and every month I thank God that I am blessed with the gift of being a woman and to feel and show all that runs through my emotional inventory.  If you are one of these women denying your womanhood, I strongly encourage you to take some time to soul search deep down and examine where these beliefs came from and if they are still really truly applicable to you today.  What role does denying you womanhood play in your life?  How does it affect your relationships?  How does it make you feel physically in your body?

We are human.  We get emotional, we cry, we scream, we laugh- it’s all part of who we are.  But by denying this female part of us we largely deny ourselves the love that we deserve and were each born with.  The more we love ourselves, the more room we have to love others.  And, besides in the end, love really is all that matters…

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4 responses to “Denying Our Womanhood

  1. Being vulnerable is crucial for survival, regardless of gender. I appreciate the insights from your life experience 🙂

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