Close friends describe me as a man in a woman’s body. They don’t treat me like one of their own because I am not. I feel that for most of my early life, I have been so much in my masculine energy because I needed it to survive.
I didn’t feel like a woman at all. My feminine energy was all in the background. Every time I stepped out I met microagressions from the society mostly because society has only one version of me. A version that I didn’t choose for myself. Womanhood.
The idea of feminity has been squashed to mean homely, soft, unresponsive, quiet, prayerful, reconciliatory, helpful and many others. To exhibit these even in situations requiring a woman to be hard and set boundaries often lands many of us in abject dispair. And frustration.
Being feminine didn’t appeal to me because there was no action. There was a lot of listening, giving space, standing last in line, eating the left overs, bending over, giving everything I have, supporting dreams, picking broken pieces, not sitting at the table and carrying grace while wailing from within. Many of us just accepted that this is how to be. We banished the need in us to create, to defend, to fight, to own spaces, to lead, to stand up and to sit at the head of the table.
The need to be masculine and feminine is a hard balance in a place that defines feminity in terms of masculine understanding. I don’t think they are opposites. I think they are complimentary. One needing the other and not thriving without the other.
The society we live in is full of microagressions and cultural heritages that are harmful to women. You got to fight even when it seems easier to say nothing and do nothing. To reclaim masculinity while drowned by feminity can be challenging just as much as reclaiming feminity while drowning in masculinity.
Both men and women must begin by acknowledging the need to seek a balance and live in it. Women can begin allowing themselves to make personal decisions about core issues like birthing children, how to run households, if to have children at all, how to explore sexuality, doing things alone, travelling and saving, hobbies and practically things that are much left for the masculinity to decide to the detriment of feminity.
You can be soft but soft enough to step on the thorns and clear the way.
Feminity is soft yet hard. But a certain balance with masculinity is required. Not just shrinking into the self and into the society because a masculine woman is a threat. The world is aggressive to women because men still refuse to acknowledge their feminine side. Y’all got her inside of you. Deny it all you want.
I am feminine but masculine too. If all of us could find this balance together both men and women, embrace the men and women in ourselves, then I feel we could have a better union, understanding and communication. Giving us room to experience our different powers to fuel our lives and lived experiences.
I am still working on balancing both myself. I feel more manly than womanly. And nobody can do this for me but myself.