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The Secret Source of My Power

The Secret Source of My Power ModernRetroWoman.com
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Many, many years ago, when a bunch of colleagues were complimenting me on a dress I made, I made the off-hand comment that I love being girly.  Well, you would have thought that I had just admitted to stealing people’s pets and eating them for dinner.  The negative reaction was fast and fierce.  I was “reminded” that “being girly” is a pejorative phrase and that no self-respecting professional woman would call herself “girly.”  They told me that I was diminishing my power by wanting to be girly.

The problem with their reaction is that being girly is my secret source of power.

Although I could understand their point–the phrase is often used to imply that the recipient of the comments such as, “You throw like a girl,” is somehow less masculine than other men–I have embraced the non-demeaning definition that is used to describe a woman who cultivates her femininity. 

I love and identify with my feminine self.  I draw power and strength from the feminine aspects of myself.  Embracing the feminine arts helps me feel centered, balanced, and able to face whatever the day may bring.

[Tweet “I love and identify with my feminine self. I draw power and strength from my femininity.”]

It’s when I don’t acknowledge and embrace my feminine side that I run into trouble.  When I’m inauthentic and play by the “fake man rules,” I feel powerless, frustrated, and, ironically, silenced because I’m not trusting myself and my intuition.

I want to point out that femininity is not an either/or kind of proposition.  I don’t think it is helpful to foist one’s own definition of femininity onto someone else and then judge whether they can be part of the feminine club or not.  It is a continuum and my authentic self just happens to be on the ultra-feminine tail of the continuum. And it is from that perspective that I write about.  But it isn’t the only way to be feminine.

Since beginning my recalibration a couple of weeks ago by engaging in ruthless self-care, I’ve been focusing on tapping into my feminine power and shedding the fake man mask.

And it feels good–and powerful–to be my feminine self once again.

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  1. I agree with you completely, Dr. Julie-Ann! You know, recently I read a nail polish review written by a woman admonishing other women who were “older” to only wear nail polish in nude or neutral shades. Don’t wear red polish, she advised “because it draws too much attention to your wrinkled hands” and don’t wear pink polish “because it looks too girly”. My thoughts on this diatribe were – isn’t the whole purpose of nail polish to attract attention to your hands in a feminine, pretty way, which a beautiful red shade can do? And when did “girly” become a crime? Anyway, I diverge. I just want to thank you for speaking up about this subject and tell you how much I love your blog!

  2. Miss Betsy’s polish reviewer just made me see red. Ageism and Misogamy all in one go.

    Maybe though, it’s using the word “girly” that is in question as apposed to the words feminine or womanly.
    I know you’ve stated before that you were urged to wear the the little man suit with tie that so many women in the work force were into in the 80s & 90s. Maybe these are the same women who were into that and just can’t see the advantages to being true to yourself.
    This is not well stated, but I hope you get my meaning.

  3. I have spent most of my adult life in and around academia, and you are pretty spot on about how aggressively casual people tend to be, especially faculty members. I’ve been lucky to have found friends who embrace the feminine. One of the funny things is that I have developed the theory that if one is expecting to have a bad meeting, wearing pink and pearls helps. I’m not sure why, but they haven’t let me down yet. When I defended my dissertation, I was wearing a pink shell with my black suit, my trusty multicolored baroque Tahitians, and 4 inch heels.

  4. While perusing the web for homemaking and related topics, I came across “Modern Retro Woman”. What a delight to read! I’m undecided now as to whether or not to start a web site of my own – you have done such an excellent job on yours.

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