The Art of Femininity and Being a Strong Woman

Femininity. I bet that when you read that word, you had some stereotypes running through your head – burning bras, opinionated women being loud and in-your-face about it or a helpless damsel-in-distress girl who is dressed in frills. Notice something? Why does femininity (and feminism, which tends to be lumped into it) have a slightly negative connotation?

Popular media nowadays like to blast us with tag phrases such as “We are independent strong women!” or as famously uttered by Madonna, “I’m tough, ambitious and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” The image we get is one that is tough and almost (do I dare say), masculine.

While there is nothing wrong with promoting and encouraging females to be strong and independent, what is then wrong with being feminine? Which is why I found it refreshing to learn that Dr Martha has a workshop entitled “Powerful & Radiantly Feminine” which she runs regularly. Can we be both powerful and feminine at the same time without being called names or accused of being ‘a man’?

The workshop was really intimate, with about seven of us, and this really did help us to be a lot more honest and open with our sharing. Similar to the rest, coming from a corporate background meant that there have been times where I felt like I needed to mimic my male colleagues but as a result, some people (men usually) have told me that I can come across as very corporate and therefore, intimidating. This has certainly crossed from my professional to my personal life, which doesn’t bode well in the relationship arena.

The first ‘lightbulb’ moment I got was when Dr Martha said that both femininity and masculinity are present in men and women. It’s fluid and any male or female can be more or less feminine/masculine at any given time. That explains why I can still be deemed ‘corporate’ or ‘intimidating’ despite wearing a dress or how some men are labeled as feminine due to the way they talk. On the flip side, some women exude a certain je nais se quoi and we’re often clueless as to what it is that makes them both strong and soft at the same time.

But naturally, when you’re talking about femininity and masculinity, which you can categorise as ‘sexuality’, it is natural to then relate it to relationships – especially between partners. Which is why Dr Martha, who is a sexologist, even conducts this workshop. Too many women are not really in touch with their feminine side and do not recognise men’s masculine psyche and this causes a lot of friction in relationships.

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