I’ve been thinking…(uh oh)….
There is an underlying pattern of misogyny in the genre of personal development. It isn’t intentional, mind you. I’m beginning to theorize it as a result of conditioning. Although ‘touchy feely’, ’emotions’ and ‘naval contemplation’ has been ‘seen’ as a woman’s field just google ‘personal development speakers’, or ‘motivational speakers’, or ‘personal transformational speakers’ images and you’ll find the majority are males.
And these males? They collaborate with males. They might have women on their teams behind the scenes but they partner up with males or they cite other male professionals as resources.
But here is where it really hit my heart… as I observe polls asking for recommendations for self-help gurus, the majority of answers, EVEN FROM WOMEN, are men. This is where the real misogyny is taking place.
Confidence and the presentation of it, is at the heart of this. What do I mean?
Men take up more space and aren’t ashamed of it.
As I watch some of my favorite online male counterparts I am in awe at how some manage to be charmingly cocky (I do not tend to favor cocky otherwise) to kindly confident. They make no apologies. They don’t seem to cater to anyone and they are bold. BOLD. Not as in daring so much as they speak like they know their shit is TRUE. They take up space without asking permission.
As I watch some of the familiar online female counterparts I see some trying to wear men’s pants figuratively and it feels out of place. It comes off cocky and not authentic. It seems like one trying to play like a man as a woman. Rather than just play like a woman.
I am not anti-male, in any shape or form. And I’m not whining about being a woman….I wouldn’t have it any other way. I see the value in balance, but right now there isn’t any balance. Its odd for me to google recognized professional speakers to find male dominance, but see a preponderance of females in the not-so-recognized online world.
I understand nature, so I don’t see this as something ‘contrived’ by humans. Look at almost any species and you’ll find the male dressed in the brightest, boldest colors, loudest call, most aggressive and most recognized. It’s in their nature. The bolder look imprints upon us, so when we think of a peacock it is the male peacock that immediately comes to mind. Same thing for a lion, a cardinal or a deer. Males natural tendency to be more aggressive makes them more notable and memorable.
So, I’m not blaming the men at all.
I just want to bring awareness that just because a female is not all bold and aggressive does not mean she is not as capable of serving, especially in the personal development arena. We have ‘softer’ ways, like the gentler hues of the female peacock vs the bold colors of her male counterpart.
I want to remind my female counterparts that you don’t need to ‘sell out’ to find success. Don’t try on the bold male colors that aren’t your palette. Titles like ‘badass’, ‘gangster’ and ‘warrior’ feel disingenuous to me. It seems like a false sort of confidence.
Does that make sense? Does anyone else feel the energy incongruence thing happening here?
Confident women, ARE. When I think of confident women in the personal development field I think of Iyanla VanZant, SARK, Brene` Brown, Marianne Williamson, Maya Angelou…just off the top of my head.
I cannot, by any means state that any woman who uses these terms in disingenuous, I’m saying to me it feels like we women have been sold a load of men’s suits and have been trying to tailor them to suit us, rather than just wearing what suits us authentically.
If you are an authentically bold woman with a more masculine energy, GO FOR IT!! But if you are not, please don’t try to emulate a male’s approach to what you are doing. And please don’t think I’m suggesting you just substitute ‘badass’ with ‘goddess’ either. It’s perfectly ok to just BE, without a popular label.
I just want to remind everyone of the abundance of capable, effective and inspiring female personal developers out there and suggest you recommend them to your friends as readily as you do our male counterparts.
Our society is masculine heavy. We NEED a balance of yin and yang to reach our full potential. We NEED the bold brash yang energy of the male workshops that get you all pumped up and ready to break free of the astral gravity holding your ass in the chair in front of the TV. But we also all NEED the gentle beauty of yin energy in the female workshops to get you to really connect with your life force energy.
*Full disclosure, I confess, this post was written mainly for myself, as a reminder to not see my male counterparts as more successful because they are louder and brighter and seem to have more engagement and to quit trying to tailor suits for my womanly shape.
Jade Willow Song is an Intuitive Qi Therapist who works with individuals seeking healing, clarity and guidance on their life path by facilitating transformational experiences.
Jade serves others with her experience and education in metaphysics, crystal healing, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, QiGong, guided visualization and meditation. In addition, Jade is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.
Jade holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work as well as certifications in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch.