The Eternal Feminine
With international Day of the Woman on March 8, I thought it would be an apt time to discuss the concept of the Eternal Feminine and how we may do well to embrace these qualities in our daily lives, in interpersonal relationships and even global politics and power.
The eternal feminine movement speaks to the healing aspects of the feminine character. Words like loving, peaceful, forgiving, warm, tolerant, harmonious and heartfelt are traditionally considered feminine while more conflict and warlike terms like conquest and strength are considered more masculine. The feminine terms are eternal because they are innate and not fabricated by our minds. Mothers access these qualities instinctively, and thus initiate healing as a natural phenomenon. Perhaps it is no accident that medical school classes these days ( different to when I was in school) are majority female - women are more natural helpers and healers than men, intrinsically. There are, of course exceptions, and men may learn that it is, in fact, more “manly” to embrace the eternal feminine in their personal and business interactions, and they will be more successful at sustaining those relationships!
Appreciation, affection, acceptance and allowing are feminine characteristics that can facilitate healing in most circumstances. If businesses, governments, educational institutions and religions were run utilizing these characteristics rather than the dogmatic authoritarianism that is more classically masculine, there would be a more healing atmosphere and probable success.
Instead our culture seems to have been infected by toxic masculinity where arrogance, bravado, toughness and insensitivity are held up as desirable characteristics. These, of course, lead to fear, war, conflict and oppression, not to mention bigotry, racism, sexism , ageism and generalized demonization and hatred of the “other”.
Of course in our business and political cultures, the pressure to excel and win is understandably strong, and it should be. But wouldn’t the world be somewhat more peaceful place if, even in these tumultuous times, we were able to inculcate characteristics of the eternal feminine into our interactions?
On this international day of the woman, let us embrace our eternal feminine, and if we cannot access those qualities, let us try harder to cultivate them, so that we might connect and empathize with the unfortunate, the downtrodden and those who are not exactly like us. We, and the world, will be better for it.
Dr. John Monaco