What does “girl power” mean in a society whose conceptions about gender inclusion are evolving?
Girl power doesn’t need to be exclusively for people assigned female at birth. It doesn’t need to exclude non-binary, trans or even male-bodied folks, although gender-specific spaces are safe havens of growth and exploration for many. I️ believe that girl power is about embracing a Feminine understanding of the world in a culture that predominately celebrates a linear, rational, and decidedly Masculine perspective. Both perspectives are equally important. Both perspectives can be cultivated within a single person, regardless of that person’s sex or gender identity. (And in the coming years, I look forward to a culture that also equally respects and embraces the perspectives of those living outside the gender binary.)
The Masculine has traditionally been defined by a certain mastery over the natural world. Hunting. Conquering. Securing resources. Without this role that many people have played for hundreds of thousands of years, we wouldn’t have evolved into the species we are today. I celebrate the role of the Masculine in our history as humans.
The Feminine, on the other hand, holds a deeply intuitive, sensual and nurturing understanding of our reciprocal relationship with the natural world. Yet this perspective has been dismissed, feared, belittled and even demonized by Western culture, such as during times when female practitioners of plant medicine were judged and persecuted as potion-crafting witches. The Feminine in its purest form is raw, wild and uncontained—not acceptable qualities to a society driven by values of control and dominance.
But I see that an awakening is unfurling: we cannot heal our relationship to the planet without first embracing a Feminine culture of nurturance. We must equally cultivate both the Masculine and the Feminine within ourselves to come back into right relationship with our earth and with each other.
To me, this is what “girl power” means in a modern context.
For this reason, I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018 to fundraise for nonprofits that are empowering girls in the outdoors.
This is not about excluding people who identify as trans, non-binary or male. This is not about de-valuing the role of the Masculine. This is about encouraging young women AND those who are called to rediscover the Feminine power of intuition and deep connection to the earth. This is about encouraging young people, regardless of gender, to find and cultivate Feminine wisdom in the natural world. In coming back into balance, the next generation will play their role in healing the world.
Thank you to GirlVentures, Gaia Girls Passages and The Girl Empowerment Workshop for the amazing work you are doing to honor the Feminine perspective and to cultivate it in girls and young people. I️ am so honored to promote and support you during my PCT journey.
Fundraising link coming next month!
Photo credit: The Girl Empowerment Workshop, 2017