Sacred Feminine, by Cristina McAllister
I read an article recently about the women who made themselves androgynous, or used an undefined-gender of a name, to achieve success. The article examined this, and mentioned their conscious withdrawal of their femininity in order to succeed.
And it got me thinking. It got me thinking of my own uber-use of my femininity in my work, and of other women artists who do the same, all fields of art confounded, and of the XXIst century.
I stand, here and now, as witness of the many aspects, or archetypes, of women in arts, and as we come closer to 2017, I wonder what the future holds for us, and for little girls all over the world.
I examine the models these little girls have, and I come to the conclusion that every lady essentially marches to the beat of her own drum, and that this, beyond anything else, is what we need to get in these little girls' heads.
As spiritual beings given bodies for us to live our human experience, what matters is that we cherish this temple we are given to live in.
Humans come in all shapes, colours and sizes, and our first happy place should be in our bodies.
It is of utmost importance to embrace who we are and what we look like. If you're not happy with what you see in the mirror, do whatcha gotta do to fix it, but make sure you're doing it for yourself.
And then, regardless of and beyond that, know solidly, indestructibly, that what matters even more is that you love what you are inside. Love everything that you are, love what you can do, love your potential as a human being.
If you're going for the gender-bending identity, do it because you want to. If your animus needs release, and you need its release, go for it and make it shine. Just make sure, again, that you're doing it for yourself, because if there's one thing we shouldn't be afraid of anymore, as women in the XXIst century, it's to be our Selves.
Now, the Athena in us will meticulously strategise, and has, since the dawn on time, as her nature intended. The strategist will help us develop our plans by gathering the appropriate elements and information we need to act. An appropriate example is that of J.K. Rowling, who was stated in the article. She used her initials, not her full first name, to get published, knowing the perspective on her work would be different. Long before her, there was George Sand, who lived in a more opressive time for women who sought out careers in the arts. She used a man's name for her work to be published.
Would these women's success have been otherwise, had they used their full, real names, when submitting their work? One can only muse upon alternate possibilities.
Regardless of that, it took only the release of the first Harry Potter novel for the people of the entire world to know that J.K Rowling was indeed a woman, and that they most certainly wanted more of what this woman had to create, and offer.
A strategic choice.
Now, I am not enough of a writer to form a definite statement on the reality of the writing world, so I couldn't come to a clear conclusion on this particular matter. Does a woman's full name on a manuscript truly make a difference in the perspective of editors when they read it, or does the focus stop at the content?
I cannot answer this, but what I can say is that it shouldn't.
I am a musician though, and a performer, and I study the archetypes portrayed by my predecessors and my contemporaries. I can see the clear distinction between, say, Annie Lenox and Madonna. Ultimately, both of these women have had incredible careers, all the while portraying aspects of women at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Would the outcome of their careers have been otherwise had they presented themselves differently?
One can only muse on alternate possibilities.
As performers, we show our face, our body. We cannot pretend not to be women, even if it's just for a little while. What matters is that we embrace who we are and that we take pride in the face we show to the world. And what matters beyond that is that we do not fear the response of neither men nor of other women. Sometimes I can't believe we're in 2016, in the XXIst century, and that women who've chosen to embrace and expose their femininity are still feared, disregarded, shunned or shamed by men and by other women. The fact that this is a reality in our society shows a clear, underlying problem at the core of humanity, coming down to self-confidence, and perspective.
For the focus, ultimately, in all fields, should be on the woman's work. And if part of her work is her presentation of her self as this uber-femme, then it should be seen as part of her work as well.
Would the democrats have won the recent US elections had a man ran for presidency, and not a woman? One can only muse on alternate possibilities.
The fact remains that this is the XXIst century, and it's high time for little girls everywhere to be taught that they can be and do anything they want, and present themselves however they damn well want.
And it's high time for us all to stop judging a book, or an album, by its cover.
What matters are the words. What matters is the music.
What matters is the work.