Empowering the feminine
In this modern era, we begin to see a rise in the Empowered Woman archetype. She is a woman capable of wielding brute strength and total ruthlessness. She is functioning in social arenas traditionally dominated by men, and nearly commanding power because she is a woman so rapturously domineering. She, in short, has learned how to brilliantly mimic the distorted ideal for modern men. I wonder, though, if perhaps this is the opposite of feminine empowerment. Is it possible that power struggle and competition aren't hard wired into the feminine? A woman exerting relatively far more energy to keep up in a male-dominated world- all to gain power over others; this sounds more like woman pushing and pulling, kicking and shoving, rather than truly allowing themselves to be women. This understanding doesn't eliminate the necessity of women knowing how to defend themselves. With a system in which men continuously exert their power with physical strength and social standing over women, perhaps we should cease the philosophical solution that we would continue to look to men to protect us.
While it is perhaps a deeply wired instinct in men to go out in search of independence and heroisms, perhaps women function more strongly within communal, cooperative settings. It would make sense biologically also- that women need to stick together in comradery to help each other with house work, professional life, and relationships with men.
In general, women's bodies are not as strong as many men- whether it is the bone density, the muscle mass or fat ratio, the time when she bleeds, or the time when she is pregnant. These are vulnerabilities that do not encourage strength in singularity, but rather strength in solidarity with each other. Something to consider is the modern expectation that woman pushes through the physical restrictions she feels when she's on her period. What would the world look like if she were allowed, if not encouraged, to stay in the red tent at this time. Not to be shamed or shunned for uncleanliness, but to be honored for the wisdom that is inherent within her. This is a time of spiritual significance in woman's dynamic cycle, and if she were able to remain at rest, deeply tending to herself, the feminine, perhaps a new set of values and experience of life might arise.
This world view lies in opposition to the male-dominated mentality that the day is a problem to be solved or an experience to be conquered, influenced by a body and mind that remains consistent day to day. Perhaps if we allow women to be women, we are inviting a whole other set of values into the world. Realistically, this may only be a reality if we can put aside the value of exponentially growing more capital and gaining more power. The rhythms of women dictate a different set of needs. We are like the tide- there are times to exert energy, and times to retract. Perhaps the red tent may be a symbol of the changing of the tides.