Can you be feminine and feminist at the same time?

I’m not a fan of stereotypes…in any area of life.

These days it seems that stereotypes are more like caricatures.

It is all about focusing on the extremes, rather than the norms.

I frequently find the concepts of femininity and feminism are referred to as if they are opposites.

Ironically, if you look feminism up in the dictionary, one of the definitions is “feminine character”!

I believe the reason these concepts are thought of as opposites is the caricature factor.

When the word feminist comes up, what is the image that appears in your mind?

Often people get an image of an aggressive and angry woman looking to burn her bra on the nearest bonfire and ready to take on any man (before he’s even realised that a battle is taking place!)

Likewise, when the word feminine comes up, what picture do you see?

People frequently see a picture of a woman dressed from head to to in pink fluffiness, with blonde hair and an attitude similar to that of Alicia Silverstone’s character in the film ‘Clueless’.

Neither image is an accurate representation of the women who fall into these categories.

Both are actually pretty offensive!

But what is the reality?

Femininity is all about embracing the natural qualities of a woman.

Feminism is focused on proving that there is an equality between men and women.

From my point of view, the reason that people believe that you can’t be feminine and a feminist is because of one word.

They mistake equality with being ‘the same’.

It is perfectly possible for two things to be equal and opposite…and that is the key.

Life is filled with forces that are equal and opposite: Dark and Light, Right and Wrong, Hot and Cold…the list goes on.

Male and Female is another example….equal but opposite.

For a woman to be a feminist she doesn’t need to believe that Men and Women are the same…she just believes that we are equal.

It is absolutely possible for you to be both feminine and a feminist.

I know…because I am 🙂

I’m not really a fan of the label ‘feminist’ as I feel that it is one-sided and has been misrepresented over the years. I’d actually prefer the term ‘equalist’…but I’m not sure that it would catch on! 🙂

I definitely consider myself a feminine woman.

I love being a woman and embracing all of our fantastic feminine qualities.

I also believe that we are equal to men.

Equal and opposite.

…and when we’re in balance, that’s when the magic happens.

How about you?

Are you a feminine woman?

Are you a feminist?

Are you both?

What do you think?

Stay fabulous!

Claire x

11 replies
  1. Dianne Dixon
    Dianne Dixon says:

    I think feminism has really taken a battering because of the negative connotations so while women believe in equality and the power of a woman, they hesitate to classify themselves as feminists. It needs to be rebranded, basically. Great post, Claire!

  2. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    with all due respect to the evolution of women into the 21st century, I believe it is important to recognise those women who were brave, strong, took action ,used their voices and muscles to stand for the right for women to be visible, countable and respected for the gender they were born into…this included taking on men in a yang way and standing loud, visible and strong insisting and leading the social change movement, directing the development of new policies…this included feminine women standing strong and loud, taking the lead so that women who were lucky enough to follow in their footsteps, into the changes these women, all the women in all their diversity, have brought and continue to stand strong and loud for further evolution around the globe where there is still much work to do to bring women’s rights to the foreground, led by the women in those places, backed by women around the world…we still have much to do in the EU, USA, Australia and Canada, where these movements commenced…
    Feminism :women’s rights, feminist movement, sisterhood, womanism, women’s lib, women’s liberation, women’s movement
    Feminist: advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
    Feminine: pertaining to a woman or girl: feminine beauty; feminine dress; having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness; belonging to the female sex; female
    I thank all my feminist sisters in all their diversity for the long and tough work they have achieved that now allows those women who follow a safer, more free, easier daily experience to be visible, countable and respected with voting rights – that is, in the local communities and the countries where this is in place;
    The feminist movement (also known as the Women’s Movement, Women’s Liberation, or Women’s Lib) refers to a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, sexual harassment and sexual violence. The movement’s priorities vary among nations and communities and range from opposition to female genital mutilation in one country or to the glass ceiling in another.

    This is serious and ongoing work, dear sisters and there is much to do – in fact, we have seen a backlash appearing in some developed countries. Do you know that only some women in England – privileged women – received the vote in 1918 – less than 100 years ago, and then in 1925 all women in England were granted the vote. New Zealand was the first self governing colonial country to grant all women the vote in 1893, women in South Australia got the vote in 1895, which was extended to all Australian women in 1902 – barring some Aboriginal women in different states. In America all women received the vote in 1920, black women in South Africa had to wait until 1994
    Women in Saudi Arabia only received the right to vote last year 2011 and women still cannot vote in the Vatican City!
    Dear sisters, there are times in my life when I have been so glad that I have masculine energy in my being together with feminine energy – yin and yang flow in alignment and find their own balance when conscious choice is awake – lets keep our rights to have all that is women and divine – lets not take away the vote to have a voice from any part of our wonderful gender – lets celebrate with gratitude those who went before us and those who come after us and please, if you do not know much about how you got your rights and state protections, start reading!!! be informed too, know your gender past and present and that will help us create a rich future on all levels.

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Wow Amanda…thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us. I couldn’t agree more in terms of being grateful to the women who came before us, who have enabled us to have the lifestyle that we have today. You are absolutely right that we all have both masculine and feminine energy inside us and it is important to be able to use both, and find the balance that is right for us. x

  3. Heather Waring
    Heather Waring says:

    I too am both feminine and a feminist. Sadly when I mention the word ‘feminist’ to my daughter who is 15, the negative connotations are already there. Now they did not come from me, I’m proud to be both. I think school is the culprit and how sad. Ladies, we still have to bring about change.

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      I couldn’t agree more Heather…it’s so important to remove the misperceptions about all of these labels, and we’re on the right path to do so! 🙂


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