Ever wonder how to balance the yin and yang of being an achievement-oriented woman?
What if there is opportunity cost to being the hard-ass female we strive to become in our professional-, school-, or sports-lives?
What if the skills and ways of being we’ve struggled to acquire professionally hurt us in our personal lives?
Toni Grant’s book about femininity may not be politically correct. It is, however, thought-provoking. Being a Woman is not a business book. It’s a book about how to cultivate balanced femininity, directed at women who’ve spent their lives developing become successful individuals.
If you’ve wondered about bringing some more yin into you life, this is your book!
Don’t worry. Grant’s point is not to get you into the kitchen.
Rather, she’s suggesting that we, as women, might take a moment to examine the yin aspects of our lives. She invites us to read the imbalance in our personal lives as a lack of skills or knowledge that may help us be more fulfilled outside of work.
Myself a woman who has devoted much of her adulthood to achievement and very little to developing family life, many of the reflections in Being a Woman ring uncannily true. In the post-feminist world, we modern women have inherited the sense that as long as we focus on our careers, love and family will just happen.
But what if they don’t?
What if love and a fulfilling family life elude us because we haven’t learned how to be a good mother or a wife/partner, how to value marriage, children or family life? What if it takes practice and development to become the kind of woman who attracts and cultivates love- and family-relationships?
Perhaps we missed learning the ways of thinking and being that lead to a harmonious love- and family-life, eclipsed as these soft skills are by the pressure to perform.
Toni Grant’s book dissects this pressure. She also examines different facets of femininity. According to her, there are four aspects to fulfilled femininity: the Amazon, the mother, the Courtesan and the Madonna. She argues that a woman attains her full potential only be giving certain expression to each of these aspects of herself. Modern North American society has all but stifled everything but the Amazon, and perhaps the sexually attractive Courtesan-come-boys’-girl. She suggests we may want to identify the facets we may have neglected, and consider cultivating them in order to experience greater personal balance, and increased fulfillment in our relationships.
At thirty- or thirty-five many modern women wake up and realize that the failure to prioritize family and love has left them alone and childless, or in relationships that are somehow not fulfilling. For a successful women who has battled these issues herself, I wish I’d been open to Grant’s message sooner.
Regardless of whether you read the book, I would conclude by inviting all of us female achievers to have a little think about something.
We love to talk about how men aren’t adjusting to the post-feminist world. We complain that the men we love, date, or meet are too feminized, too Macho, too irresponsible and juvenile, too self-involved, too selfish, too immature and on and on.
But what if we hold a mirror to ourselves?
What have we become on our way to the top?
What feminine needs, joys, desires, and skills have we repressed or denigrated on our fights to be the best? What has this repression of yin done to us as women?
Let me know what you think… Please comment on your experiences…