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Are You A Feminista?

Lissa Rankin's picture

feminista

Today, many modern day feminists (aka “feministas”) want to reclaim their power without giving up the feminine. You can be a powerful, fierce, kick-ass, successful woman and also happen to have a hankering for pink fur sandals, pedicures, sparkly bling, drum circles, green juice, and goddesses. Being a feminista means being authentic in all walks of life. For some, that means burning your bra. For others, it means wearing pink boas. As far as I'm concerned, true feminism means the power to choose -- blue suit or pink evening gown, full-time career or stay-home parenting, weight lifting or pole dancing, sweat suits or bikinis, braless or lacy thongs.

The new feminism has lightened up and opened up. It isn’t aggressive, man-hating, anti-feminine, or painfully serious. You can be giddy, celebratory, sexy, and powerful. You can also be stoic, wise, righteous, and fearless. You can call it “pussy” or “yoni” or “vulva” or “Rebecca,” but if you’re a feminista, you’re definitely calling it something and owning that which makes you uniquely female. You can work at Hooters and strut around in a bikini and rack up notches on your bedpost, or you can wear a turtleneck, surf in board shorts, and save yourself for marriage. You can be red or yellow or green or blue -- or pink. It’s your call.

It’s about being honest with yourself and owning what’s empowering to you. It’s about letting your freak flag fly, being unapologetically YOU, and integrating all the facets of what makes you a whole women -- your creativity, your spirituality, your health, your relationships, your career, your relationship with money, and your life purpose. If you’re a feminista, you can be yourself, and that’s what really matters.

What Does It Mean To Be A Feminista?
  1. We do not have to deny the feminine to reclaim our power.
  2. We own who we are without blaming others. We are not man-haters, and we accept responsibility for our happiness without giving up our power to those who have hurt us, the patriarchal society, the haters, and those who wish to deny our rights.
  3. We speak our truth. Feministas talk openly about what we love and what matters to us, even those things others might prefer we remain silent about, including our girl parts, our desires, and our shadows.
  4. We believe that there is more power in collaboration than in competition, and that, if we put ego aside, we better serve the mission. We love and trust the spirit of the sisterhood and do not base our actions in fear.
  5. We can have tears and anger, but we can also have fun and humor. We celebrate it all.

Collectively, we are changing the face of the world. We are all separate puddles in the world of women’s empowerment. But all it will take is one big rain to coalesce us into a flash flood. Our goal is to hasten the rain and bring on the flash flood. Why work separately when we can collaborate and get that rain a’fallin’?

Here’s to flash floods,

Lissa

PS. Please send this to your feminista friends! Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Change Catalyst coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

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Comments

keishua's picture

feminista

Yeah, I love the term. I was big into women's studies and things in college in the early 2000s and it was so frustrating. I think feminist get such a bad rap. I am glad to see a new generation of feminist rising. I have long considered myself a lipstick feminist but I might borrow this term, too.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Dear Anonymous

I'm so glad this post resonated with you!
Hugs
Lissa

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anonymous's picture

it took a long time for me to

it took a long time for me to truly absorb this new concept. in the early 70's (when i was getting closer to junior high age) a lot of mixed messages about what 'feminine' and 'masculine' was about led me to feel i couldn't relate to what seemed to be the way to 'fit into' what i thought was the way to be a more empowered female. something seemed to be denied in all this. very difficult if you are honestly trying to get the truth about what is healthy and real for yourself. it seemed like an idealized way of life i just couldn't get to...ideas about what one feels and what one does and what that makes a person. i just wish this concept arrived sooner, but it seems to take a whole lot of people to give it the validity of "what works" and is possible socially. being able to embrace oneself completely...now that is revolutionary!

anonymous's picture

this definition has taken a

this definition has taken a long time for me to fully absorb, but i do admit a strange feeling of denying something in the early 70's (when I was getting closer to junior high age) in order to 'fit into' what i thought being an improved female meant. i think it may have had to do with some idealized state of strength i couldn't really relate to. subconscious repression of feelings because they were not validated--either way, whether crying or anger, let alone courage to be express genuine happiness around others. so I got the impression there was something terribly wrong with me whether it was about expressing the so-called 'masculine' (just defined by others?) or 'feminine' energy and feeling (!) truly powerful in a self-empowered way. and of course mixed messages about what value femininity had ( 'weak' 'pathetic' 'superficial' etc.)
i just wish this message had arrived sooner!! what a way to be able to embrace oneself completely...and, by example, inspire others to be able to feel/do/think the same for themselves, in their own way and time...

Lissa Rankin's picture

Oh yeah, Jackie baby

The clouds are overhead and the rain has already started...
Can't you see the waters rising?

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Jackie Peraza's picture

Huge sigh of YES!

Embracing all parts of ourselves. Love it. I'm looking forward to the flash flood. Anyone see storm clouds on the horizon?

Lissa Rankin's picture

Bless you Flo

Thank you for blazing trail for us all so we might all link arms in this next wave of feminism, knowing that we are safe to explore our feminine nature because of the pioneering work you did for us 40 years ago.

High five and hugs to you, sister!

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Flo Schell's picture

Bring it On Feministas!

As a woman who embraced feminism in the 70's, I am thrilled to read your manifesto of the new feminista!

No hatred of anyone; no judgement of differences; lots of self love. Happy to be part of consciousness-raising once again.

Bring it on!

Flo Schell's picture

Bring it On Feministas!

As a woman who embraced feminism in the 70's, I am thrilled to read your manifesto of the new feminista!

No hatred of anyone; no judgement of differences; lots of self love. Happy to be part of consciousness-raising once again.

Bring it on!

Flo Schell's picture

Bring it On Feministas!

As a woman who embraced feminism in the 70's, I am thrilled to read your manifesto of the new feminista!

No hatred of anyone; no judgement of differences; lots of self love. Happy to be part of consciousness-raising once again.

Bring it on!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you thank you thank you, feministas!!!

I so appreciate your validation. This was a big deal, writing this down and getting my head around something so huge. Thank you for validating it all...

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Michelle's picture

That was the most thought

That was the most thought provoking, empowering, choking-back-tears writing that I have read in a very long time. Amazing Lissa. Your writing is who I am. It is what I believe. I am a woman above all else. I am so proud of us. Of the feminine.

Shari's picture

Awesome post Lissa!

I could feel myself standing taller with every paragraph :)

helen's picture

LOVED this post. I see

LOVED this post.

I see myself as a nurturer and I love domesticity. I want to revel in that, in being a stay at home mom, without feeling guilt for not looking like a typical feminist.

Karen's picture

It's about time that someone

It's about time that someone gets it. Thank you for this post.

Lissa Rankin's picture

You go, Rinth!

OWN that power, baby. And good luck with med school!
xoxo

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Rinth de Shadley's picture

The feminine is part of our power

I agree totally that we don't have to deny the feminine to reclaim our power. The feminine is part of our power. When we embrace it, we embrace our whole nature, mind, body, and spirit, without trying to segment ourselves into parts to fulfill social roles or to please others.

I'm going to med school this fall, but I still like knowing that in the right time and place, I can knock a guy silly with just a glance. Healing disease is one kind of power, and that's another. I embrace both. :)

Thank you Lissa for this site!

Heather's picture

Mom power, too!

I truly feel like something is stirring among women in regards to this post and feeling the power of the feminine.

But! There is a huge omission from this post and society at large: only women have the power to bring life into the world. We are life's gatekeepers. In all of our efforts to attain power in a patriarchal framework, we need to understand the power of the maternal. It does not feel like we make room for this in our lives. It has become known now as a maternal wall. It is a choice to be a mom but it is a powerful one. It deserves a mention and we need to find a proper place for it!

Dana Theus's picture

I surprised myself....

Heather

I read your comment and went "yeah!" - cuz I'm a mom and being a mother is a huge part of my life and my happiness. I do feel that it's part of my power, but I went to read the Manifesta and try to figure out how to work it in and I changed my mind (about inserting it, not loving my maternal self). I think the Manifesta is really about something else altogether. It's not about any of the parts of our femininity that make us powerful, it's about the fact that we're whole from the get-go, whether we do or can bear children or not. While I agree that momhood is a huge part of our feminine potential, it's only potential until we choose to engage it - just like we have the potential to be sexpots, sages and scalawags (no clue why I thought of those words). The Feminista Manifesta is about our opportunity to step into our potential as individuals and decide for ourselves how best to rock this life, using our feminine gifts. Women can be kickass moms, or forgo kids this time around and leverage their other gifts. That's the point. A woman steps into her power WHEN SHE CHOOSES, not WHAT she chooses.

I do think that the potential to bring life into this world - even unused and latent - is a huge power that women have, but it's just biological potential until it's engaged by an active spirit and mind, by the woman who's owning it no matter whether it manifests itself in raising beautiful children or running a doggy day care. The Feminist Manifesta celebrates the power of women to intentionally engage their maternal power, not just the fact that they have it.

I hope this makes sense. I want you to know I am totally with you in the yay-moms category, but I wouldn't advocate putting it explicitly in the Manifesta for these reasons.

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Erin's picture

You are SO right...for so

You are SO right...for so long I felt I was living a "double life" and that I was a hypocrite. I went from dancing all through childhood to teaching marksmanship in the Air Force to teaching nursing....I am just now learning that all of it is feminine and all of it ok. :) Thanks lady!

Amber's picture

Exactly!

I'm right there with you Erin! Yay for complete integration! :D

Brit's picture

THANK YOU...again!

I'm so happy to read this! I come from a very masculine up bringing...but now I LOVE Pink and things that shine and shimmer! I love kick boxing AND pole dancing! Thank you so much for empowering women everywhere!

Dana Theus's picture

Yes!

This so captures how I feel about being feminine and how important choice is for everyone - women and men - to step into their own personal power. Living in the duality of life without trying to push ourselves on others, and celebrating all of life brings us, is a gift I believe femininity brings to our planet and I'm proud to be part of it. Thanks for putting words to this.

PS my husband likes it too!

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