Laws of Femininity: Reclaiming the Proverbs 31 Woman
“I will NOT marry a MAN!!!” he screamed at me. I didn’t know what he was talking about. I didn’t quite understand why he called me a MAN. “Really? I am ALL woman!” I screamed back. It was the first time I was confronted with my dominating, aggressive and controlling personality. I needed to be in control because I knew what was best. My ex-fiancé needed a woman that was less dominant, less aggressive and less controlling. He wanted someone to be quiet and agree with everything he said. He wanted me to be a cute little black Barbie Doll and only speak when spoken to. Well, I wasn’t having that! It caused extreme conflict in our relationship and his favorite description of me was, “You don’t RESPECT me.” Oh, here we go, the “R” word. I didn’t respect him because I realized that throwing money and things at situations didn’t resolve conflict it just swept the problems under the rug. Well, I wanted to talk, and plan, and strategize, and resolve the conflict. He didn’t. He wanted me to pretend nothing ever happened. To this behavior, I became defiant, enraged, controlling, dominant and aggressive. After a long relationship of this conflict, he concluded that there were two men in the relationship. Hmmm, ok so I had some self-evaluating to do.
The relationship was terminated, the wedding called off and we’ve gone our separate ways. However, being the researcher and therapist that I am, I needed to explore the “I will NOT marry a MAN” statement. Clearly, he did not think I was a MAN, but the traits and characteristics of dominance, aggression and control are more masculine than feminine. With this newfound revelation, I took to streets to find out what other powerful, professional women had to say about balancing feminine and masculine traits in a male dominated workforce and in relationships.
When asked how others described them in one word they said:
14) High Maintenance
It was my comparison to being a MAN that sent me on a self-reflective excursion to find the sensuality of my feminine side, while wholeheartedly embracing my masculine strength. I couldn’t consider giving up my man-power because it was that dominance, aggression and control that has given me a successful edge in my career; but, it completely destroys my relationships. So, here is a hard, honest look at the facts and a few Laws of femininity that will add balance to our lives in the 21st Century.
When the word feminism emerged during a series of events, movements and ideologies that challenged the unequal rights of women, it was then that the dichotomous struggle of the masculine/feminine emerged. We fought for equality and gained rights that would significantly alter the male-female relationship in the home, the workplace and the world. Equal employment and educational opportunities pushed women to become competitors instead of stay-at-home mothers and homemakers.
After researching a variety of traits of a competitor here are some of the finds: driven, confident, achiever, strong, debater, stubborn, arrogant and aggressive. The idea of a woman embracing these traits prior to the feminist movements was virtually unheard of. Understanding a woman’s role in today’s society is somewhat complicated since the traditional family structure has shifted and women are oftentimes the head of household or supporting a single-parent home.
Nevertheless, it is the struggle of every woman to find a happy medium between feminine and masculine traits, while refusing to give up our power simply because we are in relationships where men are threatened by a powerful, professional woman. Remember, there is nothing wrong with being a powerful woman, as Proverbs 31:17 says, “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Our strength is necessary, but how we use that strength may become counter-productive if used to dominate our spouses. The strength given to a woman is to assist a man in a task rather than taking over the task.
So, over a one-year period of time, I’ve committed to learning to find this balance for the sake of a healthy intimate relationship. Here are my Laws of Femininity.
LAW OF FEMININITY #1
Refrain from GOSSIP and DRAMA—With the social media information platforms streaming messaging at an all time high, it is easy to get trapped in the black hole of gossip or the abyss of everyday life drama. We are a thriving culture that subscribes to negative information and hunger for the next wave of gossip. Whether it is focused on our neighbor or coworker or hottest entertainers, oftentimes we can’t get enough.
You’ve heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Well, the same is true for gossip. Remember, a dog that brings a bone carries a bone. With a daily surge of information and peak into the lives of millions through social media, we are often tempted to spend hours perusing posts, tweets, pics and media messages to give us an information-fix.
The information highway is dangerous and tricky to navigate when attempting to remain focused on personal growth and development. Proverbs 31:26 says, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Gossip and drama are the opposite of wisdom and kindness.
Call to Action #1: Your call to action is to Disconnect for 30 days. I am challenging you to commit to minimal social media engagement and consciously refraining from negative talk. Negative talk may be defined as gossip, strong arguing, confrontational discussions, and/or emotional/passionate conversations. I challenge you to use your kind, sweet voice to win over your spouse, partner, coworker, child or parent. Take time to reconnect with your feminine, sensual nature.
If you are willing to take on the challenge (even if just for a few days), let me know! I’d love to celebrate your commitment to becoming a better YOU!
LAW OF FEMININITY #2
Know the power of your smile. Soft, gentle and feminine are the traits of a powerful woman. Underneath a kind smile lies the power and strength of a lioness. The smile of a women is feminine in nature and influential in relationships…ALL relationships. A simple smile can change a tense moment into a relaxed moment. A smile can shift the environment. Scientifically speaking, a smile can change our brains and our mood. Additionally, a genuine smile will boost your immune system, relax your body, and even lower your heart rate. If you take the first step to flash that gorgeous smile, you can trick your brain into believing you are happy as serotonin is released into the brain to really make you feel happy! Other chemicals released into the brain when you smile are endorphins. Smiling send endorphins into the brain and then lowers your blood pressure. Finally, an important fact to flashing that amazing Proverbs 31 Woman smile is that a smile stimulates happy emotions equivalent to eating chocolate!
I LOVE chocolate and if I can get the same feeling as indulging in a bar of chocolate without the calories, I’m all about it! So, I began a small, personal study to see if smiling REALLY works. The short answer is: YES. Everyday for the past 90 days, I’ve consciously smiled at neighbors, coworkers and strangers. So, how do I know it worked? My supervisor stepped into my office and said, “Jada, you seem happier. What’s different?” Two coworkers also pulled me aside and said, “Jada, you’re happier lately.” Finally, my mother said, “Jada, I love the new you and you are definitely happy.”
Call to Action #2: Your challenge today is to CONSCIOUSLY smile every time you think about it. For the next 30 days, practice smiling and being kind to those in your immediate environment. Remember, you have the power to change your environment and to shift the atmosphere. So, just do it!
LAW OF FEMININITY #3
Know the true purpose of the Beauty Economy. Make-up, fashion, hairstyles, accessories, fitness programs, etc. are designed to enhance natural beauty and not to change or cover your beauty. This is the law of Natural identity vs. contrived identity. We all know about natural beauty. The natural beauty is the raw beauty we see without the makeup, the hairstyles, the clothes and the fake smiles. Oftentimes, it’s the beauty we want to hide from the world and from ourselves. For over 15 years, I spent most of my time on fashion runways and in front of the camera. The image I contrived was NOT natural. For many years I carefully constructed an identity that the fashion and entertainment industry would accept…after all, my survival was directly related to my appearance. About five years ago, I slowly began to strip away the beauty aids: the makeup, the hair, the nails, the clothes and hunger to keep up with the Jones’. I pulled away completely over the past year or so. In doing so, I allowed myself to disconnect from the unrealistic expectations and competitive female drama. Believe it or not, I actually go to my counseling office WITHOUT makeup! Wow! There would have been a time that I could NEVER do that. Remember, Proverbs 31:25 says, "Strength and honour are her clothing,” This means that if we are bound and paralyzed by our image (clothing, makeup, hair, etc), we could not function in our ultimate strength and power as daughters of God.
Here are a few BEFORE AND AFTER pics of your favorite celebs and personalities!
Of course, posting this picture is a moment of vulnerability because most of my fans and those who have followed my career have only seen me in my full face of makeup and extensions to my lower back. But, here I am in the raw (without the image)...free and happy to be me :-) However, when it is time to transform into "The Thing" I am okay with that, too!
Call to Action #3: So, here is your call to action. Ask yourself, “Am I bound by the image of beauty?” “Am I controlled by my desire to look good?” “Am I obsessed with my Contrived Identity?” These questions are an important part of the self-evaluation process. God wants our hearts. If our hearts pant after the false gods of fashion, beauty and image, there will be no room for him. Just a thought.
Let me know what you think!
Jada Jackson, LMHC
Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo
Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You
Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life