It’s a difficult balance to strike, both celebrating women after millennia of being the oppressed gender and championing gender equality. I strongly believe that the problems of the patriarchy aren’t solved by instituting a matriarchy in its place, and yet it can be so uplifting to embrace the power of womanhood as an act of defiance. And that’s because I strongly believe that true gender equality means erasing the arbitrary lines which hold the binary in place. If we didn’t imbue the two extremes on the gender spectrum with different amounts of power and ability, we wouldn’t have the patriarchal oppression, secular or religious.
So can we embrace our inner goddess and still champion gender justice in spirituality?
In truth, our power as women, if we have a special power, does not come from our femininity at any level. We are not more sacred or more powerful because we are women. We certainly are not more sacred or more powerful because we possess the ability to bear children (and let us not forget that many, many women cannot).
But we ARE different because we have been denied the power we possess as human beings.
We are powerful because we have been oppressed. We are powerful because we’ve had to push back against the patriarchy.
So yes, we can embrace the power of our inner goddesses, but we should understand and be mindful of where that power originates. From adversity comes strength. As long as there remains a patriarchal power imbalance, the imagery of goddesses and warrior queens and other feminine spiritual figures will be relevant and powerful.
Not because of their womanhood, but because of their purpose.