With roots in the emergence of the second wave of feminism in America (Early 1960s), female spirituality thrives on establishing equality for all. Being a relatively new form of spirituality challenges numerous norms and introduces newly formed fundamentals that help develop a just, sustainable, and equitable world.
The Birth of Female Spirituality
We can trace the term “Female Spirituality”, also known around the world as “Feminine Spirituality” or “Women’s Spirituality” to the second wave of feminism. This wave originated in the United States of America, later spreading to other Western Countries. After the conclusion of the second world war, women were fired from their posts and forced to live once again as housewives. As they had been surviving independently during the world war when most men were serving the army, the women had realized their own potential. They believed they could do jobs and men had no right to restrict them to house chores only. This led to a mass rebellion and the first step towards the end of patriarchy.
The second wave of feminism, which lasted for about two decades, can be seen as a voice against public and private injustices. Issues such as domestic violence, workplace safety, and reproductive rights were addressed, paving the way for a modern world where women wouldn’t feel inferior to men. Soon after the successful feminist campaigns, it was understood that the world would be better with equality among men and women. This realization of equality and its positive effects gave birth to what we call the female spirituality.
Female Spirituality and Religion
To better understand all the aspects of female spirituality, we need to see its relation to religious norms. This is of the utmost importance as it helps us in tracing the origin of structures such as patriarchy and kyriarchy. As religion goes way back before the establishment of modern societies, it is useful in unearthing the seeds of male dominance.
Challenging Male Supremacy in Religion
In the 1960s, when women continued their fight against male dominance, they also started perceiving religion and traditions through a new point of view. Through questioning and criticizing, religious folklore was seen through a new lens. It was observed that Judaism and Christianity were sexist religions as they legitimized the superiority of men in both private and public spheres.
Every religious and traditional argument that led to female subordination came under scrutiny and the age-old teachings which denied women’s selfhood got challenged and rejected. At that time, another observation told us about the absence of goddesses and influential female figures in such folklore. This triggered an urge to transform and also led to consciousness raising groups where women could speak and share their experiences.
Reviving Feminine Figures in Religion
Along with the criticizing and questioning of male supremacy came the drive to revive and celebrate the feminine figures in religion and folklore. This included the recovery of Sophia and Mary for Christian women, the recovery of female images from Torah, Talmud, and Kabbalah for the Jewish women and many more. The revival continues even now as more deities and goddesses from Europe, the Near East, Buddhism, Shamanism, and the Celtic mythology have been brought back to their respective religious footings. Movements such as the women-church movement and reimagining movement made the restoration process complete, and we saw a new system of beliefs emerging from these feminists. This new system of beliefs, which slowly spread around the world is what we now know as the female spirituality.
The Divine Feminine
The concept of “Divine Feminine” plays a major role in the evolution of spirituality through the ages. The divine feminine thought process speaks of overcoming suppression, rejection, marginalization, and repression of women around the world. To achieve this, first we all need to address, appreciate, and honor the role of women in our world. It is through embracing the divine feminine that all humans can disintegrate the barriers set by patriarchal limitations.
The fundamentals and ideology behind the divine feminine is to establish the crucial role of women in society. Eventually we all can unite the divine feminine along with the divine masculine to create an unbiased world were all can coexist in peace while respecting each other. The worshiping of the divine feminine is purely spiritual. Thus, you should not confuse it with the religious revivals of goddesses and female figures done by the feminists during the second wave of feminism.
The Beliefs of Female Spirituality
Now that we have covered the rebellion of patriarchy and how the female spirituality emerged through feminism, it is time to address the most important question of all. “What is female spirituality all about?”
Feminine Spirituality or Feminist Spirituality is the movement which incorporates both religious and traditional transformations which aims at reclaiming the dignity and value of women. This reclamation is important because for a long period women have been going through suppression and marginalization due to male dominance. Spirituality is all about finding the meaning of life and female spirituality encourages women to explore all the spheres of life independently, without relying on a male figure for everything.
This form of spirituality also tends to provide us with an alternative version of the world where patriarchy and other forms of biased structures are replaced with a rightful system. In the rightful system, all the people can live as equals, paving way for global justice. As the prejudice had earlier restricted the women to live with inferior roles in the world, the female spirituality also helps us appreciate and give support to women in challenging age-old norms.
As it stands, female spirituality has already had an important say globally, empowering women worldwide and helping them to influence others to do the same. Once started as a movement to bring women empowerment, the female spirituality has now become a way of living for many. It has evolved into a thought process which allows us to take challenges head on and transform the world for good.