The mission of The Hungry Feminine is to share knowledge, widen perspectives, and celebrate consciousness through research, storytelling and compassionate connection.
Attempting to strike a balance between feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) qualities, The Hungry Feminine hopes to reconcile the individual impacts of the cultural losses of nurturance, vulnerability, imagination, and authenticity. But not without promoting the revival of these endangered qualities as we most intimately know them.
In those quests lies a hope that self-compassion and empathy for others will come to light; that each individual can embark upon a journey of self-discovery and growth, continuing the expansive evolution of our collective consciousness.
While my therapy work is rooted in this philosophy, my approach in session is to meet you where you are and address the issues you're bringing to the table. Finding balance in feminine and masculine archetypes might be what you're needing, but if it's not, or this concept isn't the right tool for us, rest assured we won't get stuck here.
The Hungry Feminine is not a manifesto to destroy the patriarchy in exchange for its feminine counterpart. The idea here is to strike balance in a swirl of growing lopsidedness.
The feminine and the unconscious
The great early minds of psychiatry challenged their scientific nature by introducing a sprinkle of mysticism to the study of humanness. They let us know that there's more to us than we are aware of; layers of our psyche that contain material unknown to us. It's easy to feel like the concept of the unconscious is a type of religion, one that asks us to trust in something we have no physical proof of. And that's sort of the point of the feminine.
Feminine is not used in these writings to imply the common notion of girlish, dainty, or effeminate characteristics (although one may choose to give voice to their feminine in such ways); it does not refer to gender or biological sex. It is instead used to describe a universal element of human nature that is present in all genders. It is the yin to the masculine's yang.
Patriarchal America abides by the principles of the masculine: material, physical, measurable, and action-based. There is a linear and external rationality that drives us and informs us of what's most important. But it doesn't account for the whole of us, and it's out of balance with its feminine counterpart. A yang with little-to-no yin.
The feminine, repressed
The feminine is seen in American culture as being weak, unimportant, and even sinful. Women are said to be "too emotional" to be taken seriously. Women are only now, very slowly, penetrating the political system of our nation while being mocked and name-called in the process. The barriers to balancing career and motherhood demonstrate that the prevailing system in America - capitalism - has no value for the burden of raising our youth. Gay men and transwomen are ridiculed for their proud ownership of femininity and opposition to rigid masculine expectations; transmen attacked for not being "man enough." Lesbians are demeaned for their lack of attraction to men, for not behaving the way women ought to. Rape victims are blamed for their assault and perpetrators are apologized to when their reputations are "ruined." And again, there are the physical mandates placed on the bodies of women that tell us our value comes only from being the objects of mens' desires.
The repression of the feminine mostly occurs through mistreatment of the aforementioned populations not because we are the sole holders of the feminine principle but because we represent it. Those who disown their internal feminine out of taught contempt or discomfort project it onto those who personify it so that it's easier to destroy what they've learned to hate about themselves.
Systemic racism, Islamophobia, and fear of/anger toward immigrants are all also rooted in the repression of the feminine as these ideologies favor ego over unconscious exploration and self-awareness. Instead of asking ourselves why we blindly project fear and hate onto groups of supposed enemies, we seek to destroy that which represents what we can't tolerate in ourselves. As Carl Jung says "everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
Additionally, those abuses of power are reinforced by a masculine shadow which says domination of others is not only allowable, it's desirable and perhaps even patriotic.
The masculine is not bad; it has beautiful and valuable qualities. Its domination, however, is problematic. As the yin and yang teach us, balance and harmony is where we prevail. The shadow of the masculine is not being held accountable for itself in the absence of the feminine. Spirituality and our inner, irrational, immeasurable worlds are not being supported. Compassion, collaboration, imagination, nurturance, vulnerability, and empathy are being disregarded as meaningless. The fundamental core workings of our humanness simply bullied in the name of material excess, comfort of control, and power.
Reconciling the loss through food
In the context of the patriarchy, those within whom the feminine dominates are trained to be culturally-approved versions of ourselves; contained, controllable, well-behaved. And not only do we still manage to fail to meet the impossible expectations placed upon us, we silently hate ourselves for trying; for abandoning our true, whole selves. This dance leaves us confused, hurt, angry, and still, somehow, a little powerless. So we seek control, some indication that we are okay as we already are, and we sometimes do so in ways that may not be healthy for us in the long run. For some of us, that occurs through food.
And that brings us to what is at the core of The Hungry Feminine. By viewing food as a metaphor and understanding how we might be attempting to reconcile the loss of the feminine's spiritual nourishment, we can become more curious about what we're actually hungry for.