Shiva Rose On Being a Feminine Feminist

04.15.2021 Arts & Culture
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Shiva Rose is softly spoken, gentle in movement, and expresses a delicate physical beauty — but make no mistake, Shiva is a powerful and creative force of nature. For context, Shiva was born into a revolution, has experienced life as a childhood refugee, and raised her own young children in her early 20s all while battling an autoimmune disease. After making it as a Hollywood actress — also no easy feat — she turned her hand to natural beauty creating a successful blog, The Local Rose, a product line, and now online courses. She has unapologetically spoken her truth on some divisive themes in health and wellness even if that has resulted in a loss of followers. All this is to say, Shiva Rose is no wallflower.

Most recently, Shiva shared an Instagram post on the notion of Feminine Feminism. It was a potent articulation of the concept and Shiva’s unique interpretation of women’s rights in the Aquarian Age. It speaks honestly to the sometimes vilification of innocent men and to the power of leaning into feminine gifts. We sat down with her to dive deeper into open-heartedness as a way of strength and the benefits of celebrating both the masculine and the feminine.

Recently you posted a powerful caption on Instagram detailing your stance as a “feminine feminist.” Do you mind defining this concept for those that might not have seen it?

I actually adopted this term from Anaias Nin. I have read most of her books, and I remember reading that phrase in one of her books decades ago, and it really stayed with me.

I have always felt that I am an advocate for women’s rights, yet I also believe we can achieve more when coming from a more gentle, loving space.

I also enjoy being a feminine woman. I like to have doors opened for me and treated like a lady. I feel some of the most powerful beings are quiet and gentle in their demeanor. This may be remnants of my years as an actor. I learned as a stage actor that at times, it isn’t the loudest actor that gets the attention. It’s the one that has interesting behavior and intelligence in their actions. Power is the ability to hold one’s attention. Being angry and bombastic is so boring and (of the?) Picsean age. I feel we have to always think outside of the box to really grasp anyone’s attention anymore.

Although, we all hold both masculine and feminine energies, do you think our society has conditioned us to believe that feminists are stereotypically more masculine in nature and energy? For example the trope of the “angry feminist?”

I think we may have been conditioned to think loud, angry, and aggressive may equal strength — when in fact we can achieve so much more with empathy and kindness. Honey attracts the bees more than vinegar, I think that’s the saying.

In your post, you also mentioned “appreciating men for the gifts they bring” and for their ability “to keep women safe.” Equally, you included a powerful Cherokee proverb that stated, “A woman’s highest calling is to lead a man to his soul, so as to unite him with Source. A man’s highest calling is to protect woman, so she is free to walk the earth unharmed.” Do you feel that holding space for men in this way and appreciating the difference of masculine and feminine energies can provide a new form of collective gender healing?

Yes, I feel for men right now. The Me Too movement was useful in eradicating some horrific actions by some men. However, I feel at times we tipped to the other side of the spectrum and some men began to feel attacked just for being male. Men when they are in their truth and integrity are truly powerful, attractive, and needed.

Most women I know desire a masculine man. I feel we almost have become ashamed to desire what our biology desires. This is probably the same in same sex relationships (one carries the more masculine attributes and one feminine). Polarity is sexy. Polarity is natural.

It is also how the earth functions, just look at the magnetic field and gravity. We want to have the friction of polarity and it’s also an energetic exchange. The woman lifts the man to get in touch with Source, but she can only do this if she feels protected.

Interestingly enough, they say a woman has an easier time climaxing when she feels safe. Again this is biological. And yes, I feel we can create collective gender healing in this way.

You also mentioned that you were aware the term “feminine feminist” may result in a loss of followers. Have you experienced pushback around this issue in the past? Why do you think this is a concept that is highly charged for women and men alike?

I actually didn’t receive as much push back as I thought. Perhaps we are ready now to find a balance in this area. Maybe it’s all about the language, which takes us back to the answer in the first question — that we can achieve more when we are gentle and loving in our approach.

You are a very successful business owner. Typically, professional success has taken a more masculine narrative. For example, hustle culture over receptivity, aggression over passivity, linear over cyclical, and strategy over intuition. What has been your experience dancing with the masculine and feminine as a female business owner?

Oh, well I may struggle a bit in this area. I have days where all I want to do is the more feminine aspects of creating and alchemizing my product line. Then there are days when I need to get behind a computer and be ‘assertive’ with certain parties. I suppose it is a dance and I just tune into what is needed for that particular day. I do think we are in a new age where the paradigm is being recreated. Today, business is all about communication and trust building with your audience. The old hustle may be being replaced with more heart and connection. People can feel that and know when it’s authentic.

Do you think that as a society if we try and push both men and women to be typically more masculine and hero attributes such as physical strength, competition, hustle mentality, that we are ironically dismissing feminine values and gifts such as softness, collaboration, and beauty?

I never really think about it in that way. I just think every situation needs its own assessment to see what is needed. I also am not sure we can push anything. It has to evolve from self inquiry and experiences. But that being said, what a sad society it would be without softness, collaboration, and beauty. I’m not sure we can exist without those qualities or the strength too. I suppose it’s all about the right balance of yin and yang.

Shiva Rose is the Author of Whole Beauty, Founder of The Local Rose, and Shiva Rose Beauty. After having her first daughter in her early twenties, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. This diagnosis, and yearning for a healthy planet for her daughter, propelled her on a path as a naturalist, activist, and natural skincare creator.

Photo by Hannah Mills.

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