Why WoMen?

I’ve had similar feedback from male artists/ performers about the name of the art festival: WoMen By The Sea. And the reaction was always, “but why just women? what about the men?” So I’ve pondered over those questions and the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced with the name.

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Here’s why: The term “women” is not only a representation of the feminine, but has both “men” (wo-men) and “me” (wo-me-n) nicely snuggled in. How cool is that?! It couldn’t be more inclusive had I even tried!

I certainly intend to highlight the feminine because we've disowned her in so many ways. While most people I personally know are respectful of women, we still hold so many double standards when it comes to gender. We've also learned to shy away from our own feminine qualities- and I’m talking about both men and women here.

We have been conditioned to believe that production, strength and discipline (masculine) are of more value than receptivity, patience and nurture (feminine). That having a focused direction (masculine) is more important than flowing and surrendering (feminine).

Our society is completely off balance in this respect and reaching the balance means owning up to both our feminine and masculine qualities. I do believe that we are capable of tapping into a much wider spectrum of possibilities if we would allow ourselves to open up to both equally. In return, everything that we do, including creative expression, would be more powerful.  (If you’re not sure what I mean by feminine and masculine qualities, look it up, its pretty interesting.)

I won't delve any further here into gender equality because at this point it should be the norm, not the exception. I honestly don’t understand how it isn’t already! So even though we may believe in it, we clearly don’t own up to it enough.  If anything is going to change, we all need to be a little more daring in how we show up for inclusivity, equality and balance. 

Sarah El Sawi