The Art of Being a Woman in a Man’s World

Photo Credit: simpleinsomnia via Compfight cc
Sugar and spice and everything nice that’s what little girls are made of. Sunshine and rainbows and ribbons for hair bows that’s what little girls are made of. Tea parties, laces and baby doll faces that’s what little girls are made of. —Unknown

Cinderella and a prince. Straight A’s and a college sweetheart.Smiles, beauty and breathtaking innocence.

The husband of her dreams. Children. A house with a white picket fence. Endless days of marital bliss.

A career that is exciting. Breaking boundaries. Excelling in all pursuits. Traveling to parts unknown.

Those are the dreams deposited at the feet of every freshly minted little girl. What a dubious burden delivered wrapped in layers; life is not a fairytale or a nursery rhyme after all.

Drifting past our mid 20’s it dawns on us that we are women. The little girl in us is gone.

We start to search high and low for strength, wisdom, and grace. We need guidance. We watch our fellow females for clues on how to achieve the perfect balance within ourselves.  Unfortunately because of the nature of media and the pace of our lives, the humble meme has become our team leader.

I have noticed a disturbing trend. We seem to collectively rally behind memes that express encouragement for women that have not only gone nuts but also for women who have decided that they own (or need) a set of testicles.  We LOVE these women:

“Women who drink whiskey like a man.”

“Women who don’t give a f*ck like a man.”

“Women who have sex like they mean it, like a man.”

When did we decide that our existence—our very being—should be celebrated only when we “act like a man?”

Why can’t we acknowledge who we are and forgive ourselves for failing to shine while conforming to the status quo on a daily basis?

In my opinion, our insatiable need for reassurance usually is a by-product of one or more of these four universally certain emotions.


It will happen. You won’t ever get over it. Ever.

Remember that you are not the only one that has ever felt this pain. Use your tears, and wipe away hurt from another’s heart.


No matter what it is that you decide to do in this life setbacks will always make an appearance. This one is a downer that has the potential to chain you to the floor.

Don’t let it.

Use your disappointments as a roadmap. Remember what tripped you up, and spin it on its head.  Move on.


Because we are typically empathetic champions during all encounters, it is just common sense that we can relate wholeheartedly to the plight of the volcano.

My advice? SCREAM.

Get it out. Vile thoughts and words directed with purpose into a dark closet, a quiet empty house or while on a hike will do you wonders.


With so many messages floating around about who we are supposed to be, how we are supposed to look and how we should behave, no wonder clouds have formed in our minds.

Let go of confusion’s hand. Walking in circles gets boring. Confusion always loves to loop round and round.

Take one step at a time. Write down your goals and dreams, in lipstick on your bathroom mirror.  Every day you have the ability to put a checkmark in red next to one or more of the items on your lipstick list.

Go with your gut. Be brave. Be bold. Be precise.

Tell confusion to get lost.

When we finally own our unique gifts, prioritize time for ourselves and forget about being a size 4 or a perfect 10, we will be on our way to complete womanhood. Our dreams will become reality because we will go after them.

The secret sauce of success is simple. Your allegiance should be with yourself first and foremost.  With the disciplined practice of a Zen master, remind yourself that you are a work in progress. You are getting better by the day.  Your beauty shines through. Your intelligent heart is worthy of love. The contributions that you make in this life are valuable. No matter how big or small, be proud of them and yourself.

Wonderfully gifted and uncomparable, you are a woman.

Own it, ladies, you got this (testicles need not apply).


Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson is the Creator and Publisher of Feminine Collective. Julie was inspired to create this safe place for women to share their secrets, desires, triumphs and pain as the antithesis of what mainstream media offers women today. In her column Pursuit of Perfection, she explores the importance of rectifying the balance of inner and outer beauty through essays, poems and articles on self-esteem, shame, family, and self- acceptance.

17 thoughts on “The Art of Being a Woman in a Man’s World

  1. Julie AndersonJulie Anderson Post author


    I am speechless. Thank you for taking the time to read and thank you for you unbelievable comment. My favorite part – “It’s like reading a literary version of heavy metal!”
    My friend, you are a writer!

    Stick around, we love and need your thoughtful wisdom and support.

    Blessing to you!


  2. Stephan

    Out of my heartfelt respect- [..the fact that i am still a lil stunned by the magnificence, sheer intelligence and unbridled honesty of your writing…and my general fear and unfamiliarity of neither volcanoes nor their plight…] let me first assure you all, that before entering- i did indeed check my chestnuts at the door. Secondly, i come in Peace offering only praise. And finally..please be gentle as this is the first ovarian cult i’ve ever joined and while it’s wildly exciting, i’m a little nervous.
    It is unimaginable, how such beautiful spirits, lovable souls and adored women of position and glamour, could be enduring so much dissatisfaction and pain. The writings i’ve had the pleasure to read so far in the Collective are truly unique, spectacular, insightful, just plain ‘real’ and immensely encouraging for ANY reader! Right there- In your face/You Really Want to know? hard hitting kind of stuff! It is truly amazing how much our fragile hearts can take, endure, and heal from after being lied to, bruised, fucked, bent, torn, used and discarded along the winding paths of deception we choose. It’s like reading a literary version of heavy metal! So captivating-I actually tuRnt down Lamb of God and KoRn..called them a bunch of p*ssies-screaming at my monitors “Quit your bitchin! These Gals did it in feathers!!! You don’t see 666 inked out on their brow line!” “Get it together guys!” (Maybe Freddie Mercury really WAS ahead of his time?) What mostly grabs me in each story is the honesty…a no-holds-barred/ full disclosure look at the reality we must all face and embrace whatever our pursuits in this fleeting life. No matter “who” you are, where you are, what you’ve got…if you haven’t discovered, accepted, forgiven and fallen in Love with YOU…you’re a dangerous mess at best, roller skating down the steep hill to nowhere fast…waving, faking and celebrating the whole way down…cleverly navigating the way to your own depression.
    STRENGTH…is what i read from what each of you have dared to share so openly with me! Such a welcomed departure from what is being presented daily on and between the covers of magazines, online fake polls about fake bullshit..throughout advertising and what movies and the media present.
    HONESTY- It takes a lot of courage to open up and willingly share what you are offering, just as you did in in the ART and ZEN piece above. As a man reading this…it only reminds me that it’s not the clothes or tits, but the unparalleled gifts of a woman that i fall in love with..the guidance, loyalty, strength and intuition are the beauty i see shining from within!
    HOPE- That which does not kill you…still takes years to recover from, to find your way back to any sort of clarity, much less feel and trust again..and rediscover a sense of embrace yourself, just as you are and start to believe in yourself, all by yourself…then have the tenderness left to still want to share. How encouraging it is to see the fruit on the vine! The evidence of a miracle..If it happened for you, maybe…it could work out for me too! Hope is what i’m left with. Hope is what i’m feeling. After reading your writings…no i’m not fixed yet, but i think it’s started- ’cause your story proves, God is still healing the broken -hearted. Blessings~Light~Love ~SSS69~ =^;;^=

  3. Julie AndersonJulie Anderson Post author

    Ah Jackie –

    You always bring tears to my eyes. It’s a struggle. Every day. Nobody has the magic juju to be all that you say that you think I embody. But I will accept your compliment and hold it close to my heart.

    x J

  4. Julie AndersonJulie Anderson Post author


    Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad you found my thoughts via that Elle cover. Beauty is as beauty does – I think you are stunning.


  5. Michelle Murray

    Expression holds the key to helping find me
    Uncovering the identy that was buried deep in the soil .
    Brilliantly written by taking my breath away emotionally
    touching my heart & soul . Love your writings . I happen to come across this Via
    Facebook through a friend of friend .
    I Stop to check it out first by looking at your Elle Magazine cover . Beauty inside is unique that is Radiant to the world .
    Back in the day I was a model also
    Wanting to discover more in life then just being labeled glamorous !!!
    Models can become beauties on a page
    Models are more then our fashion for flair that we create on camera &’ what people perceive . We are more then our choices
    That we make . We have been renamed .
    Your loving model
    Exiting to read more of Zen & Art of being a women .
    Best –

  6. Jackie CioffaJackie Cioffa

    Because you are the embodiment of the perfect physical ideal women on the outside, and yet your desire, drive, passion, empathy and true beauty lives inside the acceptance of all the parts to you, masculine and feminine. Thank you, you make me want to be better, and cherish the woman inside and out.

    Xx Jackie

  7. Julie AndersonJulie Anderson Post author

    Shanti –

    Your comment brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy that you are a part of my journey. It is really “our” journey isn’t it? We are a grand parade of truth heroines … Ovaries Ahead indeed!
    Love you back!

  8. Xavier

    Dearest Julie,

    Yes, indeed, you are already perfect because YOU are determined to be YOU … as I AM THAT I AM … regardless of the heartbreaks, disappointments, frustration or confusion.
    Indeed, YOU have made allegiance with yourself, first and foremost …
    Indeed, your intelligent heart is worthy of love … and your beauty shines on through.
    Indeed, YOU are brave. YOU are bold and you are ever so pertinent because you are precise in articulating your vision and perception, as a woman striving for wholeness, into illuminating reality for all to see: women AND men alike. And you are so right: testicles need not apply!
    Indeed, you are a beautiful work in progress and you are getting better by the day.
    Indeed, YOU are a living incarnation of … and a celebration to womanhood in all its glory as well as its flaws … and for that YOU should be celebrated, Julie Anderson.
    And you may not be aware of it for yourself, but indeed, you are the living manifestation of strength, wisdom and grace you have been searching for, high and low, with your personal journey through womanhood.

    Your journey is now becoming a collective journey and you can be quite confident that it is a gratifying privilege to be able to join in your inner travels, not just because you are a unique and beautiful woman … but simply because you are a beautiful and unique human being … one of the billions of unique souls that are living today.

    So on behalf of the billions of unique souls, THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU.

    Yours kindly, as always.


  9. Emily

    Couldn’t agree more. I really think it’s time for humanity to let go of the idea that certain kinds of behavior are coded as feminine and others are coded as masculine. We’d all be better off if we could express ourselves in whatever way we choose instead of trying to conform to a certain standard of gender expression.

  10. Shanti Patty OwenShanti Patty Owen

    Woman, I LOVE YOU! I love your passion, your drive, your vulnerability, your transparency, your unending search for the truth, and mostly, your tireless commitment to WOmankind!! You have given me a place to get my passions out in the world. Can never thank you enough. Ovaries Ahead!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *