Forget everything you know about the feminine ideal.
Forget the images that confront you daily of pouting, bikini-clad sexpots, Stepford wives and sweet girls who live next door. Forget the fairytales where a hapless female waits for a prince to choose her and change her life. Forget the rules and the dating coaches telling you how to think and how to act.
I am not here to give you any more rules. That is the last thing a woman needs.
I am here to help you reclaim your power, a power that has existed since the dawn of man when humans worshipped at the altar of the goddess. From roughly 30,000-3,000 BCE, women and goddesses were deified, a fitting elevation considering woman’s critical role in early hunter-gather societies where archaeologists suggest women were responsible for gathering and harvesting as much as 80 percent of the stable food supply. These women gave birth and nursed young. They lorded over pottery, weaving and the healing arts. They lead rituals and rites. And endowed with corpulent, life-giving bodies that were mystically synchronized with the appearance of the moon, women was inspired the same wonder and awe as the thunder and cosmic light shows that bewildered early man. Yes, women were considered to be a force of nature.
From Isis to Lilith, Athena and Ochun, there is a global pantheon of female deities who still exert and inordinate pull on our collective consciousness. Man’s idea of love crystallized around the mythic goddess, and even today, when he encounters a woman who displays her bewitching qualities–vitality, eroticism, wit, succor, the ability to inspire both fear and love– he experiences a sort of primal de ja vu. Men are ultimately seeking a woman they can worship.
“Women all want to be sirens, but don’t know their trade.”- Frederick Fellini
But of course, we’re not supposed to know this. In childhood we internalize “someday my prince will come”. In the meantime we are expected to wait patiently, and behave. We are inundated with slick, airbrushed advertisements that deliberately poke wholes in our ego for the sake of a sale.
We are told that to be powerful is to behave like a man and to be liberated is to have sex like one. We are taught that our advantage in relationships is hard-won and fleeting at best, and that our power only lasts so long as a man has yet to taste our bodies or grow tired of them. We are placed into limiting, oppressive categories. We can be beautiful or smart, a virgin, or whore. It rarely occurs that we can be wonderfully complex, sexual and wise, soft and strong, enigmatic and open, divas, and divine.
We tell women to play the cards they have been dealt, that our romantic success will only go so far as looks and youth will take us. Traditional love advice encourages us to conform and behave, although we know, thanks to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, that well-behaved women seldom make history. And even if you are not out to make history, why not make a life of your own design?
“The strength of the feminine is that of seduction”- Jean Baudrillard
Western society has done much to malign the seductive woman, the woman who operates with such brazen autonomy, and such electric vitality, that she threatens to turn patriarchy on its head. He portrays her as a whore, as manipulative, as a femme fatale, literally a deadly woman, who will inevitably lead man to his ruin. This is a rouse. This is man’s way of throwing women off… and of ensuring that he maintains his artificial sexual advantage over woman kind.
You know better.
This is a golden age for the seductive woman. We no longer have to seduce for our supper, and thank goodness for that. Today, we ply our techniques to improve our options. We use this set of soft skills and self-awareness to maximize our romantic and vocational success.
We can aspire to be whomever we damn well please.
Our wit is no longer confined to a dinner table, nor is our sexual agency confined to the bed. We can run a business, run for president, run a home, or just run around the world pursuing fun. We can marry whomever we want. We can marry for love. We can marry for money. (We can marry for love of money ?) We can wear what we want to wear and make love to the men of our choosing.
Of course, these freedoms aren’t experienced by women across the world, but curiously enough, in places where women are endowed with the freedom of choice, women are floundering in a sea of soulless hook-ups, hang-ups, break-downs, and break-ups. In our golden era of choice, we find ourselves lacking the power that generations of women before us wielded so masterfully.
This condition is further complicated by the digital age of online dating, over sharing, instant gratification, and over-sex. Women are the losers in this culture. It’s a playing field created and rigged by men.
Must liberation come at the expense of love? Some goddesses among us— still ply this trade masterfully, but most women are absolutely mystified as to how to prevail in love.
Romantic success and worldly success go hand-in-hand. Both take moxie, nerve, and verve. Both require that decide the life we want to live—and then become the woman who lives it.
This site is a celebration of women who did just that, and instinctively elevated love from act to art; women like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who turned down two marriage proposals before settling on the future president, Wallis Duchess of Windsor, the American divorcee for whom King Edward VIII abdicated his throne, and Erykah Badu, the eclectic songstress who hooked hip-hops finest.These are women who shirked convention, gender norms and complacency.
They, in the words of Beyonce “upgraded” their men. Erykah inspired her emcee lover’s creativity. Jacqui edited John’s speeches. Eva Peron helped Juan rise to power in Argentina. A seductive woman can be the best thing to ever happen to man.
Here’s the truth.
You don’t have to choose between virgin and whore. Both stereotypes were created to oppress women. You are more than a face, a comfortable vessel, or a fleeting period of youth. You are not a car—you don’t lose value the moment someone takes you for a drive, and you were not destined to be traded in for a newer model. This entire belief system was created to deprive women of the very confidence and vitality that makes the earth shake and men tremble– the supra-vitality that men secretly crave.
You can opt out of the hook-up merry-go-round. You don’t have to spend your life decoding texts, nursing bruised egos, or catering to men who haven’t learned how to cater to you. You can be a woman of your own making. And you can love on your own terms.
With lipstick and liberation,
PS: What makes you powerful? Discover how you uniquely captivate with my unique, psychology backed 13 Feminine Seduction Archetypes Questionnaire.
The founder of Women Love Power®, Ayesha K. Faines is a writer, media personality, and brave new voice for feminine power and social change. Sought after for her provocative insights on culture, mythology and gender politics, she has been featured on MTV, Essence, Entertainment Tonight, The Michael Baisden Radio Show, AfroPunk, and Time among other media outlets. She’s traveled the world lecturing before a number of universities, and she pens a column for Zora Magazine that explores the intersection of love and power. She is best known as a featured panelist on “The Grapevine”. Ayesha is a graduate of Yale University and a former television journalist.