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Festival du Féminin®: A transformative journey for women by women by Sylvie Baradel

How this Bangkok event for women by women promises to be a uniquely transformative journey?

 

 

Contemporary women thirst for freedom. Either driven by the legacy of feminism or else driving forces themselves, depending on where they are living, women are questioning what a woman is and where her place in society is. They are looking for full access to their femininity, pleasure, creativity, and self-development. Yet women still face all kinds of taboo. The adventure of the Festival du Féminin, coming this March to Bangkok, will bring with it the solutions modern, independent women seek, matching their true aspirations while creating a web of friendship, encounters, and memorable experiences.

To allow women to reach their deeper beings without constraint, the event is wholly dedicated to women only. It has been observed and studied that the presence of one man only among a female audience will consciously or unconsciously influence and change the attitudes and behaviors of the women.

A two-day schedule will facilitate a transformative and empowering journey by examining the multiple facets of femininity. Twenty different interactive workshops led by both international and local facilitators invite participants to engage in various explorations involving body-mind sensations, sensual awareness, as well as anchoring, integration, and harmony. The Festival du Féminin is a beautiful, international movement bringing together a large tribe of women and giving them powerful opportunities to share and celebrate precious moments of their inner paths. It is all about relationships: transmitting and sharing in sisterhood, connection, fulfillment, and empowerment.

 

The Festival du Féminin was created and initiated by the Tao center in Paris before developing in major French cities and French speaking countries (Canada, Belgium, Morocco) and internationally (USA, India, Colombia).

 

FEMINISM VS FEMININITY

Some people wonder what the differences are between feminism and femininity, or whether a relationship can be made between the two. How do they integrate with or relate to each other? While this would be a complex academic and living issue to raise within the confines of this article, a few key features can be noted.

In the broadest sense, feminism refers to a movement for social, political, and economic equality for men and women. Putting aside some limited provocative positions, as often voiced by a minority of activists, it is worth reminding that feminist movements have campaigned and continue more than ever today to campaign worldwide for women’s rights, including the right to vote, to education, to hold public office, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and—last but not least—to have bodily autonomy and integrity. By contrast, femininity refers to the values of the feminine dimensions, which include calling on intuition, sweetness, empathy, creative love powers, tolerance, harmony, and caring, among others.


The recent campaign of UN women through the Bangkok International Film Festival on ending violence against women and girls, which took place November 2015 at Central World, is just one recent example that we all can be feminist when it comes to honor killing, sexual harassment, rape, and child marriage, in the same way that the formulation “to be or not to be feminist” stands as inappropriate and irrelevant after viewing a documentary movie like Girl Rising.

 

Though recognizing and praising the legacy and tributes of the feminism movements, the Festival du Féminin dwells much more on intimate issues that can now be tackled, as it concerns the woman as an individual soul. Getting out of the political and social sphere, the event calls women to gather and find out what they have in common and figuring out what they can feel, share, and recognize—together.

 

Circles of women of all ages, lifestyles, and cultures act like a beautiful, moving, resonance box. Attending the event is a joyful, subtle, unique feeling that cannot be expressed with words but must be felt and experienced first-hand. While the transformation process is before all felt inwardly (and is not meant nor expected to be expressed to the group unless desired), benevolence and non-judgement are the safe and friendly frame to welcome and allow sharing.

 

Women lucky enough to share the Festival with their mother, daughter, sister or any other woman they are closely attached to will benefit even more of the quality of this intimate relationship.


While women are said for ages to be the more cooperative sex, they also have been forced and taught through a historically patriarchal system to compete with each other. They are only now starting to reorganize themselves by building a network in a social and business environment. Even more than this, the Festival du Féminin is a precious call for each woman to connect with her own roots of femininity, to define it, to touch it, and, quite often, to allow herself to recognize and to express it.

 

What kind of woman am I? Such different experiences are outside the philosophic intellectual debated field of gender issue theories, be it for its construction or deconstruction as per contemporary American philosopher Judith Butler’s work. It is a moment to feel and drop the mental box; it is a moment to allow oneself to open to vulnerability and power. Just like the tide or a breath, a woman can be moved by the challenging desire to explore the light and shadows inside her and to heal her wounds.


In the famous words of French philosopher and women activist Simone de Beauvoir, “One is not born (as) a woman, but becomes one,” could transform into “One is not born a woman, one feels it.”


At a time when the majority of women in most western countries are no longer battling for their social and political recognition, it seems that the biggest challenge for the contemporary woman is to access and balance her feminine and masculine dimensions to their fullest.

 

It is important to prefer speaking in terms of femininity rather than womanhood. Each individual bears both polarities of the femininity and masculinity; therefore, the values of femininity do not exclusively belong to the female sex, in the same way the values of masculinity do not belong only to the men. Both elements comprise important pillars of human construction.


Whether you are a man or a woman, what are your own beliefs of femininity? Which in-depth values have been carried and transmitted by your mom, your dad, the female or male members of your family, or by your cultural group? Who embodied for you the joy, pride, freedom, beauty, and wisdom of femininity? Or, by contrast, who embodied the burden, weakness, shame, and fear found in femininity?

How does a woman deny, reject, inhibit or honor, accept, embrace, and welcome her own femininity at all levels of her soul, heart, body or mind? Is she only aware of the driven forces in her? How does a woman truly feel fulfilled in her body, in her belly, in her sex?


The 1970’s emancipation movement finally acknowledged the recognition of the feminine desire and pleasure (even though Taoist philosophy already shed light upon it thousands of years back.) Recent articles keep reminding us that, for men and women alike, our first sexual organ remains our brain, namely the limbic brain, also called the brain of emotions. Yet how many dare the most challenging psychic and spiritual achievement to fully abandon themselves, open up their own vulnerability, and allow themselves to receive? To finally enjoy true softness?

 

Usually, women purport to being liberated but may or may not be aware that she is actually emotionally cut off. When guided in a safe environment, many women may become aware and may admit that they had to ignore, fake or overplay the so-called liberated woman, while cutting themselves off from their own feelings, perhaps by not knowing or by fear of being hurt or judged.


Circles of women and powerful circles of forgiveness around the world demonstrate the need to heal through generation lineages. Recent findings in neuroscience show today how an attitude or a belief derived from a guilty or severe education limitation— a specific feeling or trauma—can be transmitted to the next generation without this generation being confronted with the same conditions.


Hence, the challenge remains the following: how can we recognize a feeling, or allow a feeling, how can we truly live a feeling (such as deep joy, self-esteem, recognition, security, fulfillment, etc.) if such a feeling has never been experienced nor felt in one’s lifetime nor experienced in a lineage?

 

The Festival du Féminin allows each woman, depending on her age and how far she is in her own spiritual journey, to experience an indescribable feeling of being lively, connected to herself, and feeling interconnected with the other women. She will be challenged physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.


This is the magic of the Festival du Féminin. It is joyful. It is friendly. It is convivial, profound, challenging, funny, communicative, fulfilling. It is swinging!


Through the 20 different proposed workshops on the second day of the festival, all senses are awakened though various practices and rituals, dance, visualization, healing modalities, meditations, arts. The variety of tools allows the awareness of the interior resources of each participant.

 

Whether a therapist, artist, writer, sexologist, coach, shaman, energetic healer, midwife, or wise woman, all the acclaimed international facilitators will generously share and transmit their long experience to empower women to trust and to follow their own paths to their essences and their deepest, most sacred, and dynamic inner worlds.


This is the very wish of the organizer that the women can leave the event with concrete energetic tools and confidence to better express their needs and to affirm, transform and live to the fullest of their feminine odyssey.


Come and share in consciousness these unique moments of deep listening and encounters. The audience will be composed of the great mix of Bangkokians, Thai and South East Asian expats ladies from all communities (Anglo-saxon, French, Indian, Japanese). Workshops are conducted in both English and French.

 

Men are most welcome to support this festival, while they may not directly partcipate in it. Liberating and balancing the inner polarity of both masculine and feminine dimensions intertwined in each individual can benefit the outer polarity between men and women. Transgenders and other so-called gender minorities are more expressions of human diversity in this multi-mosaic frame.


Men and women for sure are not here to oppose to each other but to choose, to attract, and to complete each other joyfully. They have so much to enjoy and discover from each other. Similar to a tango couple with four legs and one breath, by being attentive to one another, can they finally, with free will, gracefully dance their most creative pas de deux.

 

When learning of the overall environment of the Festival du Féminin, most of the men kindly express their spontaneous curiosity and kind of envy to discover more of the feminine mystery, from its wild animal instinctive sensual powerful nature to its most divine, sacred, spiritual, intuitive nature. And, you, where do you stand?

Relatonships
The relationships at the Festival du Féminin are experienced at three levels:

1. With herself in the connection of the love power, the self-esteem that is the very precious root of any fulfilled life.

2. With the other in the connection of resonance, the other woman as the mirror of self.

3. With the world in the connection of how a woman can bring consciousness of peace and harmony around her, then by extension in the society in the world of today and tomorrow.


EACH TICKET SUPPORTS GAMS

Still today, 120 to 150 million women are suffering from excision and infibulation yearly. Where women’s issue are concerned, there is not a more crucial priority nor more urgent need than to respect the full integrity of the body of little girls. It is a fundamental, intrinsic Human Right of the Universal Constitution Chart.

 

Each entrance ticket for the Festival du Féminin will partially support the cause of GAMS, an international NGO committed to and battling against the GFM Genital Female Mutilation.

 

www.federationgams.org

www.endfgm.eu

 

 

 

Ame will be leading a group of women to the Festival du Feminin. In addition, we will make a trip up to a children orphanage called, Moo Baan Dek as part of our social good outreach. For more info, see http://bit.ly/1VbxB5c

 

For the full program, check out http://bit.ly/1Sy3EhG

 

 

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