“Divine Feminine” is trending on TikTok and promises women inner strength and contentment – but how empowering is the concept of the “divine woman” really?
As a term and concept, self-care has become an integral part of our everyday life. This has included any form of self-care for the past few years, and social media is rife with channels offering tips on how to be kind to ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the modern workplace. A bubble bath, a glass of wine, sports, a beauty day with friends – these are all standard tricks from the self-care bubble to increase your own well-being.
However, the bubble has also been the subject of criticism from various quarters for some time, and the question is being asked more and more often as to whether self-care has now almost become a kind of competition. True to the motto: Who relaxes better?
And the latest self-care trend, which is making the rounds on TikTok and Instagram, can also be viewed very critically – especially when it comes to the gender roles proclaimed in it.
“Divine Feminine” assumes that there are masculine and feminine energies – but what is the simplification for?
“Divine Feminine” is part of a concept that assumes that each person is born with certain energies. A feminine and a masculine energy. If we were unwell, according to the proponents of this theory, it would be mainly because our energies are out of balance. So far, so (reasonably) unproblematic.
But: Many of the TikTok and Instagram creators who have made the trend big claim that the moment male energy takes over, women become dissatisfied. Therefore, in such a case, they would have to actively deal with themselves, do self-care and find their way back to themselves, i.e. their “feminine” energy. So not only does this system assume that there are only two energies that need to be balanced—reproducing a binary notion of gender (male/female)—but what is supposed to be part of a feminine energy also strongly harkens back to ancient gender roles. To understand this better, let’s take a look at what properties are attributed to the respective “energies”.
“Female” as reserved caretaker, “male” as trailblazing leader
What belongs to the feminine energy? Recurring keywords in the videos are the terms “receiving”, “caring” and “beauty”. Feminine energy should therefore be accompanied by an attitude of mind in which the woman takes care of her husband (heteronormative relationships are assumed in almost all videos) and her family, behaves reservedly in conversations and works on her beautiful, “feminine” charisma. In return, the masculine energy is characterized by the desire to “lead”, “supply” and “impress”.
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Is the “Divine Feminine” the “feminine” answer to toxic masculinity?
And of course both energies only work in harmony with each other. It is therefore not surprising that the hashtag already has its own subcategory of videos dedicated to the topic of dating according to the female/male energy theory. If you take a closer look at these dating tips, you’ll quickly realize that the women who explain how to behave when dating are in the same vein as Andrew Tate’s idolizing dating coaches, who in their videos tout the alpha mindset as the only acceptable form of being a “real” man.
In order for the man to be an “alpha”, according to the content creators of the “Divine Feminine” trend, the woman must – perhaps you have already guessed it – step back and package her demands on a relationship nicely. Just don’t make problems or communicate too demandingly, because that could put men off. Do we really have such an outdated idea of relationships? And is our ultimate goal really recruiting men?