Our last blog post of the year usually entails reflecting back on all the fierce women we’ve featured on our blog over the year and casting a vote to see who our audience thinks is the fiercest of them all. There was a bit of a shift that happened for us though about mid-year that led to the procurement of a new sentiment of empowerment for 2018 and ultimately answering 2017’s intention of discovering what it means to be feminine.
In May 2017, we wrote a little recap about the first 100 days of feminism and asked our readers to complete a survey about what feminism means to them. The majority of responses were of no surprise, mostly comprised of issues and standards relating to women that many have been debating for years. The response that really stood out in my mind though was the following bits and pieces of one response that came from one of our male responders, whom for the sake of anonymity we’ll call Calvin:
I am extremely offended any time a woman talks about how she should have more for herself and her gender but females don’t speak at all about true equality for both genders, just “more for themselves”…..I care deeply about removing all of the toxins from hygienic products for ALL genders, FOR EVERYONE! Especially women, but not JUST for women. Realize that we all share this world and we all want clean products, not just women……So, if you truly do care about equality, remember that we all aren’t women and that more than just women have concerns about the terrible atrocities being perpetrated upon ALL OF US!”
Now, I know what some of you may be thinking – he’s just another bigoted troll and hater who can’t understand that the struggle is really real for women. Like how about the latest released stat about the number of female CEOs actually dropping in 2017; as if we weren’t hurting in positions of power already! However you may interpret this man’s response, can the feminine energy in you also see the need and cry of the men who are getting lost and losing their source of strength in our struggle to find ours?
In my discovery of what it means to be feminine this year, I found myself concluding with the vision of the Yin Yang theory, a concept created by the ancient Chinese to explore relationships and patterns that occur in nature. According to the logic, every single being or form is made up of two opposite but complementary components , each of which could not exist without the other, i.e. night and day, water and fire, active and passive and male and female.
As makers of “feminine” products, we naturally gear most of our stories and messaging to women. As I came to understand in my explorations this year and as the yin and yang symbol encourages, femininity is all inclusive and requires the interdependence of masculinity to thrive, which makes it all the more important to be more conscious of our male counterparts (the visa versa is of course true too). According to the theory, one has no meaning without the other and you can find a little bit of each in the other. If we don’t encourage and engage the femininity in all beings then it will be harder to create change. If we throw off the balance in each of the natural inherent qualities of yin and yang, then the energies can’t flow as seamlessly as they do in its infamous symbol.
As divine timing would have it, by the time Calvin shared his views on feminism, we had already become somewhat conscious to his worries and woes. June was already scheduled to be our blog’s month long celebration of men to help balance our predominantly feminine based platform. As the forces of energy would have it, one month later, our company’s male founder, my father, got featured in not only his biggest press piece yet, but the brand’s most exciting, which made me realize even further that the yin and yang in our business partnership needed some fine tuning.
When applied to the dichotomy between male and female, yin, the dark side is typically associated with female energy and yang, the lighter side is male. Forces of yin traditionally hold the strongest capacity to receive, while yang energy yearns to create. My dad created our company and I joined him shortly thereafter in receipt of it. We did move on to co-create over the years, but at some points I tried to overpower him and take the lead, which not only drained me but hurt the company too, proving the dynamics of the theory to be true. That’s when I took on my title as Chief Flow Rider, as I shared with you in my year end blog post from two years ago.
For years my father encouraged me to take the front seat at the company HE mostly created and the fierce woman in me was glad to take it and boy did she sometimes fight for it (in too strong of a yang way), yet energetically it was his seat to be had and he needed to be acknowledged for it. Once I balanced those energies by embracing his role at Maxim Hygiene Products, things started to work more smoothly for us. In this third year of doing so, I even went so far as to share the stage with him. He did his first public speaking event at the first ever PeriodCon!
This is not to say that women aren’t meant to create. All I’m saying is that sometimes in being fierce women, we forget to step in to our yin and let the yang do its thang, which tips the balance and creates responses like Calvin’s. Dare I say maybe that’s why the number of women in positions of power decreased this year? Perhaps these women got burned out from being in yang all the time? So the question I pose to you for 2018 is, if 2017 helped us discover that applying principles of yin can foster the great powers of the divine feminine, how can we take this energy to the work place, our homes and most worthy causes in ways that allows us to maintain positions of power and stay balanced? Also, how can we keep the men in our lives feeling empowered without stepping on their yang and forgetting our yin?
Between positive changes in period policy, increased brand recognition, the addition of new team members and the launch of new products, 2017 was truly our best and most balanced year yet! I’m going to thank our yin and yang for it and take some hints of what we experienced with that in to answering our question for 2018. As we get ready to roll in to the 10th year since Maxim Hygiene products hit store shelves, I feel comfortable saying, Maxim’s come one step closer in achieving its chi, another Chinese concept representing the energy of life itself as the balance of Yin and Yang. In 2018, we’re going to look for more ways to maintain our chi in servicing you and we hope you will too.
The menstrual movement has also come a few steps closer to chi in its latest wave of activism. Although we may have foregone our vote for Fierce Woman of the Year this year, the tradition of featuring a book (and a giveaway) in our last blog post of the year is still here. This year we finally have a book that focuses on the forces of menstruation to inspire, whereas in the past we had to focus on related topics. Periods Gone Public, the first book of its kind written by our very own May 2016 Fierce Woman, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, explores historical, cultural, political and sociological experiences of menstruation, with a deep focus on the third strongest wave of activism around the topic that has occurred over the past few years.
I’m so extremely honored to have been quoted in the book and have our company’s work and product line mentioned as well. Jennifer’s contribution and perspective is truly one of the most balanced I’ve come across in my ten years of exploring the power of menstruation. I encourage you to read Periods Gone Public to learn about Jennifer’s journey around taking a stand for menstrual equity, follow the ups and downs of the history of menstruation in our world, how the menstrual movement took new life over the past couple of years and the results it created. Perhaps we can apply the same yin and yang philosophy to address some of the challenges that still lie ahead in this realm as well.
As our new year gift to you, we’re going to make it a little easier to get your hands on a copy of the book and some Maxim products too! Click here to enter your chance to win a signed copy of Jennifer’s book and a year’s supply of your choice of Maxim organic tampons, natural sanitary napkins, 100% cotton panty liners, organic cotton accessories and new mom and baby products. Two winners will be chosen at random and all other participants will win a $5.00 gift certificate to our online store. See all the terms and conditions below and get your entry in by January 1st, 2018!!
Wishing you and all your loved ones a balanced, peaceful and flowful new year! See ya in 2018 and thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I do.
Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions:
Limited to one entry per unique email and ship to address. To qualify, entries must be submitted by January 1st, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. Coupon codes will be issued by January 15th, 2018 via the email address provided with your entry.