When I was leading the grantmaking efforts for a women’s giving circle, I asked the volunteers on the grant committee to tell the story of when they first considered themselves to be feminists, and one woman started the conversation by incredulously stating, ‘I am not a feminist’.  Even among women who advocate for and support feminist ideals, the word feminist can be divisive.

It’s divisive precisely because of what it aims to do — which is to rebalance the power dynamic in our world by exploring and championing the feminine. This is systems changing talk, and it is exactly why I embrace it. I am a feminist because I think this power dynamic needs more feminine leadership: the relational, mutually empowering aspect of humanity that lives in all of us to one degree or another. This kind of leadership is not purely female or male, and it is not anti-men. Feminism is a call for us to confront the patriarchal, homophobic, racist, classist systems in our societies, and men benefit from and are a part of this work as well (in fact, some of the best feminist leaders I’ve worked for and with have been men).

For too long this feminine aspect of our humanity has been suppressed in everything from politics and economics, to our psyche and leadership … and our philanthropy.

Feminist philanthropy encourages philanthropists to question the status quo and what we place value on, and it supports people in being free to determine their own lives for themselves. In this philanthropy, your giving is not one aspect of a life well lived, siloed from the other parts of your day; instead, it is the way you live and interact, the intention you bring to your days and the way you integrate what you give with what you take.

Read the full article about feminist philanthropy by Kristen Corning Bedford at Medium.