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Lessons from Iceland; Part 1: A Feminine Land

Growing up I had always been "one of the boys". Perhaps it was because I already had two sisters that I never felt the need to seek the company of other females; or maybe because I purposefully suppressed my feelings, so running around with the boys was much more appealing than participating in the day to day drama that accompanies pubescent and teenage females. My views on female friendships shifted only after encountering amazing women during University. There, I realized that women (including myself) were just as strong, smart, capable, worthy of admiration and respect, as men are. That sentiment has only grown stronger as the years have passed, but there is always a part of me that defaults to seeing "masculine" as "strong" and "feminine" as "weak".

As I wandered the Streets of Reykjavik, I ran across the Icelandic Phallological Museum which automatically made me aware of masculine structures and shapes everywhere. When I returned to Austin, feeling homesick for Iceland, I ventured through Instagram's "Iceland" hashtag and ran across the apt description "Icelandick" for various phallic formations people photographed (at which I, of course, giggled). Despite being in the company of incredible, inspiring women, the thought that Iceland was at all feminine did not cross my mind until I scrolled through my photographs. Again I had defaulted to thinking of strong, harsh, stark landscapes as masculine, again I had discounted my own gender as a force to behold. Iceland proved to me what I had already known but constantly forget: that the feminine spirit is just as prominent as the masculine; that just because femininity is not loud does not mean that it is nonexistent or less important; that the feminine form is not to be shamed or hidden, it is everywhere, and it is beautiful.

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