Interview with Tovi Browning

What was the process like for you, of writing Femophobia?
It took seven years for me to write this book, and it's not at all what I had planned! My previous book took about a year or so to write, and I had figured on the same here give or take a little. But when l got to the end of the book and started reading it from the beginning, it would change right through. Each time I read it, it would morph yet again. It did so over and over, until I got what was going on. I had started one book around eating disorders, but in fact another book wanted to be born. In the beginning, the Feminine was nowhere to be seen. Indeed she was so obscure, it took me several rounds to decipher her arising like a figure out of clay, like a phoenix from the ashes. Then I realized this is what the book is about – about our inability to see her, the one who nurtures life so quietly and devotedly.
What do you think of Femophobia as a book?
It is not an easy book, but a challenging one. I didn’t think I would be applauded, so I am surprised at the positive response. There are many risky topics in the book, but that’s my nature – I take risks. I am tired of blame-based literature. Blaming men places the power in their hands. But that doesn’t mean that women are to blame, nor are they victims. Victimhood dogma merely induces further anger and is disempowering.
Wouldn’t you say women's anger is justified?
Women have endured so much throughout history, and still do today, which precipitates their anger. But while at first anger empowers and motivates change, there comes a point where prolonged anger cements victim-patterns, claiming back the very power it endowed.
The backlog of rage women have amassed through generations of injustice and suffering has exploded at times into outright hostility and a call to fight men with their own means. There was a time when fighting fire with fire may have been relevant. However, handling fire - as with its associated emotion of rage - for too long a duration is dangerous and will lead to burnout.
The power of the Feminine reminds us that it is infinitely easier to put out fire with water, and furthermore, symbolizing feminine and masculine, fire and water used wisely in combination generate constructive and powerful energy. Indeed it is important to emphasize that in the book we look not only at men and women, but at the inner masculine and feminine aspects in both, which have become imbalanced.
Can you tell us a little of your own personal experience?
Having been "a good girl" it was intoxicating when my wrath finally burst its dams in my early 20's. I would use the smallest excuses as opportunities for expressing my anger, going all out to fight against any hint of injustice anywhere, so as to experience my new vigor. No more silence. No more nice girl. My anger was delightful, bewitching at first, and at second and third. But as the years passed by and I was still incensed, I began losing more than I gained.
Anger is invaluable for creating change. Like the masculine warrior, it acts to destroy the old structures to make way for the new. Well, by now I was an expert at destruction. My warrior had long since gone out of kilter. He was in desperate need of the Feminine in order to move on from the reflex breaking-down of the old, to building up the new, and above all, for integrating both aspects.
I gradually realized that I could create my own reality; I could be as happy or unhappy as I chose to be. As a consequence it became progressively more difficult to blame others, situations, or any external factors for my discontent. To my amazement my external circumstances began changing in response to my inner steps. A new phase ensued, of confronting my terror of being solely responsible for my happiness, of being that powerful. Astounding revelations flowed into my life, as the angry warrior made way for the incredible power of softness. I gained a new balance.
As a result I developed an entire healing system – “Holistic Pulsing – The Power of Softness”, which has changed the lives of many, and had medical research prove its astounding effects on the brain. As with the personal, so it is at the collective level. It is essential that women acknowledge and express their anger. For generations, disapproval of their anger maintained women’s chronic depression, which is known to be
a lid for unexpressed rage. Over the recent decades women in their millions have been prescribed tranquillizers in various forms, keeping the lid firmly in place, and the life of the entire family unavoidably in disarray.
Once released however, the pendulum inevitably swings from one pole to the other, thus suppression becomes catharsis. How long we remain suspended at one extreme before becoming centered, hinges on our awareness and choice. Our society is fixed in the hyper-masculine mode of protracted rage as conveyed through the media and entertainment avenues, the glorification of force, and the general escalating violence. Therefore the challenge for both men and women is to find equilibrium; that rhythmic tapestry of life where feminine and masculine within and without continually balance each other.
What motivated you to publish Femophobia as an eBook?
As mentioned, I wrote this book for seven protracted years. Throughout the process I felt I was on a mission I did not choose, but which rather chose me. It was a painful process at times, to say the least, and I kept asking to be “released” from it, yet knew that I had an important message for women and for our aching society at large.
Finally, the child was born, the book was complete. But I could find no publisher brave enough to take a risk with the daring approach represented in the book. They gave me a lot of praise and compliments, from “fascinating work,” and “impressive and thorough research” to “the perfect manuscript (!)”, alas, eventually I had to publish it myself in a limited run. It was either that or let it die. Reviews were full of praise, with the intellectual paper naming it: “One of the most impressive and daring books ever to be published!” But it was from the responses of the women and men who have read it and been transformed – sometimes in spite of themselves and the truly challenging process the book presented them with – that I knew I had done the right thing. Nevertheless, the only way to enable the healing message that the book brings, to reach a critical mass, is for the book to be taken under the wing of a known publisher and/or a worldwide eBook platform like Smashwords . The more women and men read this work, the more chance we have of reclaiming our sanity in OUR life-time, in place of the externalized and internalized violence raging today, with the distorted notions of beauty, slimness and eternal youth that we continue to serve in anguish, despite ourselves.
Published 2015-11-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Femophobia: How Women Have Become Men - On the Fear of Fat, Fear of the Feminine and the Collapse of Society
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 86,550. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Gender studies
This book gives us tools for a real change. The Feminine is dying. Unless we awaken to this, so may we: eating disorders; broken relationships; our attraction to control and hardness; the speed of our life and its price; women’s hostility towards their bodies; our fear of feelings; epidemic addictions... It is crucial that we allow the Feminine back into our lives, to restore our lost balance.