Michelle Miller is a writer and producer of books, television, apps and experiments in digital art. Her novel The Underwriting, a satirical corporate thriller about Wall Street, Silicon Valley and online dating, first appeared as a self-produced transmedia serial, and she is now writing the television adaptation with Endemol and Fox.
In a past life, Michelle worked in finance and as a consultant in New York all and across Europe. She holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University and currently splits her time between New York, Los Angeles & London.
As a woman who was allowed to be masculine, Michelle chose her initial career in a “masculine” fashion by setting straight goals. She has come to learn that there is a typically feminine way and masculine way of thinking. There are feminine words, such as sensitivity, creativity and beauty and then there are masculine words like focus, competition and logic. Michelle, however, is questioning these concepts by asking us the following question – what if femininity has nothing to do with being a woman?
“What if femininity has nothing to do with being a woman?”
Liberation to be feminine
The fact that her job as a corporate banker was not as fulfilling as she had expected it to be, angered Michelle. And instinct is a funny thing, because for once she listened to it. After taking a creative writing class, she realised she wanted to be a writer.It made her focus on the experience rather than the result and liberated her to be feminine, in the same way women once had been liberated to be masculine.
Being feminine is about the experience
As femininity cannot be measured, we often consider it to be without value. Being feminine is not about a measurable result, it is about the experience. It is a mistake to ask society to try and measure though. Michelle explains how writing a book and producing a TV show have, in fact, yielded great results, but above all were a great and liberating experience.
“Explaining what femininity is to masculine people is like explaining what making love is to someone who has only known masturbating”
Society need both masculine and feminine people
Liberating women AND men to be more feminine will be a fight requiring us to use our masculine muscles. Explaining why, Michelle shared her analogy for this fight with us. “Explaining what femininity is to masculine people is like explaining what making love is to someone who has only known masturbating,” Michelle said smiling, triggering a laugh from the audience. But it will be a fight for a good cause. “We need both masculine and feminine people – men or women – for us to build an equal society that will be more sustainable.”
Text by: Eva van der Meer