Why we need a more balanced masculine / feminine world…
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See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World
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We are living in revolutionary times that future historians will undoubtedly say rivals or surpasses that of the civil rights movement and the social / sexual revolution of the ‘60’s. No more is this apparent than the social maelstrom of our current presidential politics in the U.S. It has become abundantly clear that the old ways, governed by paternalistic drive for dominance (benevolent or otherwise), are being existentially challenged by the rising tide of insistence on authenticity, compassion and collaboration. One way to look at this is the emergence of the feminine, not as a replacement for the overt masculine, but rather as its complementary balancing force. As a species, this couldn’t come too soon for I believe our very survival depends upon it…
Repression of the Feminine
Globally speaking, most cultures are still highly paternalistic. As a result of the work I do I have realized that many men, especially those in positions of authority, are literally fearful of feminine sexual energy. We see extreme examples of this in certain cultures that repress women by dictating what they can and cannot wear or do and how to appear in public. And in some cases, wholesale female genital mutilation is sanctioned as a sick attempt to snuff out the very source of that energy. In more developed Western cultures, it shows up as fear and hatred of anything other than the heteronormative, and sexual objectification and debasement of women for the purpose of male gratification served with a side of contempt. The more attractive a woman is, the more her other attributes will be scorned, no matter how great they may be. Clearly, not all men behave this way, but far too many still do.
I’m neither an anthropologist or sociologist, however here’s my take on why this is still so prevalent. Most males are designed by nature to react strongly, even to the point of almost losing control, when in the presence of female sexuality. This sense of “losing control” is scary for the male psyche, one that is wired for survival purposes to seek dominance in all situations. Yet merely being in the presence of an attractive woman can cause the strongest of men to become weak in the knees. Unfortunately, they sometimes do lose control and allow themselves to express their need for dominance in the form of sexual abuse. Abuse that can arise as preying on the weak or young, regardless of gender or relationship. It is rare indeed that women are found guilty of the same kinds of abuse, and when they are it is likely because they are exhibiting an out-of-control male energy.
This is very ancient wiring that was appropriate for the propagation of our species, but is now getting in the way of the next stage of our evolution. And that stage is the celebration and elevation of the feminine in *all* of us (women and men) and the nearly unlimited sexual / creative / compassionate energy it can manifest. I truly believe that enabling the full expression of the feminine is crucial for our collective survival and thriving as a species.
The Decline of the Alpha Masculine
I use the term “Alpha Masculine” instead of the more common “Alpha Male” to underscore the fact overtly masculine qualities can show up in either gender. While it is true that most Alphas are male, there are females, typically in positions of power, that manifest these tendencies as well. Ironically, even militant feminism can be considered as an expression of alpha masculinity. This not a gender issue but rather an “energy” issue. Overt masculinity tends to be expressed in terms of force, dominance, intolerance and subjugation of others, primarily to protect its own needs. What our culture often perceives as strength, is ultimately the most cowardly of acts –forcefully or surreptitiously putting one’s own interest ahead, and at the expense, of others. The strong eat the weak. Something, according to the “strong”, has always been and will always be. Yet, the one glaring fatal flaw to this world view is that, by definition, there can only be a few at the top. And the many below can, and eventually will, wake up to shake up. A phenomenon I believe we are witnessing now.
However, the Alpha Masculine is not going out without a fight (naturally). And it is so ironic that our current political drama illustrates two outsiders who are shaking up the status quo for similar reasons but in two completely opposite ways. One is the very epitome of the Alpha Male, the other is clearly someone who has learned to balance both his masculine (getting things done) and feminine (compassion, creativity and collaboration) energies. Fortunately, (for all of us), our newest adult generation appears to overwhelmingly eschew the former in favor of the later.
A Grass Roots Revolution to End All Others
For this decline to be successful, we need to see a shift at the individual level on a global scale. This means each one of us fully embracing the beauty and strength that comes with accepting and welcoming the feminine and masculine we each carry within. The inherently destructive Alpha Masculine (be it an individual, political system or ideology) cannot survive in a sea of self-actualized humanity that has acknowledged and encouraged both energies to flourish and complement each other.
It will take some time, perhaps several generations. However, once this has happened, the cycle of repression, domination and reset-revolutions will finally come to an end. And we can thank the integration of the feminine in all of us for showing the way.
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