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Man v Woman: Reconciling the Masculine/Feminine Dichotomy

Audio Version

I am sorry. For what it’s worth, I apologize to all women for the ways in which this world has been designed to cause you suffering from the moment you are born. Even institutionalized childbirth is a distortion of the beautiful, simple, sacred, and natural. Man v Woman is just one chapter in a vast, dark, and dysfunctional historical narrative. I, like all men, have suffered greatly as a result of it, though few would admit it or realize how deep the wound is for all of us.

In this article, I continue my attempt to investigate and examine some of the complexities of “Man v Woman” — or, more accurately, the disparate nature and ancient conflict and contrast of masculine and feminine energies. In a previous article, I explored a very personal angle, which deserves further discussion and writing. However, my intentions are never solely self-serving; I am always eager to unravel and make sense of these age-old conflicts, which certainly exist within me and, to some extent, in all of us.

Today, I write with a heavy heart. It seems increasingly difficult to not only meet someone, but to truly connect — at least not without confronting the proverbial elephant in the room. Perhaps it’s just my feeble attempt to shed the guilt and shame passed down from my fathers, brothers, and complicit sisters. Attempting to bridge the gap created by centuries of pain, inequity, misunderstanding, and general malaise is daunting, and I’m not sure that I will be able to do it justice. Every progressive step is a lifetime’s journey, but it is necessary for reconciliation.

Nothing meaningful — fundamental, structural, or systemic — will happen quickly, but everything must be examined with increasingly open and informed eyes. Inevitably, I believe that our concepts of romance and intimacy flounder and become complex because, for those like me, aspects of the relationship with the one represent the relationship with the whole — not as a generalization, but as an intention toward mutual character development, elevated coexistence, and collective integrity.

All is Unfair and Divisive in Seeking Progress

Man’s world of war, business, and progress (arguably masculine in nature) desperately, but insubstantially, propels itself forward — brazenly, blindly ignoring the obvious harm it continues to do to our humanity, the enduring human spirit and psychology, and our extraordinary, wonderful world. Profit is their unifying god, a force that transcends dogma, ideology, nationality, language, and race; every would-be modern prophet believes that the path we’re on will inevitably lead to oblivion. We are clearly in the midst of a collapse, despite the fact that we are woefully uneducated and unprepared. To put it bluntly, the fact that key players such as today’s corrupted bankers and blathering, inept politicians are standing behind pulpits and party banners rather than in prison is proof enough that the populace is afraid, disorganized, and fragmented on purpose.

Of course, anarchy is not an option, but apathy and antipathy are steadily leading to the demise of all of our modern amenities and conveniences. True and lasting innovation will only develop from the ground up — literally, in harmony with the planet, in collaboration with all nations, and with mature, restorative, regenerative considerations (arguably feminine qualities) — regardless of where, why, or how we choose to develop our current and future presence on Earth.

In response to the rise of blockchain technology and related fields, the corporate capitalist world is racing to establish new financial, political, and social frameworks based on transparency, equality, and fairness. Although the idealism is impressive, it ignores the underdeveloped psychologies and philosophies that underpin long-standing systemic issues. Long term solutions are complex and multilayered, and they must conceptually disassociate themselves from our past errors and ignorance rather than ignoring them. We can see repeated cycles and failures on an almost predictable timeline, regardless of the technological innovation involved. It is critical that we disrupt the pattern, but this may be too much to ask.

Possibly the most fundamental approach to all of this is that until we are willing to view these problems from a more comprehensive, inclusive perspective (as one species, one family, in many parts), we will not be able to know what to do on an individual level, which is where all meaningful change and progress must begin. We will keep wasting resources on pointless speculation, cheerleading, and trend adoption.

An Emergent Reconciliation

A worldwide wave of changemakers, researchers, philosophers, educators, creators, activists, and innovators is rushing to align, collaborate, and form communities of like-minded actors and producers. The churned waters are murky, but it is a beautiful thing to witness as we birth a generation of inspired creativity, regenerative enterprises, and epoch-defining endeavors. While the verdict is still out — and may not be returned for a century — there is tremendous momentum in this era.

The internet and concurrent network effects outperform anything we’ve seen in terms of facilitating our worldwide, social integration. It is still in its early stages, but it shows great promise. The mania of tech startups will eventually crash — as these myopic, sandboxed experiments always do — but, in addition to systemic self-correction (as in real estate, finance, energy production, and politics), the international community will benefit from a few select, if not marginal, improvements. Lasting change necessitates monumental, sustained, patient (i.e., mothering; caring, protective, kind; feminine) effort and a significant amount of time, in contrast to how quickly we can cause damage and harm on a massive scale.

To achieve exponential and rapid change, it’s necessary to redirect and reclaim subtle forces within human consciousness, which is a complex and important discussion in itself. I believe it is the essential, energetic construct that goes beyond and encompasses mere memetic or epistemological considerations.

Back on the ground, a growing number of people are coming together under the banner of the climate crisis — a timely and expansive one. The wave of driven, emotionally charged activity is pushing society away from wasteful, environmentally harmful practices in every aspect of contemporary life, despite the problematic and misleading science and politics surrounding it. The buyer’s considerations and habits — arguably the most influential factor in commerce — are being impacted by the trickle-up effect. This also indicates a major shift away from traditional, masculine ideals, and it will undoubtedly call for a more coordinated, inclusive, collaborative, caring, and less competitive strategy.

It has nothing to do with “fighting” climate change, but rather with addressing our capacity for fighting and violence in general; if we continue to engage in aggression, unconscious social polarization, and fuel the ancient fires of fear and scarcity, we will undoubtedly burn the table at which our most sacred energies are now willing and able to sit.

Reconciliation is a yin-yang affair. It is the broader understanding that all life is a blend and seemingly precarious balance of what we might define — perhaps too simplistically — as masculine and feminine. These vast, creative forces are inextricably linked, and they should be valued, represented, and understood as such.

Solvitur ambulando