“We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.” – Margaret Atwood
In order to usher in true human fulfillment, a good place to start finding our balance is in recognizing the limitations of the masculine sensibilities. While males have steered the course for our patriarchal civilization, we are now realizing how the virtues of femininity, which have for so long been subdued, can open us up to a fuller enjoyment of life.
It may very well be that our paternalistic world view has had a big effect on our infatuation with scarcity. Because males cannot create and carry life the way that a female does, we have an ingrained deficiency in fully recognizing and embracing the creative process. Due to this limitation, as we have given masculine energies a much greater reverence over the last several thousand years of developing our economy of scarcity, we have fallen short of fully embracing the true power of the abundance at our disposal.
If we can recognize that our civilization has been lopsided in its praise of masculinity and limited appreciation of femininity, we may be able to rectify our problem. Because a large number of our dilemmas are directly created by our tendency to pattern our behavior on the masculine traits of aggression and penetration, evidenced in our preoccupation with warlike activities and competitions, it would do us well as a society to get in touch with our feminine side.
“Since violence is largely a male pastime,” says Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, “cultures that empower women tend to move away from the glorification of violence and are less likely to breed dangerous subcultures of rootless young men.”
That is not to say that women never act aggressively or fight, for these are challenges of the human condition, as each individual contains both masculine and feminine energies regardless of their predominant gender. Similarly, not every male is an aggressive neanderthal wanting to merely pillage and plunder. Nevertheless, for anyone who has moderately studied human behavior and the difference between the sexes, there is no escaping the fact, as is blatantly seen in the act of coitus, that men seek to penetrate while women yearn to accept. Without a doubt, although man’s penetration is essential to the process, it is the feminine acceptance of his seed that allows life to flourish, grow, and continue.
Because we so greatly emphasize the power of masculine behavior in our society, and perpetuate the activities of violence, competition, and scarcity that accompany this power, we also perpetuate disharmony and imbalance. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to allow our feminine virtues of compassion, collaboration, and sharing to shine through us, and co-create the world that we truly want to live in.
“Remember, the polarization of the sexes is brutally hard on each,” Ken Wilber reminds us in A Brief History of Everything. “Men and women both need to be liberated from the horrendous constraints of agrarian polarization. Industrialization began this liberation, began to expand gender roles beyond biological givens – transcend and include – but we need to continue developing this freedom and transcendence.”