There seems to be a growing men’s movement in response to feminism, with many men now pointing the finger at feminism as being the cause of damage to masculinity in general. Looking at this from one perspective it would seem that there is substantial evidence for such a debate…
Men and boys grow up in our culture walking on eggshells. The idea that masculinity is something to fear permeates the psyches of men and women alike. To tend toward aggression, violence, domination, and exploitation, is almost expected of men. We expect them to be guilty before proven innocent. We expect them to ‘step up’ and ‘man up’. The effect of these unspoken assumptions is a heavy burden to bear.
In this general atmosphere, a rebellion was inevitable, it was a similar circumstance that gave rise to the feminist movement in the first place. Men are just trying to say that if the birth of feminism was a call for equal human rights then they too deserve a hearing.
Ironically, modern feminism does not seem to honour or encourage femininity… It is in fact, inherently masculine in that it competes with masculinity and, creates an excess of competitive, masculine energy as a result.
Having said that… finger pointing at feminism is equally as damaging as some who identify as feminists blaming men collectively for the abuse and suppression of women… it’s a very powerful distraction, this ‘us and them’ position – the ‘Great Divide’ that is preventing all of us from living in harmony and abundance.
The issue here runs deeper than a gender debate (and is likely the cause of racism, ageism and any other ‘ism’ for that matter). In fact, if we step back and look at the world and the agendas of the powers that be…
What would be a better way to control and manipulate the population than to instill mistrust of each other… the opposite sex, different race, religion, sexual orientation or philosophical perspective?
It’s the classic ‘divide and conquer’ strategy, and it’s working a treat because once that seed is planted, the effects are self-perpetuating through generations. This is not humanity’s natural state! How do we liberate ourselves from the damaging results of this conditioned perception and the paradigm it creates?
The real question here is about what we choose to value or discard as a culture. I heard a statement recently about women’s desire to achieve equal ‘power’. I found this interesting because there is a call here to define what we mean by ‘power’. Most people are conditioned to equate power with success in the world… that capacity to make decisions and act on them has its roots in our primal instincts for survival… we seem to believe we need to struggle, compete, control and manipulate to have our basic needs met…. a psychological, fear based state. Culturally, we consider someone who is good at this to be ‘powerful’.
I could go on here about human history and the effects of war and conflict on our collective psyche, but I will have to trust that anyone reading this has the capacity to reflect at a deeper level on the long term effects of this inter-generational inheritance. The ‘victim/perpetrator’ cycle.
We as a culture, men and women alike, have generally devalued what we identify as ‘feminine’ qualities and attributes. We exist in our heads, governed by the realm of logic and one-upmanship (the feminist movement included), generally reject the counsel our feeling, sensing wisdom.
We condemn and fear what we don’t ‘understand’ because it threatens the sense of control (illusory safety) and superiority we derive from our precious logic. We view indigenous cultures as ‘primitive’ and un-evolved, measuring their worth by our self-aggrandised perspective and secular value system. We failed and are still failing to appreciate the connectedness of these peoples to the earth and each other and the profound (non-linear) embodied wisdom they access and hold. This is exactly the wisdom we are denying in ourselves.
How do we heal this rift? Well… it’s an inside job. Right? I mean what has pointing the blaming finger out there ever achieved in terms of real, sustainable change?
We can make a great start by bringing our attention within. By noticing sensations in the body and emotional charge in response to life experience. This is the true meaning of response-ability. This is how we meet and reconcile the inner world that the outer world reflects.
Begin to notice and describe the pure feeling rather than allowing the thinking mind to judge and assess what it means and run a commentary about it.
It’s about going deeper, learning how to honour our felt awareness… it’s about being open, humble and authentic. About acknowledging honestly and rawly, our fears, pain, and yearnings.
As simple and as challenging as that.
This is a shamanic journey.
To walk this path requires great courage and commitment.
We have the free will to choose it. We have the choice to reconcile the inward split that is reflected outwardly in the injustices we see in the world. Let’s turn and face our pain around it… there is great wisdom to be found there. Only then can we ‘be the change’. When we become an example of being ‘inwardly reconciled’ we become beings of great influence and true power.
With Love and Respect,