Friday, June 22, 2007

Thanks Steve. I'd love to be your...spleen.

I'm glad you think I don't complain too much. that said, more complaints.....

I'm not a feminist. I don't feel the need to bash, ridicule or berate men for the mere fact that they exist, as many loud feminists do.

i am however, perturbed at the stereotyping our culture has placed on both sexes, to which history of course contributes.

The reason I complain, while complicated - is I find that many of the problems I face in myself are due to viewing things from a more "male" perspective. Male meaning a more driving, more rigid, less forgiving point of view. I am not a girly girl. that should be obvious. In fact I am happy that I am evenly balanced as I am - I get along better with guys than girls as a rule. I tend to favor men with more feminine qualities and women with more masculine qualities - because these people are well balanced.

I have noticed my overbalancing towards the more male end of the spectrum though - it's something that has been forming over time for many years, and i'm currently trying to reconcile my differences with being female and what "feminine" really means. I'm in fact, working on a collage/mixed media piece to express the true qualities of what feminine is- and in doing research I'm finding just how much our culture (and others) throughout history has slapped stereotypes on both sexes, and overbalanced in the favor of the "masculine" way of doing things.

I would quote from my erich fromm book if it wasn't on loan at the moment, but suffice it to say that historically, man started out with the worship and reverence for the female (who does anyone know first in their life? mom) then progressed onto a reverence for what is male.(pleasing dad) What has not happened fully is the further evolution from the state we are in to a state of balance and respect for BOTH male and female, and the fact that the duality exists to balance itself.

People who rant that we exist in a patriarchal society are not incorrect. Churches, governments, working styles, attitudes, primarily reflect this. it's all go-go-go. Make your country proud. prove yourself to me. Do badly and I'll reprimand you. It's better to give than receive. Force, will, etc.

The masculine spirit is one of ideas, motion, drive, force, projection, giving, doing. it's all outward motion. This, is itself is not bad. But one force must be balanced with another.

The feminine spirit is one of creation, rest, reflection, reception, being, knowing.

we are too far overbalanced in the masculine direction- want proof? Look at the way so many people are burnt out, tired, sick, not able to sleep, having emotional problems. Why? Because our lifestyle does not permit the proper time to REST and be COMPASSIONATE with ourselves. We sacrfice sleep, time alone and relaxation because these activities are seen as passive. They don't make our do anything useful or profitable, so they are not worth as much as doing something.

I used to, and still sometimes snicker at "goddess" worshippers, and I know some religious people get in a tizzy about people holding Mary in higher standing than they think she should be. While I don't advocate swinging back so radically to the other pole, I do indentify with their innate notice of the lack in balance. Our culture will not progress in its evolution spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically unless we realize how we need to "grow up" concerning this issue of "GENDER".

If you look in the thesaurus for masculine and feminine, you can see what kind of problems the misunderstanding about gender has caused, and how stereotypes have been formed.

Anything male tends to have a more powerful, positive tone. Strong, virile, macho, etc. The female synonyms, while some are positive, have a far morewords with a negative stroke to them. Along with Empress, matron and lady, you can also find vixen, weak, and witch.

The female gender somehow always winds up holding the short end of the stick.

There's the old arguement that goes back to the Bible where because Eve was a women, she messed everything up, that she was just Adam's rib anyhow, and therefore, this justifies women as being lesser. For one - that's a very incorrect interpretation and for something that ridiculous to be used as an excuse to mistreat other people is proof of how lacking in knowledge humanity we really are. Don't even go near the "women are unclean" references. once again, full of shit and so ignorant that such nonsense doesn't even deserve my attention.

Growing up as female in this culture is no picnic, even without corsets, foot binding, and witchburnings because they've been replaced with more up to date tortures like diet clincs, cosmo magazine, and eyebrow tweezing.

At an early age, I decided not to go through puberty because women had nothing but pain, insecurity, and emotional trauma to look forward to. All they did was shave everything, and worry about bleeding and odors and then going to people who would prod you with cold metal implements - then you were supposed to grow up and want to do some icky dirty thing with some guy, swell up and find yourself screaming in a hospital bed months later, and be imprisoned at home with a small human who was going to demonstrate every bodily function known to man to you in alphabetical order.

My plan...didn't go too well.

needless to say, my view of being female as per our society teaches, has been less than a party. I have not enjoyed most of it as I should. it's a very scary thing, and aside from all the physical mess there's this psychological stuff that gets pushed on you that you don't even know how to deal with. never mind that you're already overwhelmed.

My point is, that our culture has lost large portions of what being female really is, and horribly distorted others. Why? I don't know. fear? Power? Both?

I must say I am mildly concerned about some of my younger relatives who have unknowingly been swept into the culture of princesses and pink and are slowly being indoctrinated into an image of femininity that does nothing but limit who they could be.

I wanted to know where the idea comes from that women are all weak creatures, subject to the whim of every emotion, unable to make decisions besides how to cook dinner or how to raise kids, that women are all soft and pink and love delicate things....did the victorians do this to us?

In my research, and as i have been fond of mysticism and alchemy and other esoteric things that would probably get me burnt at the stake - the above views are not really part of what the feminine gender truly is.

While "sex" is physical, "gender" is more a spirit of sorts - how else can men and women exhibit both qualities in one body?

talking about it in terms of Yin and Yang makes more sense of it.
Yin, being feminine, is what is hidden, subtle, dark. Yin is receptive, yin listens. Other qualities such as "changeable" have been given a negative spin as "unpredictable", which is not to say that unpredictable is's the way it had been used that is regretable. Change is the only constant. in that statement, there is both balance of male and female- (male being the fixed or constant energy) If nothing changed, damn. the boredom would kill me.

Feminine energy, like male energy has a soft and hard side. While it can be delicate, loving and compassionate, it can also be formidable like a stern mother or perhaps almost scary like Kali - the devourer of old dead forms.

The idea(which I've mentioned before) that women are weak because they are emotional is completely distorted. HUMANS are emotional. Women are more in touch with their emotions, and are not afraid to express their vulnerabilities. this lack of fear, makes them stronger and more honest then the men who hide their feelings.

Feminine is figurative, male is literal. Feminine is night, male is day. Subconscious and Conscious, Moon and Sun, Earth and Air, Fire and Water, blah blah blah you get my point.

There's a balance in these ideas which humanity is lacking in practice. We have gone so far over to the masculine energy that what was once drive is now burnout and we're paying for it on every level.

what needs to happen is a reconciliation of the two - not dominance by one or the other. it's like the world is a stressed out husband, convinced that he must work himself to death to prove himself worthy, and so afraid of failing that he doesn't even notice his wife being compassionate enough to say "Honey, sit down, relax and eat dinner". he's so afraid that if he listens, he'll lose his power, and he doesn't realize the power is supposed to be shared - he doesn't have to feel this way.

the feminine is subtle, as i've learned. it's always there, even behind all the loud brash male energy that gets thrown around. even when brazen feminists scream their battlecry of mysogeny, they are missing the point. if they knew how to look, they would see quite clearly that the energy was never gone, they just forgot how to see. A lot of feminists are trying to correct the problem of their oppression by men with male energy and tactics. how silly.

As someone who can neither identify with the incorrect "soft, weak, princess stereotype of the feminine, nor the "I want to tote a gun and wear ugly pants and beat the shit out of you" polar opposite of women, it's a difficult journey to try and reclaim what you weren't even sure you had to begin with.

More than anything, I just want to be ok with who I am. I know I'm more than just a person with a female body, I would just like to be able to live with it and what comes with it without hating, fearing, or devaluing myself for false reasons that were forced on me by outside influences.


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