For the last century, we have struggled to level the inequalities between men and women inherited from ancient religions and archaic tradition. We have tried to raise one gender up, and bring another down. Alas, in this battle to emancipate the feminine from the the long and heavy legacy of patriarchal oppression, we have ignored one fundamental fact.
To the extent that the feminine is oppressed, so too is the masculine. The dynamic of oppressor and oppressed are two sides of the same coin– a singular and shared phase in human evolution.
One summer afternoon, cycling through the streets of an Italian town, I saw it with vivid clarity. Italy is well known for its deeply entrenched Catholisism, and its traditions of patriarchy. Earlier that day, I had listened to the stories of the challenges women faced in their town to escape the gravity of gender roles. However, this time it was the village men that I observed. On the side of the road, in the shade of elegant balconies, the men of the town were gathered like dead kings on stone thrones, sitting listlessly in the afternoon, drinking, smoking, doing much of nothing. Despite the veneer of pleasant routine, I saw in their eyes, the drooping postures and engorged bodies the despair of souls immobilized, muted and numbed by their very power and dominance. They were trapped, confined by their ‘power’, imprisoned by comfort and command as much as the women I had listened to that morning.
Any true emancipation
of the oppressed must also see and empathize the despair, fear and insecurity of the oppressor. If we consider the full, splendid and passion-full possibility of liberated humanity, to be in a position of dominance over others is far down on the ladder of self realization, joy and sheer human potential. Rather than strive to rise up to the level of an oppressor (or to bring him down) we must first see with clarity (and indeed empathy) their despair, and strive to transcend the tendency in ourselves.
A single gender emancipation also supposes that a quantifiable equality is possible. This is often envisioned as some sort of platonic state of equality, where women and men are all but indistinguishable in roles and being.
Yet, such a vision is a gray shadow in comparison to the vibrant rainbow of fully expressed sexuality and gender expressions. There is just no way to quantify the rainbow of talent, spirit and character that manifests itself in the modes of the masculine and feminine.
Instead, it is time for the mutual emancipation of men and women, together, as partners in the vivid spectrum of possibility. It is time for the raising of men and women into dynamic partnerships that harness the combined power of their unique sexualities. This applies most to those partnerships where the mix-and-match and polarity of sexualities ignites the fires of attraction and love.
Rather than striving to transcend this sexual energy in ones relationship, one accepts, embraces and harnesses it. The attraction, love and sexual charge become the threefold fuels that then power the creative potential of the relationship.
For thousands of years sexual energies and attraction have navigated our gender roles, whether patriarchal or matriachal. Male and female have come together, bound in their mind forged manacles for procreation. And so the species, and the population has been furthered.
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We have realized a time now where population growth is as unneeded as the manacles of gender oppression. Our planet is suffering under the weight of our mass unconsciousness. Problems and crises abound that cry for our creativity. It is time to move from the problem into the solution.
Conscious of the dynamics at play, we can shift our sexual energy to cocreation — birthing new ideas, insights, adventures and innovations. Rather than mixing our genes, we combine our geniuses to conceive lovingly and passionately crafted intentions.
By the very fact we are embodying our own platonic emancipation, these cocreations will be be the loving healing that our planet so needs.