The quest for ever more free and empowered living is at the heart of the human journey. Both existential and social, the road to ever more authentic emancipation through equality winds through human history. We have now arrived at an important moment– transcending equality altogether and moving into a new age of passion powered, acceptance based, cocreativity.
In this last century, we have struggled to level the inequalities between men and women inherited from ancient religions and archaic tradition. It is a struggle that echoes with others over time. From the escape of the Israelites from the Egyptians, to the American Revolution, to the movements of Ghandi and Martin Luther King for racial, gender and class equality, to the suffragettes struggle for the right of women to vote, humans have sought for empowerment through equality for millenia. As with the fights for racial and ethnic equality, we have tried to raise one gender up, and bring another down. Alas, in this battle to emancipate the feminine from 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. The conscious oppression of the feminine is in fact a subconscious oppression of the masculine. The oppression of the feminine creates and equal but opposite oppression of the masculine.
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 Catholicism, and its traditions of patriarchy. Earlier that day, I had listened to the stories of the challenges a woman had faced in her town whilst struggling against the weight of traditional roles and responsibilities of wife/mother/homemaker that no longer resonated with her. However, that late summer afternoon, as the day cooled, and sun set, 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, they were drinking, smoking and 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 with the despair, fear and insecurity of the oppressor. If we consider the full, splendid and passion-filled 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. It is only then that we can transcend the cycle of oppression 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. In this platonic word of equality the differing energies and characters of the masculine and the feminine are toned down. The raw sexuality that is so intrinsic to being human is by necessity neutered in order to establish a generic equality.
Such a vision is a grey 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 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 one’s relationship with the other genders, one accepts, embraces and harnesses it. The attraction, love and sexual charge become the three 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 matriarchal. Male and female have come together, bound in their mind forged manacles for procreation. And so the species and the population have 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 are at a point now, where population growth is as unnecessary 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 co-creation — birthing new ideas, insights, adventures and innovations. Rather than combining our genes, we can combine our geniuses to conceive lovingly and passionately crafted intentions.
By the very fact we are embodying our own platonic emancipation, these co-creations will be the loving healing that our planet so needs.