Irresponsible, immature, unstable, unreliable, useless, inefficient, self-absorbed, frivolous….
Who am I describing, Ladies?
A strange thing has happened, right under our noses. Do you remember when all the above adjectives were used to describe women? We can still see vestiges of this attitude in the more macho cultures – in Paris and in Latin America and American ghetto culture, for example, or in vintage films and advertising archives. `Don’t worry your pretty little head about it’ has stuck with me as encompassing this belief-relic …possibly because from time to time, I would dearly love not to have to worry my head about every little thing…..
What amazes me, though, is that we women seem to have learned nothing from our stint in the corner with the dunce’s hat. I‘ve travelled a lot recently, and wherever I’ve gone , the uprolled eyes, the resigned shrug of the shoulders or the disappointed shake of the head express the same hurtful belief: men are almost universally irresponsible and useless. Yes, this does include you alpha males reading this who are sure this has nothing to do with you; as a matter of fact, this may actually be especially directed at you! (Of course, there are exceptions to this `’rule’- the ‘joke’ is that they are all gay….)
We are like the European settlers who fled Old World persecutions in search of freedom of belief and self-realisation, then massacred the natives of the “newly-discovered“ land they made their home because they were… different. Like the children of smokers and alcoholics and gamblers and abusers, intimately acquainted with suffering, we now turn to inflict it on others….
Maybe these comparisons give us an idea, actually, of the inevitability of this pendulum swing – it seems we’re back to my favourite subject – Duality! When we’re mired in the extremes of opposites, we are necessarily also dealing with complementarity. If we’re placing value on one side of a coin, desperately wanting that side to come up in the toss, we’re not only deprecating the other side – we’re also strengthening our reaction to it. It’s isometric – when you push against something, you strengthen it – you reinforce its existence.
By buying into any definition of ourselves that ultimately boils down to ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’, we get trapped in a never-ending cycle of self-justification- of trying reallyreally hard to prove that we are good people, worthy of being loved. It hurts my heart to even think about it….
We’re fed up, aren’t we, Ladies, with having to DO everything – with taking all the responsibility – with raising families and holding jobs and cleaning the house and keeping everything in order..? Don’t you just wish you could let it all go? The equation of masculinity with authority and dominance has seduced us into living almost entirely in the masculine, achieving aspects of ourselves and consequently, into that uncomfortable squish between a rock and a hard place. Where does that leave us all?
Maybe the men we are judging are in reaction to a long history of having to be authoritative and dominant in order to be considered Men? Maybe they’ve simply had it to There with killing themselves in jobs that had nothing to do with self-fulfillment in order to support a family – a bunch of people who then just complained because they weren’t around …. Maybe the problem is not men, but the All or Nothing paradigm of duality.
Have you noticed just how many perfectly wonderful single people are around these days? How is it that so many eminent eligibles can not find partners? We seem to be in a state of universal distrust: those who are trying to maintain the old ways of men with unquestioned authority do not necessarily like or respect the requisite correlate of the obedient woman, and women who have managed to wrest power and responsibility into their own hands are condescending and patronising towards men who are less ‘male’ than they. What a mess!
What we see, therefore, is that the root problem is the dichotomy/duality of power and impotence…but this is obviously not the whole story. The more sanguine amongst us might say that we were duped into believing that more power would come with more responsibility, and now that we – men and women – have shouldered unmanageable burdens, we may have accrued a better sense of self worth, but still feel powerless and trapped – in some ways even more so than before!
If our power is not over our own lives and choices, what possible good can it be?
What if the next step in the evolution of human relationships were based not on the co-dependence of the duality paradigm, but rather on the conscious interdependence that stems from an awareness of Oneness, where each one of us benefits from the self-realisation of everyone else…?
To borrow the words of that exemplary leader and champion of interdependence, Starship Captain Jean-Luc Picard: ‘Make it so..!’