#3 Pride & Prejudice!
Exploring dynamic and shifting relationships between the feminine and the masculine within personal identity, cultural gender, and sexual expression.
h: Pride Calgary has become quite an expression of being free to love who you are, and love who you want. It was really empowering to see such a good turnout. I feel like we've come so far, at least in Canada, to see elected officials taking part in pride and ensuring that we're supporting that demographic. I think sometimes we're quick to forget is that in a lot of places in the world if you're found to be gay you're killed, or shunned from your community. There is zero tolerance for showing that kind of affection. I thought we had come quite far then I had an interesting conversation with an individual who said they believed the gay community had to do more in order for the rest of society to embrace them. I found this really quite alarming because I thought that we had reached a point where we see that the larger community had to do more to make sure that all citizens feel welcomed. We still have very entrenched values that say same-sex relationships are a clear way to hell. I say, that's where all the fun is anyway.
c: Stirring the pot as usual.
h: I was just wondering what your thoughts are on that because I was quite taken aback by that person's comment. I've been in same-sex relationships and I find that they create new space. Why are we so still entrenched in a woman being predominantly in the domestics field? I understand some of the biological parts, childbirth, and rearing, but then after that, the gay community has shown other ways of dividing the domestic load. Such a shift would allow women to aspire to certain careers or other goals knowing they have that support on the domestic side.
c: I read an article with a man who had gone to his boss and asked for time to be a stay at home father, and the ridicule he suffered from colleagues and peers it was clear to all the men in that organization, never ask that question.
h: Very scary thing to do from a masculinity standpoint. The most common time I hear of men doing that is when the wife makes more money. That is often the determining factor for couples, who is making the most cheese.
c: Economic reality.
h: Often, of course, it's the man who is making more money.
c: And that is changing rapidly. More women are the main money earners. Plus, there are more women than men in the workforce.
h: Clearly more so than ever before.
c: Obviously, moving forward women are going to be pushing the glass ceiling, and in fact, a lot of women have broken through that.
h: I like to look at what that really means when she is making more money. I think it translates into more negotiating power: where they're going to live, where they're going to work, what decisions will be made for where their kids, where they will go to school, how home finances are handled. Looking globally, women are stilltied to her man's economic position. Just that difference, economic power, is bringing to the public what women's values are. I embrace this change but I think the hard part is, are we losing masculinity?
c: There always a flip side to any coin. The flip side is men feeling emasculated.
h: That's a very challenging thing, it can make them feel not fulfilling their purpose as a man.
c: Do you want a man who is feminine or do you want a man who is masculine?
h: Predominantly, I want him to be masculine, but there are times when that I need him to be a feminine.
c: Looking at the relationship holistically though you have an image in your mind of what that man should be in relation to you. What he should bring to the table. In your mind, you have an image of that, a feel of that, an energy around that. Can a man who is emasculated bring that to the table? That takes a very special man to be able to do that.
h: I think it’s really the other half of what we're talking about. How do we encourage the development of feminine values and value that energy without diminishing the need for the masculine?
c: This whole movement of feminism changed the dynamics.
h: Yeah, we want a vote and then we want everything else. And we want dinner made.
c: That force definitely defined a new attitude for women who were able to go into a man's world and be successful. That shift has happened. What is unfortunate is that a lot of women have gone to the other side. They have gone completely to their masculine and have totally forsaken their feminine. This ultimately is not a bad thing. In the future women have an opportunity to re-balance. They have developed the masculine, and they already have the feminine. It’s learning how to balance the two and lead with the feminine.
h: I know that sometimes I act more from my masculine. What are the characteristics of masculine vs feminine? How much of it is derived from physicality? Men often have more muscle for strength to mold things whereas women have more fat tissue. Men don't have to experience cellulite.
c: Dimples my dear, dimples.
h: I'm going to call them my little dimples. Interesting though because cellulite or dimples use to be very feminine. In the 19 century plump meant well cared for and now it's just airbrushed away.
c: It's just a perception of a social trend. But that shifts, it's not static.
c: Why get hang up on it?
h: Exactly because it's going to change again.
c: It's going to come back around to where you are.
h: What would you say are the connotations masculine energy separate from the biology?
c: Masculine is looked upon as power, however, I see it primarily as a force. It pushes things out of its way, it doesn't incorporate things, it demolishes things it doesn't feel meets its purpose.
h: When I'm in my masculine, it feels more direct, logical, not so swayed by emotions. I think force really gets to the heart of just the physical strength that there is a clear path to where that energy wants to go and it's going to get there regardless of what's in its path. What would you say for the feminine?
c: A hammer is a force, however, nothing is built without the nail. The nail is always in harm's way, but without it, nothing stays together.
h: I think being on the receiving end is such an integral part of how women are vulnerable. A woman is risking so much. I think it's a huge piece in where the feminine has been controlled, largely through sexuality.
c: German social psychologist, Enrich Fromm once mentioned that men, in a sexual role, are actually more vulnerable. Men have pressure to prove something. He has to produce an erection, and hold it until the woman is satisfied. This makes him extremely vulnerable because should he fail, then where is his manhood? We see the woman as vulnerable but, the man is open to ridicule.
h: It's interesting to hear that side of it because I feel like, for some men, they really don't care how they perform, they only want to get their rocks off. Some guys literally don't care whatsoever. If she does great, if she doesn't then whatever. It completely loses the respect and connection piece.
h: That said, in understanding sexual empowerment, I think that if a woman has created the right boundaries she can make a little business for herself, do the escort thing and only do what she feels comfortable with.
c: I can use this to make a living and be okay with myself through it.
h: Sex appeal is a commodity used to sell everything from burgers to cars. For a woman to say, I know that my sexuality holds value, and if she wants to use that to make a living, I certainly don't think any less of her.
c: As long as there are men there will always be an industry. I'm not sure what that says about us as men, however, there are circumstances, and there are realities and this can be a solution for both.
h: Interesting, I’ve talked to some of my male friends and they feel that sometimes they just don't want to court and please and get to know her, they just want to release energy and not feel obliged to call her the next day.
c: The perfect customer.
h: And, she's probably like, maybe I don't want to call you tomorrow either. And I got paid. I hear some of my guy friends joke around saying that if you're a person who enjoys sex, and if they were a woman, they would definitely be taking money for sex. I’m like, well that is an easy statement for you to make considering you don't have a vagina. Again when it comes to the risk factor you're taking on a lot of risks every time you have sex with somebody. So that person needs to decide if it's worth it.
c: If you're a woman with leverage, a demanding client base, I presume you would have more power and control over the risk factors.
h: I agree when it comes to safe-sex practices and things like that. You're in a better position than somebody with a pimp who is not so gently reminding you that men pay more if you don't use a condom. That is so risky to be receiving so many different people's energy and DNA. I think that really does create the fabric for why women sexuality has been so much of a focal point for religion and morality because of possible pregnancy, and susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections.
c: I'm not convinced that religions takes the safety of woman as a first priority. I'm not fond of how religions have treated women. For a time in history, women were the spiritual leaders of their community. That role was completely ripped away from them with the patriarch. Women were completely dismissed from that role.
h: Do you think that its was predominantly to make God a man? Was that the motive of the patriarch?
c: Two things. The patriarch made men responsible as fathers and husbands. It played a role in making men take on that responsibility. The religious part, the matriarchal structure had to be eradicated completely in order for a male God to dominate. Unfortunately, women were discarded along with the matriarch.
h: God only depicted as a man, what does that do for power dynamics? And just exercising that question I think is such a huge key to why we are in the state that we're in.
c: Most people don't think about these nuances, however, they impact us and the way we respond and interact with each other. It impacts us on the deepest of levels and we don't think about. It never comes to the front of our mind to say, let me examine this idea, let me work through this on my own. How does this equate? Does this make sense in relation to what I'm seeing around me?" People, unfortunately, don't take the time or are not motivated to explore beyond what they've been fed.
h: And being careful not to blanket anyone because I know plenty of wonderful people in religions. Some find a good balance in supporting their wife not only monetarily but in believing in her own ambitions and then helping her have the time to pursue those. Yes, there is the other side of religion too, that is more about control, but it brings me back to pride because that really was the whole vibe of the day, is to just love other people for who they are.
c: That’s the pendulum of this world. Things swing both back and forth and once we hit the critical point of this hurts too much, things head back to the other direction.
h: To only live in the masculine doesn't fully serve the masculine because anytime your feminine side is noticed you are scrutinized for it, that's very damaging to your sense of self. And when you want to show that compassion and be the one that keeps people together or to make something happen, when that isn't celebrated it's a disservice to everyone and it's a hard pill to swallow. Some men are used to having their servant, and how can they possibly want things to change? We think slavery is not a good thing anymore. Some white people were able to see that it was wrong, not to overlook that sexual slavery is at an all-time high, but there is something to be gained for everyone in deconstructing the lack of appreciation for the feminine.
c: And that's what we are about. It's about bringing exactly that to the table.
h: In a way that men can be in their masculine, but that they also know and appreciate their feminine.
c: Vice versa for women, to know and feel in control of their masculine, but to lead with their feminine, if that is their nature.
h: What do you think about people who are biologically women but want to live in their masculine?
c: There's definitely room for that as well, absolutely. I'm just saying that what happens is women having shifted to their masculine are not even aware of that shift, they're just living life the way they need to live life to survive, to provide. They are just living in that energy. They are not even aware. Yeah, they wear a dress and they love to put on their makeup or whatever translates into their expressing their feminine, however, in a relationship with other people their masculine can be a detriment. They come from force.
h: That's the force.
c: That's where they exist. There’s no room for the feminine within that structure. That's where the imbalance becomes a problem, then they are unhappy. Because they cannot satisfy what is calling from within. They don't know why they just know they're unhappy.
h: Like there’s something missing. I think we have all felt that at certain points in our life depending on how you relate to people. People may feel that all the time. Okay, this is what I thought I needed to be in order to survive and make a living, and be able to provide for my dependence, children, but is this really still serving me?
c: And where do I go from here?
h: How do I start to embrace my feminine again?
h: And really love that part of myself.
c: That's the part that really fascinates me tremendously and that's where I want to go with what I want to do in the future, is to define the dividing line and how to move back into that feminine. To be able to lead with that feminine when neccessary, but still hold on to what has been gained from having lived in that masculine as well.
h: I think that sometimes, women who’ve had to make things happen on their own, and live in the masculine, it's hard to let that go. The fear of being vulnerable and needing to feel loved and cared for and embraced that's the scary feminine zone. That can feel life threatening.
c: That is a serious transition to make because you feel like you're giving up all that you've gained, all that you've worked so hard to gain, now you have to give it up.
h: That sounds really vulnerable and open to all kinds of attacks.
c: However, in order for us to truly reach our potential as human beings, as the species, we need both facets. We need masculine and feminine to be absolutely strong within their our foundation, It's critical.
h: It brings me a lot of peace to think of that.
c: So it's now how do we get there? That's what fascinates me as a work to take on as a life purpose. Our blog is one step in that direction.