“Part 2 - Aching for Wholeness: Men and the Feminine Consciousness” (Excerpt from THE MEN WE NEVER KNEW) by Daphne Rose Kingma
---Painting “Swan Boat” by Lauren Woods
CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK:
“Aching for Wholeness: Men and the Feminine Consciousness”
(Excerpt from The Men We Never Knew)
by Daphne Rose Kingma
The Age of Androgyny
"Sometimes I not only think but know in my bones that in our hearts there's really no difference between men and
If our male-female relationships are to survive and transform, and indeed they must, then somehow men must come to feel safe with this unspeakable process. Men must do this—not only for the women who want them to, but for themselves—and for the future of relationship itself.
We all yearn for union. Instinctively, we all seek reconciliation. When men begin the work of incorporating the feminine dimension, it will move us all in the direction of androgyny—the emotional state in which a person has fully incorporated all his or her masculine and feminine aspects and, in which, therefore, none are projected onto the opposite sex. The changes women have made have already catapulted us into the trajectory of a transformational process from which there is no return. Whether we like it or not, the transposition of attributes once deemed solely the property of either sex is already well underway, the move toward androgyny is already shaping the future of both male and female psychosexual identities.
Through their incorporation of the feminine, men must now balance the maleness that women have already begun to balance in themselves. In doing so, they will not only join women at the androgynous frontier, but will advance us all toward the spiritually provocative landscapes of the future. With the initiation of the feminine consciousness in men, both men and women can be powerful, logical, aggressive, and direct, as well as intuitive, nurturing, empathetic, and sensitive.
These territories are beyond the merely psychological. They point to the spiritual cosmos and represent not only what we can newly expect our relationships to be—union, communion, healing, and transformation—but embody the highest truth, that in its essence and ours there is no division or separation, no opposite or antithesis, no male or female. We are all one.
Panic in Androgynyville
"Men dominate, provide, protect, and accomplish. We are so far behind women that we have to dig even deeper to be open."
-Owner of video store, 38
Still, all this melting of boundaries is immensely scary, for it is through maintaining distinctions, and particularly gender distinctions, that we preserve a sense of order. In general we prefer rules to chance, sameness to change. We feel safer living in the illusion that things will continue as they are, than we do entertaining the possibility that our boundaries will be jiggled, expanded, or violated to a degree that will ask us to change more than we feel we can.
For, although in a subtle sense, the androgynous has already begun to be incorporated into our culture—unisex fashion, women with chopped-off hair and men with hair to their waistlines were early clues; women in every kind of job at every level and men at home pushing babies in strollers are no longer weird exceptions. Nevertheless, at the level of our collective unconscious, we still carry an exorbitant fear about androgyny. The excessive reactions to the whole cafeteria of sex role blurrings—coed dorms, shaved heads for women, the abolition of clubs for men only, women in the workplace, the marketplace, and the state legislature, and, above all, to male and female homosexuality—all reveal our fears, our deep internal need to keep things psychosexually "in place."
So even though androgyny is already galloping toward us, we are all still afraid of its arrival. In spite of the fact that both men and women would immediately gain greater access to themselves and one another in the further dissolving of gender boundaries, and that we would open a gateway to the spiritual level, on a psychological level we still fear it.
What both men and women need to bear in mind as they undertake these changes, however, is that androgyny does not imply that women will become men and men, women. Rather, it invites both sexes to draw as many cards as they like from a deck that spans the entire psychosexual and psychospiritual spectrum. When people are at ease with the full range of their emotions, embarrassed by neither the masculine nor the feminine in themselves, they approach life with a much greater sense of excitement, fulfillment, and possibility; they are more able to have an ecstatic experience of themselves and of others.
Nowhere is there a greater payoff for this than in intimate relationships. For it is precisely to the extent that we relax gender boundaries, that men will be able to approach women through their sensitivity and meet women in the place of real emotional exchange. In the ways we've missed men the most, we'll finally have the experience we've always desired, the relationships we've always longed for and men have i dreamed of.
For, to the degree that men become comfortable their own femininity, they will also develop the capacity for empathy, the feeling-with-others that until now has been the special privilege of women. This will enable men to identify with women in their suffering rather than simply trying to women's problems. In knowing what women suffer, frustrates them, what brings them happiness and satisfy both men and women will feel less alone. Finally men w able to give women something women can wholeheartedly receive.
In some larger, more mystical sense, for men to take on the full range of emotions will also have the effect of mitigating the polarization between the sexes. For, when a man can se feminine in himself, no matter how it expresses itself—whether in creativity, in the verbal expression of his emotions, ii compassion for his wife, in his tenderness with his children in his awareness of his fear of death—he can far more re honor these sensitivities in a woman.
Conversely, the woman who has embraced the masculine in herself can be far more appreciative when she encounters in a man the hallmark male attributes of aggression, logic, emotional detachment, and power. Instead of denigrating these, as women so often unconsciously do, we can then and beautifully honor the gifts of the masculine.
Androgyny, this blending of sex roles, is an exquisite kind of mirroring. For when we can see ourselves in each other, we no longer judge; we begin to love. This is the beginning the healing we all need.
In the development of the feminine consciousness men lies the blueprint for the end of the battle between sexes. For, so long as we view one another as opposites, representatives of totally antithetical camps, we will all keep facing each other off across the emotional barbed wire barriers that keep us prisoners in a brutal sexist cold war.
Women's enormous discontent will be assuaged only when men have integrated enough of the feminine that women can resonate with it. Then and only then will women feel encouraged to appreciate men in their incontrovertible masculinity, and to further enrich both the masculine and feminine aspects in themselves.
(Excerpt from The Men We Never Knew)
by Daphne Rose Kingma
Ms. Kingma’s Website: