I think by now we’ve established that when it comes to the masculine and the feminine there is no ‘better’.
We all have both masculine and feminine inside us, and most of us tend to have one that feels more natural, more comfortable, more “home” than the other. That doesn’t mean that we don’t or can’t use the other, it just means that there’s one that’s our ‘default’ position.
There are situations that come up every day in which the masculine is more effective, or the feminine would be a wiser choice, and if we refuse to ignore or deny EITHER of them we can find ourselves missing out.
But the question that I hear asked on a regular basis is “Which is more powerful, masculine or feminine?”
I saw a story posted in a Facebook group that I’m a member of recently that inspired me to write this post:
There is a native American tale in which a mother takes her son down to the river to teach him about the nature of power.
She asks him to put his hand in the water and describe to her how it feels. He says, “Cold and wet.”
“Good,” she responds.
She then hands him a rock and asks, “How does this feel?”
“Hard,” he replies.
“Good,” she responds and puts his hand into the water and asks, “Now how does this feel?”
“Soft,” he replies.
They walk further down the river to a bend where the water has worn a huge hole through a giant boulder and the mother says to her son, “Soft always wins.”
What cause me to want to write this post though was the comment that was shared after this story: “Somewhere along the line people began confusing feminine with passive and masculine with power. There is nothing passive about femininity and it is one of most powerful forces in the universe. Feminine energy is soft and receptive and it wins every time.”
While I like the analogy of soft not necessarily being weak, I believe that we need to be very careful with the concept of ‘winning’.
When we look at things in terms of winning or losing, we’re likely to be in our masculine (as competitiveness is a very masculine trait)…and the important thing for everyone to understand about masculine and feminine is that they are EQUALLY powerful.
Neither is better / worse, stronger /weaker than the other. The power is very different, but when either is being viewed as ‘winning’ against the other, both loses.
Masculine and feminine are designed to work together, to empower each other and raise the other up. As soon as we begin comparing or competing either direction and looking at which one is more or less powerful, we disempower both sides.
If the feminine is seen to ‘win’, then in reality both lose, because the two sides exist to work together…so that there is no winner or loser…they just are.
Part of the reason that we’re so challenged these days with masculinity and femininity is this very concept of power. For years the men in our society had the ‘power’….until the women had had enough and decided they wanted to take the ‘power’ for themselves.
The feminist revolution, while doing incredible things for our society, also cost us dearly…because it put men and women definitively on two different teams, and convinced us that in order for one to win, the other had to lose.
As with all things in life, it was subjected to the ‘pendulum effect’…the perception was that the power was with men…so to rectify the balance, culturally we have swung to the other extreme of believing that we had to move to the opposite extreme…where the perception is that the power was with women…or the feminine more specifically.
…in order to ‘win’ the ‘power’ women took to emasculating men in a way that is now prolific in our culture. But when we take away men’s ‘power’ we also lose the incredible potential power that is open to us all when we choose to work together… which, as with most things in life, is greater than the sum of it’s parts.
My hope is that sooner rather than later the pendulum swing gets to balance out in the middle where we realise that neither is better or worse, more powerful or weaker than the other…that we are simply equal and opposite.
I was at an event earlier this year where they talked about the concept of ambivalence.
While the dictionary definition of ambivalence is having mixed or contradictory feelings, the definition they gave at this event really resonated with me.
They talked about ambivalence being the sweet spot between seeing something as good, or bad, light or dark, positive or negative…where you can see and appreciate that it is actually both.
The same is true with masculinity and femininity – and I hope that we can all get to the ‘sweet spot’ of recognising that masculinity is both powerful and weak…and that femininity is too.
AND that when we get the feminine and masculine to work together, both within ourselves and with others around us and society in general the result is definitely greater than the sum of the parts.