And I’m not even talking about getting all third-gender on things, though I love all of the above illustrations as a way of clarifying that our idea of the binary is an anomaly. I’m just talking about accepting that all people – regardless of sex, sexuality or gender – are capable of feeling all the feelings. Love. Fear. Generosity. Rage. All of it.
This idea of the binary, with it’s rough and tumble males, and docile females, wasn’t codified until stationary civilizations had a need to create a predictable order for people to be confined within. Not until, really, modern organized religions needed a power structure, and a way to both support and perpetuate it.
Even our beloved archetypes didn’t really happen until we had the luxury of nervous breakdowns and someone to try and figure out our problems for us. And what were their answers, typically? “You are not fitting into society’s role for you. The problem is you, not society.”
Really. We’re still falling for this?
Think about the energy that we so lazily describe as “masculine.” What are the adjectives you would use? Aggressive? Courageous? Industrious? Combative? If you didn’t have the luxury of using the word “masculine” as a shortcut, would anything about those adjectives change? Would anything about that energy change? No. It wouldn’t.
Do you see as many of those qualities in women as you do in men? Yes. You do. Even in nature. Have you ever heard the phrase “hell hath no fury as a woman scorned?” It’s not “hell hath no fury like a woman acting like a man.” How about the phrase “worker bee?” That’s nature, and those are all female bees.
There is nothing inherently masculine about “masculine” energy at all. It’s just a lazy way to not really think about how we’re describing someone. It’s a way to avoid using adjectives. Think about the energy that we so lazily describe as “feminine” energy. What are the adjectives that you would use? Kind? Nurturing? Calm? Soothing? If you didn’t have the luxury of using the word “feminine” as a shortcut, would anything about those adjectives change? Would anything about that energy change? No. It wouldn’t.
Do those qualities not exist in men as much as they exist in women? They absolutely do. Though with men, more so than women, there is a great societal risk in letting those “non-conforming” sides of yourself show. Why? Because then you become “feminine.” And that’s, well, that’s bad.
Mind you, being calm is good. (“He’s solid as a rock.”) Being kind is good. (“He has such a big heart.”) Being nurturing is good. (“He’s the kind of guy that just makes you feel safe when you’ve had a bad day.”)
Those are some blurred lines.
There is nothing inherently feminine about “feminine” energy at all. It’s just a lazy way to not really think about what you’re calling someone. And it’s a great way to enforce a code that is not only unnatural but also harmful.
What if the words “masculine” and “feminine” didn’t exist? We’d have to think a lot harder about how we describe people. We’d describe them by what they do, how they behave. We’d have to pay attention to our behavior, not our genitals, and wardrobe.