by Helena Boyd, Body Mind Psychotherapist, Perth, Western Australia
How can man be equal to woman without being weak ? How can woman have her emotional fulfillment and still be an autonomous adult ? In duality consciousness, man will feel superior and believe woman to be inferior. He will consequently exploit her but will also feel exploited by her. In such a relationship fulfillment is impossible. The woman will feel that she is being unfairly exploited by the physically stronger man and will blame him for victimizing her. Both will fail to see the other side, where they are indeed very similar and where they complement one another in a distorted way. The woman will use the victim game - the man will use the blame and superiority game. He will blame women for exploiting and using him, and will feel superior to that part in her that makes her weak.
One of the most stubbornly maintained mass images is that a man is supposed to be strong and a woman weak. A man is supposed to be intellectual and creative - a woman is supposed to be less intelligent and more emotional than a man. A man is not supposed to be intuitive and sensitive, while a woman is. A man is supposed to be active, a woman passive. These concepts and many more variations of them have existed from the beginning of humanity. The effect of these mass images is to cause men and women to suppress their opposite trends, feeling guilty and inadequate about them, which is harmful. For centuries, man has developed and nursed his physical prowess and his intellectual capacity - his active side. At the same time he has deliberately suppressed and discouraged the unfoldment of his emotional and intuitive nature. With woman, it was the reverse. Woman was long forced to suppress her intelligence and creativity that could be all the more constructive when permeated with her intuitive power and her emotional side, the soul qualities of her nature. Whenever she sensed in herself these forbidden qualities of intelligence and creativity, she was quick to suppress them out of guilt. This went on for so long until she ultimately rebelled. Emancipation, apart from some healthy aspects where true growth was involved was based largely on rebellion and has not been really successful.
In the old relationships between man and woman, the woman victimized herself by acting out a denial of self-responsibility - she acted out taking the line of least resistance so she could be taken care of. She wanted an authority figure to make decisions for her, take the blame for her mistakes, and battle with the hardships of life. She wanted to indulge in the pseudo-comfort of subjugation. This has turned out to be a disappointing, unfulfilling way of life for her. But woman still abstains from taking her share of responsibility. She still puts all the blame on man. Why has woman been subjugated and denied her birthright of self-expression, of mental, emotional, and spiritual equality with man so long after physical prowess has ceased to be an individual's main value? The woman, in order to make the new women's movement truly meaningful, must ascertain within herself the part that has invited her enslavement. The stronger the rebellion and the blaming of the opposite sex, the stronger must also be, within the soul of that individual woman, the desire not to govern her own life, not to be responsible, but to lean on someone else. To the degree she makes unfair and unrealizable demands, she must resent and blame male authority and play the victim game. Similarly, to the degree man does not face his fears, guilts and weaknesses, he will play a power game in one form or another and then resent the woman for exploiting him and overburdening him. The immature soul of both wants the advantage without paying the price: man wants the superior position but resents the price of taking care of a parasite. Woman wants the advantage of being taken care of, of not standing on her own two feet, but resents the price of losing her autonomy. Both play the same game but hesitate to see how they mutually create this distortion.
The man of the New Age no longer needs to be the superior member of the team. He can afford to relate from the heart, on the feeling level, to his partner. He can likewise relate intellectually on a level of equality with her. He will no longer need a weaker mate in order to deny his own weakness. He meets his own weakness, faces it and thereby gains his real strength. He realizes that his weakness always comes from guilt, and his self-rejection is always a denial of the integrity of his higher self in one form or another. Therefore the need for a slave no longer exists in him. The man is then not threatened by an equal. He does not require an inferior mate to convince himself of his acceptability, which, of course, is then anyway illusory. Once he faces his weakness he must gain his true strength. Therefore his relationship to the woman is truly one of equality - he is not threatened by someone who is as creative, as adequate, as morally strong, and as intelligent as himself. He will not need to play the master. Again, this enables man to open his heart and to experience a fulfilment that was previously quite impossible.
The woman of the New Age is neither a slave to the man, nor is she his competitor. She stands on her own two feet, not only materially, but also intellectually, mentally, and emotionally. She knows that no man can give her happiness and flowing feelings unless she herself produces them through loving and through integrity, through opening her heart to loving and her mind to her own inner truth. She knows that loving a man and surrendering to her feelings for the man enhances her strength. There is no conflict for the new-age woman between being a productive, creative, contributing member of society, and being a loving mate. Where distortion still exists, woman still wants from the man what she refuses to give to herself. For the new-age woman this will not be the case. This does not mean that two people sharing their life do not also share, naturally, their difficulties. What you secretly wanted from a superior father authority you have shifted onto a mate.
Each man carries inside his soul the female side of his nature as each woman carries the male side of hers. It is as though they each contained within themselves an imprint of their other halves. The differences between man and woman are not as great as you think, not even anatomically. It is not true that man is active and that woman is passive by nature, but both manifest different aspects of activity and passivity. Feelings can actually blossom only when the woman is free, autonomous, and independent in the best sense of the word. So fulfillment is completely dependent on a true state of equality. The moment one feels superior to the other, one's respect is lowered and the feelings close. The moment one feels inferior to the other, resentment, fear, envy become inescapable, and that, too, closes the heart. Love can flower only in a climate of true equality, where no fear exists and therefore neither defences nor blame.