First, I define my use of several words. Girls and women are females; boys and men are males. I consider that everyone, male or female, has both masculine and feminine energies. Even genderless entities tend to display masculine and feminine energies, for example, organizations, plants, automobiles. The Eastern designation of yin and yang, now quite familiar in Western culture, is a similar dichotomy. The feminine or yin includes such attributes as receptive, intuitive, inward, sensitive, delicate, emotional, nurturing. The masculine or yang includes such attributes as outward, hard, firm, logical, strong, rational, rough, loud.|
Often, individuals use the words "feminine" and "female" interchangeably and the words "masculine" and "male" interchangeably. I find this imprecise and confusing. So I make the distinction as indicated above.
Who"s at War?
I grew up in naivete about the "war between the sexes." It was not until I got to college that I discovered that it was not socially acceptable to be smarter than my male counterparts. It was not as if there were no gender issues in my home (indeed, there were), but I did not perceive these differences as a war between the genders. Even now, I do not perceive that I am at war with males. But I am no longer naive: there is a war, or at least, a battle. Both males and females are needed to continue the race (the human race, that is). We are not in any other race with each other.
It is time for the two genders to stop fighting. We need both males and females. And we need to stop denigrating either gender. Oh, those stories we pass on about men with no feelings and women with no logic, men who cannot take care of themselves and women who cannot be effective managers in the work place. While everyone can cite examples of these, no one wins from perpetuating such myths as truths.
Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energies
It is also time to be clear about the need for both masculine and feminine energies existing in balance. Our culture tends to believe that anything "feminine" is less than anything "masculine." It is a belief that is quite firmly held in the mass consciousness, although there are, fortunately, exceptions. Perhaps you are one of those who knows that masculine and feminine must exist in balance. Perhaps you know that neither one is better than the other.
Using myself as an example, I am a female with a tremendous amount of masculine energy. I doubt that I would have been as successful in the way I have been in a "man"s world" without this strong masculine energy. Sometimes my masculine energy is confusing to people, because I show up in a package that is decidedly female. I have long hair, round and soft features, usually wear skirted suits or dresses, stand 5" 2", and have protruding breasts. You can even look at my photo at this Web site and decide for yourself -- would you confuse me with a man?
I mention these things about myself to say: what we see in the outer, physical reality is often different from what exists in the inner reality, in the energy field. Maleness is not determined solely by masculine energy, nor femaleness by feminine energy. Instead, both masculine and feminine energies determine how we show up as male or female. I honestly believe that one reason that organizations are in deep trouble is because of the over-emphasis on the masculine rather than balance with the feminine, and the elevation of the male over the female. And while this may appear as a redundancy, I also want to say that society has pushed the female and feminine down while lifting up the male and masculine.
Certainly other reasons for organizational trouble can be cited, but I believe the confusion about masculine and feminine is the basis for many of the challenges of today. It is an issue of the Spirit which intensifies the human experience of separation -- separation from the whole, separation from each other, separation from the divine. The confusion about masculine and feminine encourages unhealthy competition (and not just between genders), dysfunctional comparisons, low self-esteem, and imbalances of many kinds.
Shifting Consciousness not just Shifting Jobs
I want to be certain that you do not immediately draw the conclusion that I believe that the solution to current organizational problems is to promote women to the top. I have no doubt this strategy would significantly improve the work place, but I am not advocating it as the solution. The solution must go below the surface of the outer actions. We must go deeper than legislation and rules -- those are simply ways to control actions. The issues are deeper, more fundamental. A consciousness shift is required.
We must all integrate the masculine and feminine in our own consciousness. We must begin to feel safe talking about feelings, to show caring and affection and -- dare I say it? -- love in the work place and elsewhere.
The Light and the Dark
There is both a dark side and a light side of both the masculine and feminine. The dark side of the masculine shows itself as harsh, overly competitive, violent. The light side of the masculine shows itself as protective, eager, outwardly helpful. The dark side of the feminine shows itself as weak, insecure, tentative, needy. The light side of the feminine shows itself as open, receptive, listening, nurturing.
Men or women who have not integrated their feminine sides tend to be hard or cold. Their warmth is lacking or inconsistent. Men or women who have not integrated their masculine sides are often seen as weak or passive. They tend to hold back, allowing others to walk on them. Individuals who are out of balance -- whether male or female -- bring imbalance into the organization.
Most organizations are designed by males, for masculine endeavors. The purpose of organizations is to create boundaries, which are then usually acted upon in masculine ways. Boundaries can also be related to in feminine ways, but that is rare in most organizations.
The Masculine and the Feminine in Your Organization
I suggest you consider the masculine and feminine attributes of your own organization. It will be helpful to do this without regard to the genders represented in the organization. That is, if your organization is predominantly male, do not assume that it is using mainly masculine energy. That may be so, but rather consider how it is using its masculine energy and how it is using its feminine energies. If you identify imbalance, consider ways to invite balance into the situation.
We Need Each Other
We need each other, male and female. We need a balance of energies, masculine and feminine.
Author Bio :
© 1994, 1996, Marshall House, http://www.mhmail.com. Jeanie Marshall, a Personal Development Coach specializing in deep transformation and personal success, writes extensively on subjects related to personal development and empowerment. She assists professional coaches and consultants to write their knowledge, wisdom, and experiences.
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