The system within we live and work is primarily patriarchal, valuing men more than women. This is undoubtedly changing, but change is slow. 

Some women are learning to think like men, compete with them, and beat them at their own games. Such women become heroic, but this kind of activity leaves many with a feeling that they will never be enough. Because of that fear, women become addicted to perfection, overcompensating, and overworking because they are different than men. But they have to prove it – they can do it. 

 Carol Pearson writes, “We live in a culture that does not trust process and is intolerant of diversity. Therefore, we are all expected to be perfect and, beyond that, to be perfect in similar – if not the same – ways to one another. We are supposed to “live up” to standards of virtue, achievement, intelligence, and physical attractiveness. If we do not, then we are expected to repent, work harder, study, diet more, exercise, and wear better clothes until we fit the prevailing image of an ideal person. Thus, our unique qualities [in this case being female] are likely to be defined as “the problem” that we need to solve to be OK.” 

 We live in a dualistic culture that values, creates, and sustain polarities – a mentality that locates ideas and people at opposite ends of the spectrum. In dualistic thinking, we treat the other as an object outside of ourselves – some thing to control, to dominate, to distrust, or to own. It breeds suspicion, confusion, and a lack of trust. This type of polarization has allowed nationalities to assert their supremacy over people whose view of reality or religious beliefs they disdain. It has given men the freedom to demand that women do all of their emotional work for them. It has allowed feminist groups to blame men for the imbalance on the planet without taking responsibility for their own desire for control and greed. It has supplied the powerful of this world with permission to suppress and distort knowledge, censor speech, sterilize the “unfit,” and cause incredible suffering over the planet. 

 BUT we have to remember that we don’t need to imitate men or identify ourselves with masculine to feel good enough. We are partly man and partly woman. Unfortunately, human arrogance from both sides of the spectrum fails to see that we are all one and coexist along a continuum of life. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that there can be no duality, no separate self. We are all interconnected; we inter-be or inter-are. He explains, “There’s right and left; if you take sides, you are trying to eliminate half of reality, which is impossible. It is an illusion to think you can have right without left, good without evil, women without men, the rose without the garbage, the United States without the Soviet Union.”

We must try to heal that split between feminine and masculine within ourselves. This is our task today.

 Your inner man and inner woman
have been at war
they are both wounded
tired
and in need of care
it is time
to put down the sword
that divides them in two. 

From the book of Maureen Murdock, The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness 

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely agree! I once read (from a vegan) that this is why it’s easy for us to eat animals, because we separate their body parts, instead of seeing it’s a whole being (e.g., chicken breast, as opposed to you’re eating a chicken). I hope you see the connection here lol

    I think we also do this as human beings to separate ourselves from everything to seem superior. Ultimately, everything is connected to make one whole.

    1. Author

      Its an interesting comparison, with chicken 🐔 but yes… im going to agree with that – I think we see the world (people) in separate parts too :)) btw the book was published in 1990 ( I read the thirteenth edition lol) but still each word is very impressive & I’d say sounds so ‘modern’ 🙂 for xxi century

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