Androgeny and the Feminine Vision
Because men have defined cultural norms, androgyny tends to masculinize women far more than it feminizes men. Men do attempt to assimilate the powers of women, but indirectly, in their highly masculine ways, through technology and bureaucratic structures of power. They do seek access to the feminine, but in the objectified bodies of women. In order for men to achieve a balance within themselves between action and passion, between exteriority and interiority, between culture-making and surrender to the mysteries of life, femininity must first be distinguished from woman and sex. It must be understood as a mode of human being, a sensibility, a stance in regard to reality, nature, the Unknown, the Other. The masculine and the feminine are forces in the human psyche, apart from changing sexual and social arrangements between males and females; they ought to be honored as such rather than projected onto the persons of men and women. While individuals participate in the dialogue between masculine and feminine principles by communicating with each across gender lines, and by falling in love, there remains the task of an alchemical synthesis within the individual. Men have envied women for their mysterious abilities and otherness, not quite understanding that the essence of femininity lies within them too. They have tried to access feminine subjectivity through their wives and lovers, sisters and daughters, and through homosexuality. Or they have avoided it altogether because the external-oriented mind sees only objects to affect and resists surrender to being affected. Having differentiated themselves as masculine, men have feared woman’s otherness as alien, inscrutable, threatening. Accordingly, they have defended their hard-won identity through exclusions and actions against women—who, on the contrary, have been more motivated to adopt the winning masculine ways that predominate in culture. He resists the feminine and she is all too willing to assimilate the masculine. But men must embrace the feminine sensibility itself, along with the woman, for their own benefit and the world’s benefit, as well as for political correctness and the needs of women. Above all, men must listen to actual women, as oracles and conservators of the feminine principle, and heed them while we are groping to find the feminine voice within ourselves. Women could help in that, not only by tuning in to the “goddess within,” but more importantly perhaps, by tuning out the corrupting elements of the consumer culture, which blinker men and women alike. By channeling a feminine as well as a feminist vision for the future.
RELATED TAGS: [androgeny, masculinized woman, female (feminine) power (of woman), objectified female body, The Other, feminine principle, alchemical synthesis, feminine/female subjectivity/intentionality, woman’s/female otherness, gender alienation/dialogue, feminine vision]
© Copyright Dan Bruiger 2008. All rights reserved.