There is a deep rooted fear of the feminine in the male psyche. This fact has been noted and observed by many eminent psychologists. Men fear women and this is the root cause of gender wars, this is an established fact. Our psyche has been shaped by ancient religious books. The Bible shaped the western world, and it was a documentation of the times that existed a thousand years ago. Under the Torah and the Talmud, gender roles as ascribed to men and women were rigid, those prescribed norms define the western culture. Our gender roles have been defined by Manu Smriti and the world as Moses saw …
The point is that should be define ourselves by age worn concepts and tattered parchments belonging to a time long ago?
It has not brought any peace and happiness to both the genders.
“Traditional gender roles” were not written by God. They were the best way to survive in times of the ancient Israelites and the ancient Hindus at the time of Manu.
They instilled a fear in men of the female principle.
I feel that men are more affected by this than women. The reason is that women are fighting not within their minds but against the fetters of outdated restrictions that chain them. Their fight is outward. Men are fighting in their minds. First, is the process of dis-identifying with the female. It is a process which male children use to distance themselves from their mothers, the breast they suckle upon. This leads to their negating their own feminine side.
Then they try to fit in and become capable of achieving their traditional gender role, that of success, power and restricted emotionality. It is strenuous, it is harsh. They can not even cry when they hurt. It is not “appropriate” behavior. So they fight or attack when they actually want to shed tears and express pain. In their minds they equate emotional intimacy, vulnerability and emotional dependency as weakness.
Carl Jung observed this and in his papers (1953-54) coined a term “anima” which he said represented the feminine side of men, the part they did not allow to integrate into their personalities easily. Another eminent psychologist Horney said “men dread women and attempt to distance themselves from the feminine”
Why do they do that?
The reason is evident. Any soft and emotional boy will be beaten up by bullies in a school play ground. Men trying to be feminine will be subjected to harsh punishment for betrayal of their gender role. This is how patriarchic society functions.
And why does patriarchic society fear the feminine?
First, it does not want power to devolve to women. Its role would be over if that happens. They fear the stronger instinct to survive, the child bearing capabilities and the multiple orgasms women have. There was no effective method of contraception or abortion. So just like ancient man tamed earth to plant food, ancient man built walls and put the women in those fenced walls, as mothers, sisters, daughters, so that he would not have to feed children not born out of his sperm. Virginity also became a desired virtue for the aforementioned reasons.
And women who did not conform became subject to derogatory terms (all dealing with their sexuality) like slut, whore, chudail, raandh etc.
We live in times when we know that characteristics like emotional awareness, the new term E.Q. (emotional quotient) etc. do not belong just to women. Men have it too. The masculine ideal with its purported fear of feminine characteristics and the potential collateral fear of women seems to be outdated. We need to evolve now.
Even if our patriatchic society sanctions some horrible things, I would like to state the following :
Women own their bodies, those are not to be subject to rape (as a method of controlling them). Women and their bodies should not be subject to derogatory terms, and women are persons, not repositories of clan or family honor. So let us end these honor killings, the suppression, the violence against women. All men display when they indulge is such behavior is how deep rooted their sense of inadequacy, their fear of the feminine is.
I really wish that within my lifetime, men learn to integrate their feminine side and be comfortable with it. It would be the first step towards destruction of the patriarchal society