As we negotiate 12,000th year of human civilization both the human genders are beset with a major cry-sis.
This crisis long in klin, had sent its intermittent ping, however in last 60 years the occasional simmer that it was, has come to a visible boil. If you can a sense social anxiety through its body language, consistent rhetoric of feminism is reformist side of that expression as pervasive violence and plunder its gender opposite, repressive side.
On one hand women have been arguing first with road shows and now with blog posts about gender prosecution while on the other, men have been increasingly stealing/invading/plundering others and nature, in an instinctive blind-lust.
In last six decades or so, women have turned relentless protesters and men reckless predators.
So what is going on?
With this series on gender crisis written in two parts ( part one focusing on female suppression and two on male dereliction) in next few posts I will unpack chief fault-lines of the situation, its historical causes prevailing contours and finally a possible solution to mitigate this situation.
I will also talk about why I am a feminist though the movement has its argument inversely framed.
I will also outline why I am a masculinist and why men need to do thorough conceptual housecleaning.
It’s a very broad agenda that I have set and I will make its arguments using a mix of Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, History seasoned with a dash of common sense. At the end of this series I hope you will get a wrap on the implosive situation we all are in and will lend your word and time to others for virality of these insights.
So lets start the delineation with a clutch of definitions first. Some of these terms as defined under are standard while some have been rephrased for this series.
The instinctive or life energy or essential numinosity is what animates us as living beings. At its most fundamental level it is a form of biological energy which powers our fundamental drives and is embedded into our identity structure. This life force underwrites our self-expression, sex drive, creativity and every form of pun and play.
This instinctive energy is generally accessed from a psychic plane using two archetypal polarities namely the masculine and the feminine. Both of these frames of energy access and expression are present in every one of us however typically one is dominant and other is parked. Carl Jung called them the Anima (female) and Animus(Male) representation of the psyche.
When our physical form is in alignment with our dominant psychical form we have a cis gender identity. If they are reversed we have a trans gender identity. There are all other kinds of intermediate permutations on the gender identity possible as represented in the genderbread2.0 graph here from its Pronounced Metrosexual:
Also another thing of note here is that to maximally access and express the vital energy pool available to an identity, both the polarities have to be activated in the psyche. This is because large part of vital energy pool areas are available to dominant identity however there are some areas which can only be accessed using the parked identity. So psychic health and its journey to wholeness is a creative play between both yin and yang or feminine and masculine energies (energies accessed through anima, animus archetypes) and thus rigid identity definitions lead to stifling and blocking of vital energies.
Archetypes are recurring pictorial alphabets of our inner subconscious language. We inherit them from collective human subconscious (a historic memepool a la human genepool) and they lie dormant in our psyche unless brought into consciousness as individual images and behavior or as cultural narratives. Once realized in some form, numinous energy that they activate is assimilated into our lives. Much like we have gene expression to formulate our physical body we need archetypal expression for our energetic bodies or for psyches wholesomeness and wholeness. So understanding of archetypal language is necessary as it has two major functions:
- All our creative life forces which are embedded in psyche are accessed through archetypes. If one has to be fully alive and active, these life forces need to be engaged. Thus archetypes are forms or frames, which mediate our psychic energy harvest.
- Apart from being energy couriers archetypes also act as beat traffic constables on psyches journey of wholeness. The entire movement of Psyche can only be understood and expressed in archetypal terms.
There might more than 20,000 archetypes that activate our psyche ( like 30,000 genes that make up our physical body) however based on their energy load, some archetypes are fundamental or Meta while some are peripheral or delta.
The examples of Meta Archetypes are gender archetypes viz: anima and animus as cited above which help us access our primal energies.
Examples of other archetypes are Old Wise Man, Retributive Female Goddess, Death and Rebirth, Coming of Age, Joker and many many more. As you will notice, they represent people, events, outcomes and essentially any psychologically impacting form or episode.
So archetypes are realized symbols or unconsciously acted out actions of our psyche through which our life energy is both directed and affirmed.
Stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about a group of people that are widely believed by everyone else. They are uni-dimensional representations of categorical beliefs about a set of people without considering their individual variation. Consider: French cooks, Asian math geniuses, rednecks as examples of stereotypes.
Stereotypes were meant as a shorthand to explain variations in between groups but often end up polarizing people with negative attributions to the outgroup and positive to the in group. Thus the us Vs them dynamic often creates animosity and hostility as well as lends itself to the phenomenon of scapegoating the stereotypes. How sexism is a result of this phenomenon, we shall be exploring very shortly.
One way to understand the difference between the two types is: Stereotype is attribution of a personality based on type. Archetype is attribution of type based on personality.
It is the representation of kind of people that you reasonably expect to find in the society around you or that belong to your in-group. Contrast this with Stereotype which is about people who lie outside or do not belong to your in-group or society. This representation is complex and individualistic with their resident idiosyncrasies and inspires empathy and connectedness as opposed to generic attribute representation which engenders distance and hostilities.
To quote Wikipedia feminism is: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
Central Hypothesis of this gender series:
This gender series starts with defining the nature of crisis that both men and women are facing. It goes on to show how the nature of their challenge is interrelated and why they will have to help each other out, if resolution to this situation is to be found.
Men everywhere seem to be secretly mourning that treasure map to their masculine core has been culturally smudged while women are openly wailing that their gender expression has been patriarchaly glass caged as also representationaly impoverished.
So men seem to have an identity crisis while women have an existential one Or in psychological terminology, men have a crisis of archetype as women have one of stereotype.
Both the challenges are huge, will take some doing and are interrelated. Though existent from days past they have come to head now because of the societal shift in values as also science created material abundance. With men no longer needed to be main protector and providers and women no longer the sole nurturers the overlapping gender roles are demanding a major upgrade of operating gender regime. In this series we will also explore some possible solutions to the interrelated and interlocking gender issues