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Liberating Femininity

I was born in the 50's and grew up in the 60's, so as a child I witnessed the rise of the Women's Liberation movement, which championed issues like equal pay for equal work. It always seemed logical to me that men and women were equal and it has never occurred to me to not treat them as such. However, I have become increasingly aware of the fact that “equal” is not the same thing as “same.” Two things don't need to be the “same” in order to be “equal.” And men and women, while equal, are not the same.

What we're talking about is value. Men and women are equally valuable. Children are also equally valuable, but, there are big differences between children and adults. Well, there are also big differences between men and women, and these differences are not the result of social conditioning (as was claimed by many when I was growing up).

Men and women are different because of biology and it is hormones that cause those differences. It's kind of a “dah” concept because it's very obvious that hormones make men and women anatomically different. However, hormones also make men and women psychologically different. Men and women not only think differently, they perceive the world differently.

And this is good.

Difference is good. My father taught me to value the differences in people. He used to say, “If everyone was the same as you wouldn't it be boring?” Of course it would. What creates sexual attraction isn't “sameness” it's difference, and being able to understand and respect those differences is a key getting along.

Now, if you've been listening to me very long, you know that I'm a pretty radical, independent thinker, so you will probably not be too surprised at my next assertion. If you're new to this, I encourage you to be patient as I explain what I mean. With that warning, here's the thesis for this article:

I think women have been liberated, but femininity is still rated as second-class to masculinity.

To understand why I say this, it's necessary to lay out a little background about how estrogen affects the brain and senses. Modern research shows that estrogen causes the brain to become more integrated, that is to have stronger connections between the emotional right brain and the logical left brain. This makes women more articulate than men in expressing feelings. It also enables women to “multi-task” better, that is, to juggle several things at once.

Women's sensory inputs are keener than men's, too. Women have more peripheral vision, keener hearing, smell and taste, and are more sensitive to touch. This is why women are better at reading body language and other forms of non-verbal communication. This ability is one of the reasons women are more intuitive than men.

I wrote an article several years ago about the research into the biological differences between men and women which covers these issues in great length. I've posted in on this article entitled, Blame It on Hormones on this website if you'd like to read it to learn more about this subject. Right now, however, I want to focus on just one critical difference and why it relates to the need for women to be liberated.
Biologically, men as a group have been given stronger physical bodies than women. Of course, one can find certain women who are physically stronger than certain men, but as a statistical average men are physically larger, taller and stronger than women.

I have a firm belief that everything in the universe is balanced. So, if testosterone programs male bodies to be physically stronger than women's bodies, then estrogen must program women to have a compensating arena in which women are stronger than men. Well, I believe that estrogen makes women emotionally stronger than men.

It is a biologically-proven fact that estrogen programs women to be more emotionally-driven than men, that is, to be oriented towards feelings and relationships. If you think about it, relationship is primarily about feelings, which is why women are more relationship-oriented. Also, with their keener senses and more integrated brains, women intuite things faster than men. So, just as more testosterone tends to make a male body larger and stronger and create a brain that is problem-solving, logic-driven, and goal-oriented, the more estrogen a woman has, the stronger this intuitive, environmentally aware, feeling and relating orientation will be.

The bottom line is women are emotionally stronger than men. In fact, men are extremely emotionally fragile. This may seem contradictory at first, since men appear on the surface to be less emotional than women, the truth is that men's hearts are more closed than women's because they are more easily wounded. It is much harder for a man to open up emotionally and share what is in his heart than it is for a woman. He has to feel very safe before this will happen.

I'm not going to go into great detail about the evidence I see that women are emotionally stronger than men, but, here are a few facts to consider. Men, on the other hand, get easily emotionally wounded and once wounded either “clam up,” a tactic called stonewalling, to protect their feelings or become angry and controlling (another tactic people use to protect hurt feelings). It's also the reason why men commit suicide at a rate 20 times higher than women. Emotionally healthy people don't lose their temper, kill themselves or withdraw from other people.

In addition to the article I wrote on this subject, I also created a chart for my emotional healing class on masculine and feminine energy. You can view this chart by clicking here. What this chart tries to show is the men primarily give to the world through their physical energy and women primarily give to the world through their emotional energy. This giving and receiving creates a “circuit” of energy flow between men and women.

Femininity will be liberated when both men and women in our society consider feelings, intuition and relationships to be equally important to thinking, logic and achievement. This is not currently the case.
I'm going to make a suggestion for how women can use their power with men in a very effective, but non abusive way, a way that will open men's hearts. I've given this advice to women who were struggling with strong-willed husbands in a marriage and they have reported it has really helped.

All you have to do is be true to your feelings. One can't rationally explain feelings and intuition to someone. To understand feelings and intuition one has to get out of one's head and listen with one's heart. When a woman tries to argue logically with a man to get her point across, she engages his masculinity directly. When men do this, they get into power struggles in which they vie to establish a pecking order (who is “top dog,” the alpha male). When a woman tries to debate with a man, the male brain perceives her aggression as a threat to his masculine position.

If he allows her to “win” he feels diminished as a man, so to protect his emotional vulnerability, he tends to either attack back (the way he would with another man) or to stonewall (meaning to throw up blocks and refuse to engage). In reality, no matter what choice he makes, it's really a “no win” situation for him. What's even worse, is that woman often emotionally “attack” men, dumping their incredible emotional power into the disagreement.

If, however, a woman knows how to get in touch with her feelings and values them, she can use this to create tremendous power with men. When her partner starts logically trying to convince her of something, she should examine her feelings and see how she “feels” about it. If something doesn't feel right to her, she should speak up and say so. She doesn't need to attack or try to logically explain why, she simply needs to calmly say, “I don't feel right about what you are saying.”

He'll probably ask her why. If she tries to explain her feelings to him and he starts arguing with them, then his heart isn't hearing her, so she should just stop explaining herself and say, “I still don't feel right about it, so I can't support you in this.” It may frustrate her male partner, but if he has any real love or care for her at all, he will eventually want to try to understand why she feels that way and will open up his heart to hear.

If women were more true to their feelings in our society, a lot of things that go wrong wouldn't be happening. Does irradiation of food “feel” right to you? Does genetically modified food “feel” right? It seems that all anyone has to do in modern society to push something through is to call it scientific and, if you can't come up with a “logical,” scientific reason why this shouldn't be done, then you are backwards and stupid. But, as I'm fond of saying, “the heart knows things the mind does not.” In order for feminity to be liberated, women have to reclaim their feminine power. We have to insist that no matter how logical something sounds, if it doesn't “feel” right, then we shouldn't do it.

I heard once that women in some Indian nations were charged with the responsibility of reviewing the laws passed by the men and determining if these laws would cause harm to themselves or their children or their children's children seven generations into the future. This was based on their feelings about the law. They didn't have to logically justify the decision, if it felt wrong, they could veto the law. They could do the same things with tribal leaders by impeaching leaders who did not have the good of the people at heart.

Corporate American is driven by the masculine energy of narrowly-focused, goal driven achievement and this energy is running amok in the world, destroying the environment, damaging people's health and destroying the bonds of relationship that hold us together. (Just how “caring” is a big corporation?) As women have been convinced that their value lies in competing with men in corporate America, this imbalance has grown larger.

This masculine energy must be balanced by a strong healthy, liberated feminine energy. We must learn to return to the heart and trust that feelings and relationships should not be destroyed in the name of “progress” and “advancement.” The strength to do this lies in the women of the world, who if they start valuing and trusting their own emotional nature can find the strength to say, “No, that doesn't feel right.” This “feeling power” is the only power that can force men to temper the aggressiveness that is tearing our world and our society apart. It is the yin balance to the masculine yang.

The more women learn to be true to their hearts and to speak up with things don't feel right and refuse to offer their support and encouragement to men who are not willing to open their hearts, the better chance we have of turning things around. As I have done to a number of women in private, I am openly suggesting to women in general. Be true to your feelings. You don't have to attack someone with them and be emotionally abusive and manipulative, but you do have to listen to your feelings and not support decisions, causes and things that are happening in society if it doesn't feel right.

It's time to go one step beyond liberating women. It's time we also liberated the feminine quality of feeling and gave it the place of equal value it deserves.



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