Polarity in relationships: A pursuit or a limitation?
I have been seeing the polarity teachings in relationships circling around for a bit of time now, and I feel strongly that there are a few shadows lingering in the spaces of this dynamic that absolutely need to be discussed.
While I do see and understand the take, the idea, the fantasy, if you will, about imploring women to softly embody their feminine nature and men to fiercely embody their masculine nature to no avail—in the end, what I truly see is an outdated paradigm, a system for repeating generational trauma for both men and women and a set up for further abuse, oppression, and belittling toward women.
Let’s first address the idea that a man is supposed to be the dominant, alpha, controlling, defined partner, and a woman is supposed to be the submissive, beta, receptive, dissolved partner and how this speaks directly to a patriarchal paradigm that is far outdated.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the patriarch began but some believe its origins are nearly 12,000 years ago. And this type of patriarch I’m speaking of has absolutely nothing to do with biological inheritance and absolutely everything to do with human interference and invention. This dynamic began in our tribal communities when women were physically and sexually exploited into marriages and children, a forced acquiesce, if you will—simply because it worked best for the tribe. Somebody here knew that the life force of both women and children were intrinsically high and nourishing and that keeping them hoarded up at home for their men to come home to would be the absolute best “re-fuel” for their tired, overworking, “powerful,” warrior hearts.
Somewhere, somebody knew that honoring the women and children would bring forth a benevolent power that would ultimately challenge the idea of male dominance. So, we kept this system going so much so that women themselves put on their rose-tinted glasses and romanticized over their “protective” husbands and their own “rewarding” motherly roles.
This patriarchal structure held tight to every lingering thread that kept them evenly mildly in-tact with valor so that they could continue “working.” And the dark agenda originally behind the patriarch worked alright. It created a world in which women were not allowed to work or vote. Women were only nurturing mothers and homemakers. Women simply accepted the fact that they weren’t as powerful as men. They weren’t as hardworking, important, valuable, purposeful, innovative, or as bold as men.
They didn’t deserve a place in the world. They didn’t deserve a solid, defined, powerful voice, the right to an education, or a say in the future other than how well they mother their children. These structures worked in such a way where men were valued as the breadwinners, protectors, warriors. They were the opportune-laden heroes of the world that deserved the right to an education, economic importance, political voice, and literally, the only beings who had a say in anything…at all.
I’m still unsure to this day whether these structures actually worked or that we agreed with them simply because it’s all we had known and explored as a society. Though my common sense is pointing more toward the obvious: we knew that women were life bearers and somehow a close conduit to the divine. We knew that giving them too much power would bridge Heaven on Earth and scare the male ego of being in charge.
However, there is a layer of innocence to this: it’s not just about women’s power being suppressed and men’s power being inflated.
I truly believe that not all men knew exactly what they were agreeing to, either. I believe that men and women both took on these roles because it is how they knew how to love. To challenge authority and explore our genetic and cosmological selves would have been considered a crime—and it’s best to comply than to fight those in charge. It was the safe choice.
Tried and true during that era or not, these structures may have worked when our cosmological and biological makeup was literally restricted from expanding in these areas. However, over time, we’ve made great leaps in revolutionizing the rights of women, gender identities, and roles in society at large. The inherent polarization within each of us has always been there, yet now we are safe to explore it.
Today, we literally live in a world in which breaking down these gender structures happens to be a part of our inevitable cosmic expansion. And this is for a very internalized harmonious, balanced, and resourceful purpose.
So, where do we start? If women have always been receptive, and men have always been penetrative, how do we adjust for the sake of this harmonious balance?
While it’s true that sexually speaking men are more penetrative and women are more receptive by nature due to the internal and external placements of their genitalia, when we extend this internal/external make-up in all other areas of their life, we only set ourselves up for imbalanced disaster.
For example, men are more likely to lash out domestically because they have been long disconnected from their rightful emotional expression. Vise versa, women tend to lash out more emotionally perhaps because they have been long disconnected from their physical acuity.
Men were told to be strong and emotionless. Women were told to be soft and well, practically disembodied. The men over-activated and, therefore, hyper-aroused their physicality trying to make up for the absence of their emotional presence. The women over-activated and, therefore, hyper-aroused their vulnerability making up for the absence of their physical embodiment.
And yet, we need both.
And we need safe spaces for men to practice being emotionally present. We need safe spaces where men are allowed to cry, voice their inner needs, their heart’s desires, and let loose from the buildup of emotional tension of holding back because the world has told them to be strong for so long. We need a place where men are allowed to set down their financial and worldly responsibilities without feeling like a failure—where men are allowed to take breaks from producing, doing, forcing, and building, and can explore their vulnerabilities without being shamed for being feminine.
And we need safe spaces for women to practice being physically present. We need safe spaces where women are allowed to step out of their motherly roles and into their worldly roles—where they can make space to aspire, achieve, create, and make themselves known in ways that are outside of the home. We need safe spaces for women to explore their options, their rights, their purpose, and their more defined characteristics without being shamed for being masculine.
Because I find that when we tell women to be submissive, soft, and receptive, this stirs more of their generational trauma. This inherently inflicts levels of predatory behavior, domestic abuse, codependency, trauma bonds, a lack of boundaries, and the like because she is only activating and integrating one part of her energetic make-up. Women who are not allowed to have strong boundaries are suspect to these dangers. They do not feel secure, safe, or resourced in themselves.
I see today the women who will hold this expectation for themselves (or eat the expectation from their partner), and instantly, be up against boredom, depression, and the anxious feeling that they ought to be doing something more productive, conducive, or enlivening with their lives. Women who are told to lay back and receive are disempowered and hardly ever get to achieve. They watch their own dreams wither into nothing because they are told it is too masculine to “do.”
And I find that when we tell men to be in control, have it all together as the providers, protectors, and breadwinners, we set them up for more generational trauma, too. We put false and impossible expectations on them that ultimately restrict them from their fluidity, expanding and deepening their emotional maturity, and moving into their receptive state. Men who are not allowed to be emotionally or intuitively led risk physical burnout, disembodiment, emotional stunting, and avoidance of intimacy.
I see today how many men try to uphold this impossible over-masculinized dynamic and, in turn, are dissatisfied in all areas because they aren’t able to relax and receive: career, home, work, and partnership.
Men who are told to step up and be in control are in a disconnect from their emotional bodies and hardly ever get to release or receive. He doesn’t get to ask for what he wants. He doesn’t get to expose his inner world. He doesn’t get to be vulnerable. He doesn’t get to relax in his pleasure.
I know that, as a woman, I find myself dissolving into receptiveness, nurturance, feminine/yin when in the safe space of an embodied, defined, outlined man.
However, I also recognize it as an absolutely ancient dynamic sifting in my cosmic bones and instantly feel bored. I also recognize the vulnerability a man is forced to holdback so that I can maintain this state of being. There is a subtle false control mechanism, tiredness of standing up strong, and in charge façade present in men when playing out the masculine polarity. There is also a subtle shaming, controlling, belittling, silencing, and “keeping small” dynamic that takes place when we tell women they need to be feminine, soft, inflow, vulnerable, and nothing else.
So, we can call it cute when women get to be giggly, happy, and unbothered by anything. And we can call it adorably sexy when men get to be protective of us, in charge, and in the lead. But we know, deep down, women need to have agency and men need to have a break from knowing it all. We know deep down that when we tell women to accept everything, it teaches them to love abuse and that when we tell men to be dominant over everything, it teaches them to be abusive.
We can only continue the polarity dynamic when, and if, we first allow men to break down in his masculine and bear witness to their inner feminine, just as much as we must allow women to rise up in her feminine and come face to face with her inner masculine.
And what kind of burdensome responsibility and perpetuation of generational trauma does that continue to inflict on men when we tell them to keep being strong, providers, or warriors?
I know, if I were a man, I would eventually lose my sh*t trying to be the ruler of the house, the office, and the world all the damn time.
Once in a while, I’d imagine I’d want to say to my partner with honesty, integrity, and sincere dignity for my inner workings, “Honey, I don’t have the answer today. I’m also tired. You pick.”
Of course, that’s just me…if I were a man.
And of course, we want men in leadership: in the office, in healthcare, in our homes, in our circles, and in the world. But they’ve always been there.
Nobody has ever stopped them.
But we also need women there, too. We need women there because for eons she has been oppressed and suppressed. No space to work, be educated, have a say, a voice, or a livelihood. And apparently, dynamics haven’t changed entirely today. We need women in leadership because it is part of her reclamation and redemption.
And women don’t get there by melting into cosmic goo. They get there by using their voice, moving their bodies, pioneering, and reclaiming their dignity. Everything that polarity teachings say is “hands-off” for women, and too masculine.
We need both.
We are creating a world in which men can and practically need to embrace their feminine nature—and where women are literally summoned to embody their masculine nature, as well.
We are creating a world in which the power and strength that women bring forth will be a force of its own, incomparable to that of men. And in this world, we are unveiling a vulnerability and expression from men that will be an honorable acknowledgment of their feminine embodiment and nowhere compared to how women process emotions.
It’s time to honor the individual feminine and masculine traits within both (and all) genders.
And I think something far more important than maintaining these polarities through one another (co-dependency) and igniting the ability to uphold the energetic balance within ourselves is the audacity to approach our relationship with a whole new lens. From a healthy, balanced, lens that honors and revers our partners and their soul needs as well.
What if we approached relationships not as what the other person can fill for us, but as an opportunity to meet with another whole, embodied, balanced, and sovereign human being?
What if we were able to show up and learn from one another where we have lost our inner masculine/feminine by watching and observing our partner’s bravery and sovereignty? What if we were able to retrieve those lost aspects not by energetically pulling at our partners with the expectation to fill our empty spaces, but by holding safe spaces and encouraging one another to integrate our own balanced energetic make-up?
I truly feel that relationships work best when a woman is able to tell her man she wants to make love and take the lead. When a man can prepare dinner and read to the children. When a woman is able to go out into the world and exercise her art, her work, her voice and bring it back to her family. When a man has the capacity to openly share how he feels without regret. When she can lead. When he can receive.
When we can both do and be both.
I don’t know about you, but as a woman, I’m not here to be with a man who isn’t in touch with his emotions—who doesn’t have receptiveness to his intuition, his spiritual nature, or his nurturance.
I need a man who knows and sees beauty, art, creation, movement, healing, care-taking, sensitivity, gentleness, and softness just as much as he does structure, boldness, definition, and control.
I’m especially not here to watch my man be emasculated in false control and become out of touch with his wholeness—especially when he is about to break, because he needs to go there.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not partner with a man who requires me to be less than I am. I need the space to have definition, clarity, strength, assertiveness, confidence in my voice, my body, my exertions, and my boundaries.
I’m especially not here to be with a man who gets off on encouraging me to play small and not have my hands dirty in the world, making change.
I’m in it for the opportunity to reclaim both my inner masculine and feminine in such a way that keeps me safe, able, embodied, emotionally stable, intuitively guided, receptive, harmoniously sovereign, and wholly and fully all of it. All of me.
My relationships are here to bring me closer to my own liberation, redemption, power, independence, and mastery.
Why the f*ck are we minimizing the containers for one another more and more?
Why on earth wouldn’t we want the full opportunity for embodying our wholeness?
I honestly see it as liberation for my soul and not another restriction on my humanity.
Men can be feminine. And women can be masculine. And we both are. All of it. Inevitably and inherently.