There are enormous socio-economic and political problems in the world today, in large part, the result of not enough emphasis on “feminine values”. However, that tide is changing. More and more, women are appearing and leading, in governments, corporations, and organizations. And, women are speaking up and taking action in their personal lives and communities. Not just in the United States, but around the world. The great work of our age is to bring the feminine into our culture.
Today an equilibrium between men’s and women’s values has almost disappeared in our society. Today’s values are based on masculine ideals or characteristics. These masculine values drive cultures, businesses, governments, churches, and universities. Every type of organization is based on a masculine value system.
Of course, men and women share the same characteristics, but men are considered to be more assertive, focused, competitive, action-oriented, ambitious and driven to achieve material success. Women are perceived as having a broad awareness, more empathetic, nurturing, compassionate, process-oriented, focused on personal relations and concern for justice. They are not only focused on the results, but also on the process.
All our human aspects have equal value and are necessary to achieve balance—a dynamic interdependence of both female and male aspects. Two halves of a whole.
Patriarchal systems, both religious and secular, have dominated societies for thousands of years. As a result, the masculine values have become the reference and feminine values have been practically ignored. As we have witnessed, when male values are taken to the extreme, they can lead to domination, greed, exploitation, and corruption.
It is the role of women to balance men’s sometimes excessive impulses and to bring their feminine values to the forefront. Women’s values are not superior to men’s values, but both are necessary for equilibrium. If we women do not exercise their power and influence to balance men’s sometimes excessive traits, then we women are as responsible as the men for the current state of affairs that exist today on the planet.
A woman’s personal power lies in heart-centered values. These values are the same around the world. A concern for the well-being of their children and families, their worries about war, disease, education, justice and the destruction of the environment. They are values of peace, justice, compassion, and inclusion. Women share these values no matter what their profession or religious worldview may be.
Women in Government
Woman today comprise a critical mass of 25%-30% not only in governments but in organizations around the world. Women have the power now to insist that their feminine principles and values be considered as equal to masculine values.
For the first time in history, women are in global leadership positions to create a more humane and just world. In 2017 there are 193 countries with Parliaments. The top 13, in descending order, report from 61% to 40% women in Parliament, the next 100, in descending order, report from 39% to 19% women in Parliament.
In 2006 the top 100 countries with Parliaments reported from to 49% to 9% women in Parliament. In 2017 the top 100 countries with Parliaments report from 61% to 19%. Progress, indeed, has been made, and more is on the horizon.
The women in governments today constitute a “critical mass”, a term which implies that the size of the minority is crucial and that a fundamental change may happen long before women occupy 50% of the seats. The concept of “critical mass” is taken from nuclear physics where it refers to the quantity needed to start a chain reaction—an irreversible shift to a new situation. It is said that this qualitative shift takes place when women reach a proportion of about 30% in an organization although it can also happen with 20%.
Male and Female Roles and Responsibilities
Gender roles evolved from the division of labor required to create, protect, and sustain human life. Men’s physical strength enabled ancient civilizations to advance. Men hunted, felled trees for firewood, protected women and children, plowed the fields, and herded animals. Without their physical strength, our species would have become extinct.
The traditional role of women in human history (and in the developing world today) was to give birth, look after helpless infants and children, prepare food, participate in farming activities, and look after small domestic animals. Without women’s innate compassion and nurturing, our species would have become extinct. These independent roles were complementary and interdependent. A balance, or equilibrium, that sustained the development of the human race was created. Their separate and equal but different roles and responsibilities created a dynamic interdependent unit. Today, this equilibrium between the genders has almost entirely disappeared. Today, our primary values are based on masculine ideals or characteristics. These masculine values drive cultures, businesses, governments, churches, universities; every type of organization is based primarily on a masculine value system.
Both masculine and feminine traits and aspects have equal value and are necessary to achieve equilibrium—a dynamic interdependence of both male and female aspects.
Patriarchal systems, both religious and secular, have dominated almost all societies for thousands of years. As a result, the predominately male characteristics have become society’s prized aspects, and female characteristics and ideals are perceived to have little or no value. Male characteristics, such as assertiveness, competitiveness, ambition, and desire for material success, when taken to the extreme, can lead to domination, greed, exploitation, and corruption. These male values pervade the world’s cultures today. The feminine aspects, which sustained the development of the human race, have been demeaned and sidelined. If human history is our guide, patriarchal systems will continue to represent only masculine values. In today’s world, these values have been taken to the extreme: greed and corruption are seen as acceptable and the norm. It is the role of women to restrain men’s sometimes excessive impulses and to bring their feminine values to the forefront. If women do not exercise their power and influence to balance men’s excessive traits, then women are as responsible as men for the current state of affairs that exist today on our planet.
Many women have adopted the patriarchal male value system rather than their heart-centered values and principles. Women have often abdicated their feminine role and values to be accepted in the male patriarchal system. ManyMost women in leadership positions today are not authentic women. They have become “men in skirts.” A woman’s true power rests in her feminine values and her willingness to manifest and express those values and insist they be treated as equal to men’s values.
The Feminine Principle
The feminine principle is a concept that recognizes that “God” or “Source” ultimately is neither male nor female and is an essence beyond form or duality—an essence that is a balance and unification of masculine and feminine principles, a dynamic, complementary interdependence that pervades all life.
Unfortunately, viewing “God” only in the form of masculine metaphor and symbol has severely limited human potential and elevated masculine values over feminine values, causing imbalance in almost every aspect of human life. For thousands of years, the dominant religious belief systems have been patriarchal, sanctioning societal ethics that elevated “God” the Father above “God” the Mother and man over woman.
Societies have thus far ignored the need for equilibrium and balance in our male/female natures. It is time to balance the masculine and feminine principles in both men and women and to respect, equally, both aspects of our nature. It is imperative to acknowledge that this equilibrium is central to the well-being of the planet and humanity.
Women may be surprised to see how much their values concerning social justice and universal rights are appreciated and respected by their male counterparts. It is the responsibility of men not only to encourage this dialog but also to respect and protect the women who see it as their duty and responsibility to widen the debate. Women need to embrace their feminine values and ideals with more certainty and assertiveness. Women need to reclaim their responsibilities as standard bearers for justice and compassion with pride and commitment.
In recent times, women have developed and refined their masculine aspects at the expense of their feminine aspects, in order to be seen as “equal” to men. Now that we have successfully proven our abilities, it is time for us to acknowledge, respect, and honor our feminine attributes, ideals, and values and to bring them into the world with wisdom and passion.
Women are responsible for changing the vast inequities in place on the planet today. Only women’s ideals and values will influence the changes needed to address the hunger, poverty, and injustice that have existed under the patriarchal systems of the past and that continue today. Men and women need to regard women’s ideals and values as equal to men’s and not elevate one gender over the other. Together, men and women need to recognize the male and female aspects of each personality and encourage both men and women to cultivate the balance of their own masculine and feminine aspects.
Women everywhere owe a debt to the feminists who fought long and hard to gain women the legal rights that had been previously ignored. One of the unfortunate consequences of the feminist movement was to turn men into the “enemy.” A gender battle, which continues today, has put men and women on the defensive and clouds almost all interactions between men and women. This gender battle has corroded the relationships between men and women; it denies women the ability to recognize their unique feminine identity and personal power and denies men the respect and honor they deserve.
This battle of the genders inhibits men and women to work harmoniously together in families, workplaces, and in the world at large. Women must cease seeing men as the enemy and themselves as victims if they wish to have mutually empowered relationships with men. The dynamic in place today simply does not work. We should be striving to imagine our relationships as a seamless dance between masculine and feminine qualities—a gracefulness that honors, respects, and celebrates our differences. Once that masculine/feminine balance and interdependence exists, there will be an opportunity to resolve our planets most urgent problems.