We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead of two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we just are, we can all be freer…It’s about freedom. – Emma Watson, speech at the U.N. introducing the HeForShe campaign
I loved Emma Watson’s speech to the U.N. on gender equality (you can watch the entire thing here
or read the transcript here
.) Of course she was mostly focused on gender equality within a social and cultural context, but I wanted to springboard off of what she said in relation to energetics and spirituality – because that’s what this blog is about!
Over the years I have sometimes received emails, or had comments posted here, from individuals disgruntled that I focus on women’s spirituality and women’s energetics. The general jist of these is that it’s divisive to discuss women’s spirituality or energy healing as separate from men’s. Healing, spirit, and awakening are about wholeness beyond gender, and by focusing on gender I am reinforcing energies that separate people from each other and enlightenment, rather than dissolving them.
I couldn’t agree more that healing, spirit, and awakening are about wholeness. And for me, healing the feminine within women is about enabling the healing of the feminine in everyone, and the planet itself. It’s also about healing the masculine within us too! It is ultimately about enabling each of us to tap into the full spectrum of energies available to us as human beings, regardless of whether these energies have come to be labelled ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, ‘yang’ or ‘yin.’ Cultural conditioning – and the energetic structures that perpetuate it – have cut both men and women off from owning their whole selves. Dissolving that conditioning and those structures is liberating. As Emma put it, it’s about freedom.
The current energetic imbalance – as it comes through individuals, cultures, and the world – is at the heart of so much of the suffering we see around us. And I don’t believe this imbalance is hardwired into our bodies, or our energy bodies. Yes, men have more testosterone and women have more estrogen, and each of those hormones (and all the other related physical attributes) are linked to different emotional expressions, as well as many other qualities. But we are not simply our bodies, our bodies are our vehicle – our vehicle for human life. Who or what is driving the vehicle? Call it spirit, call it god or goddess, call it awareness, call it the universe – call it whatever you like, but it is all-encompassing. It is not limited by gender – we have done the limiting.
That may sound funny coming from someone who focuses on the energy body differences between men and women. But acknowledging difference doesn’t have to mean we are defined by that difference. ‘Equal’ does not have to mean ‘the same.’ We can say men and women have equal rights to feeling sensitive or strong, assertive or receptive, protective or nurturing without saying that they are exactly the same in the way they experience and manifest these. ‘Masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are just ways of talking about these energies – maybe some day they will have no ties to gender at all, and we will all be full expressions of whatever we want.
For me, studying the differences between women’s and men’s energy bodies is akin to studying gynecology vs. urology – it is just technical. There are different ways we need to care for ourselves, and different phases and patterns we should be aware of, and ideally, relish. It’s not about division, and it’s not about hierarchy. To the extent that we experience our spiritual journey through our bodies and energy bodies, we can talk in terms of women’s spirituality and men’s spirituality. But that has nothing to do with limiting potential.
And to the extent that we are all one continuous energy spectrum, sharing in one collective human awareness, every woman (or man) who pulls forth more ‘feminine’ energy within herself/himself is contributing to a rebalancing that is long overdue. We have all been channeling the imbalance between masculine/yang, feminine/yin energies for far too long. It isn’t simply about men being in power, and I’m not one that believes that if women were in power there would ‘be no war.’ Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much evidence that that is true. It’s not simply the gender of those in power that needs to change, it is the mindset, and the energetic structures fueling that mindset.
This is the work we are all engaged in together right now. Here I focus on women, but it’s as much about men as women. Most of all it’s about heart – about opening and expanding. And yes, it’s about freedom!
Namaste. I always love to hear your thoughts~