There is a concept in Chinese culture that has no real equivalent that I know of in the West, but it is a concept well worth pondering — yin and yang.
Yin and yang is difficult to really define because it can mean many things but in short it is like two parts making a whole, the up and the down, the left and the right, the night and day, the power of opposites attracting. Neither is better or worse, good or bad, right or wrong. They are separate but equal. And not only that, they need each other to be complete, balanced, whole.
In Western culture there is a more dualistic thought process, more like either/or. Something is either good or bad, either right or wrong, either up or down, either yes or no. There is no yin AND yang, it’s yin OR yang.
Dualistic thinking has its place, no doubt. However, as anything it also has its limitations. I believe a lot of the nonsense we have going on surrounding gender these days is related to the inability in our culture to see the strength, even necessity, of the yin and the yang.
Feminism, for example, seeks to bring gender to the middle, to encourage women to act more masculine and to encourage men to act more feminine. The obliteration of gender seems to be the ideal, the definition of equal. But is it?
Feminism also teaches that gender is a social construct, or in other words we are not born male or female, we are taught to be male or female. This implies that male and female are learned roles, not naturally inborn ones.
Well anyone who played peek a boo in preschool quickly learned that there are indeed differences between males and females. Feminists might say these differences are only physical. But are they?
An even deeper question is: are these differences bad? Good? Do they have to be either bad or good? Could they be both? Is minimizing or eliminating them the answer? Or is celebrating them?
Personally, I think it is a mistake to try and bring gender to the middle, to seek equality in the elimination of the yin yang element to gender. Androgyny? Blech.
I think women NEED men. I think men NEED women. I think men and women are attracted to each other because they are two parts of one whole.
Of course in today’s highly charged social, legal, and political climate, embracing the yin and yang concept of gender can be quite dangerous, costly, and damaging. The stakes are incredibly high. And they are currently tilted in (surprise!) the female interest. That’s why so many men are opting out, going their own way (mtgow.) And why so many women are wondering, where have all the good men gone? The good men understand full well the current sexual marketplace (smp) and marriage marketplace (mmp) and are just not willing to take the risk or have been burned badly already and are not willing to take the risk again. If I were a man, I can’t say I would not feel the same.
I vote we bring back women being women and men being men. The yin and yang version. Two halves of one whole, neither inferior or superior, different, but both equally necessary, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that just so happen to perfectly complement the strengths and weaknesses of the other. Imagine that!?! Viva la differance!
Let those who have ears hear.