No Yin and no Yang

I so enjoyed this wee chat, just like it could have been in the living room, over a pot of tea and some afternoon cakes an’ the like:


How do you feel about Jung’s anima and animus, or variants of it?

The idea that each gender has an opposing feminine or masculine side.


I feel that they are personifications, to a degree, of complementary modes of being inherent to each of us – one projective, one receptive. But they are also the same thing.


It seems an echo of the more Eastern yin and yang, though in terms more in keeping with the current paradigm, I would suggest that the concept shows that we are all humans and all share certain traits, some of which we label masculine and encourage in male, others of which we label feminine and encourage in females.


Personally, I know it’s true. I also believe that people who embrace it are happier people. When masculinity is taught, either religiously or by doctrine that any feminine trait is homosexual, then homophobes are created who work so hard to deny their feminine side. They may even hate themselves, thinking they are gay.


Frankly I think the concept is naive, simplistic and once more dependent on subjective judgment and definition. We all are what we are and should measure ourselves for general human qualities and not perceived aspects of male and female character. There is no benefit to be obtained whatsoever.


I disagree, Chris. Yes, we are what we are but we are also sexual beings. So trying to deny our sexuality is inconsistent. When we embrace ALL human qualities we exhibit, we (at least I believe) are better adjusted people.


Sexuality? Yeah, we all got dat but how relevant is it to how we act? Is being cooperative male or female, is assisting others male or female, is exploring and researching male or female, is being an orator male or female, is cooking a meal male or female, is being aggressive male or female?

To teach either sex to only do certain pursuits and have certain character traits is what we’ve just spent years attempting to get rid of, isn’t it?


You are agreeing with my point. When I was young, we were taught stereotypes. Women were nurses, secretaries or housewives. Men were the bread winners. We were also taught, by nurture as well as society, that men had to be men and women had to be women. That is what I meant by indoctrination. We are a much open and accepting society today. I cook and enjoy it. I clean but don’t enjoy it. I do it because it needs to be done and my wife doesn’t like to do it. My point, expressed another way, is that if we set aside stereotypes, we can be much happier people individually and as a culture. It’s people who “want to take our country back” to the fifties that hurt our society and put a drag on it.


PS: We’re not talking about economics now. We are discussing societal norms.


There are two types of people, those who split people into two types, and those who don’t … personally I like typologies and classifications and using masculine/feminine as trait descriptors can be useful (as is yin/yang). But the idea that every man is masculine and has a subconscious feminine archetype and every woman is feminine and has a subconscious masculine archetype, presupposes and reinforces gender sterotypes


“I disagree, Chris.”

“You are agreeing with my point.”

and yet, by and large, your conclusions are pretty much what I first posted, Dave. But, look, here’s me being all male and oppositional……!


Chris, I guess we’ll just have to agree to agree!

About greencentre

Non grant supported hence independent scientist, green activist, writer and forest planter.
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