For about five years I have thought seriously about myself and the world in terms of Masculine and Feminine energies existing in a state of dynamic tension. It started when Chelsea and I parted ways 5 years ago and I retreated into myself. Was I depressed? Perhaps a little. The onset of a long Canadian winter and the attendant darkness didn’t help much either. But in that withdrawal I became remarkably creative; writing comedy, performing regularly, acting in numerous film projects, and smoking a lot of marijuana throughout. I was embracing inner beauty which I’d never embraced before in such a wholesale way.
Something shifted in me after about 9 months though. I had been healing…softening… for too long and at a conscious level I was worried that I was beginning to self-censor because I didn’t wish to hurt or offend people. Also, spring was coming and I had a couple more film projects on the docket then I wanted out; it had been years since my last adventure and I could feel the call of the open road. What I later realized was that the shift I felt was my Masculine energy beginning to bubble.
While Feminine Andre lived comfortably in Kelly’s basement, did odd-jobs for the people in the neighbourhood and struggled to be normal around women, Masculine Andre boldly walked through Latin America like a conquistador and had no compunction about talking to any woman he saw. In most cases he got what and whom he wanted because he spoke up first and loudest.
Looking back on discrete stages in my life its easy to view Masculine and Feminine as adding up to 100% and being composed of varying proportions. In fairness, that is actually not a totally unsophisticated view of things and it has the benefit of being palatable to females who narrowly and incorrectly assume Feminine = Female and Masculine = Male. Since they (women) can typically recognize their own Masculine traits and behaviours, they usually accept the idea of a balance, especially if you emphasize the beauty and importance of Feminine traits.
But here’s what I learned: The nice 100% model of Masculinity and Femininity described above, where we try and maintain a balance of 50-50 in spite of fluctuations, is obsolete. It comes from a well-intentioned place, but it makes the same narrow assumptions about Femininity and Masculinity being equivalent to Female and Male respectively.
So what is the optimal relationship between Masculine and Feminine? As controversial as it sounds, Femininity needs to be bound by Masculinity. Think about it: If you’re a woman –especially if you’re a woman– you need to keep a wall up around you day to day.
Do you hate when men say, “Hey babe, why don’t you smile more?” Of course you do and its because they’re trying to coax out your Femininity, the most beautiful parts of you, for nothing.
Have you ever had to put up boundaries in your life with toxic people? We all have. Guess what? Those boundaries are built with bricks of Masculinity and they protect our most beautiful and vulnerable parts from being mistreated by vandals.
Interestingly there is a historical and etymological antecedent for this idea in the concept of paradise. The word evolved into its common iteration from the old Persian phrase for “walled garden.” Why is a walled garden a paradise? Well because its a little bit of unsullied beauty protected for your own personal enjoyment. In paradise you don’t have to worry about other people littering, or finding a secluded spot to lay your blanket. You have a discrete, finite area which is yours, which you can manicure and care-take. A place of verdant, fertile beauty, kept in bounds.
Going forward I am going to avoid the bi-polar trap of thinking in terms of Masculine-Feminine spiking -I don’t want that volatility anymore. I visualize myself now as a walled enclosure, and the wall has many gates and ports of entry. There is potential to let a lot of things in and a lot of things out –but only with my discernment. And let’s be honest about what this means: it means protecting your beauty from ill-intentioned interlopers, and protecting it with your life if necessary.
This is not gonna sound palatable to some but Man the Fuck Up! –Men and Women alike! Cultivate a strong Masculinity that isn’t hopelessly rigid but which will protects your beautiful Femininity nonetheless.