GUEST BLOG: The Importance of Valuing Women
Rethinking Feminine Origins
It's been said for eons the best parts of humanity reside in our abilities for kindness, compassion, and love. I have found in my life's journey that women embody those traits in a way that is best for humanities future. Meaning those most-valued key traits are at the forefront of women's lives as nurturers, mothers, partners, co-workers, leaders, friends, or health care professionals, to name a few. The proverbial glue that holds societies values and ethics together.
There is a persistent myth and stereotype that men only need other men as strong role models. That masculinity alone is the best thing for a man to be a man. In reality, toxic masculinity is at the core of the world's worst problems and has been throughout human history. It's time we men own up to that and start to rethink that the good side of masculinity is actually feminine in origin. Before you say what? Or, come on? Consider these facts.
First, let's dispel the false and disparaging myths of the word feminine. No, it does not mean dainty, delicate, sissy, girlish, or other homophobic analogies. Feminine means the stability of connection within all forms of life's relationships, and supporting someone in need as a moral consciousness. It's a source of ancient survival communication that was used as the foundation of both spirituality and teamwork. Peacemakers is another acronym for feminine. Any act that requires understanding, empathy, strength, fostering respect, and dignity of a person are all sourced in feminine nature.
Altruism is another example. This revelation reveals that the best traits of human nature- that being feminine- brings balance, cooperation, and harmony to communities. All mainstream religions are rooted in the core feminine traits of love, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption.
If you feel uncomfortable with using the word feminine in this fashion, it's because we have been programmed to define that word in negative and false negative ways. It has nothing to do with hating men, or that men are bad, or the false notion that feminine is weak. The truth lies in the fact that wherever the core traits of feminine are absent, what is left is a toxic, unbalanced environment. Both men and women have the capability to either utilize vital, positive feminine traits, or side-step them altogether, bringing conflict to the table. This brings us to the topic of valuing.
The Need To Value Women
I spent the last six years supporting both women and men with trauma/mental illness while volunteering and doing contract work for a mental health non-profit, and on my own time.
I can honestly say that the women I have met there, and came across in life, have strengthened my life. They opened a door to seeing life in a whole new, positive way. Without women, I would not have discovered the power of human-to-human compassion, love, self-acceptance, forgiveness, and being non-judgemental.
Although violence against men or violence between women does occur, accurate global statistics reveal that violence towards women by men is the dominant form. Of all crimes, violence against women remains the highest. When you factor in an entire human history of female exploitation, objectification, slavery, discrimination, child marriages, rape, and inequality at the hands of men, it becomes apparent that women need to be valued far more then ever before. Yes, this the most profound understatement of our time.
The most vital, core human feminine traits shared between women and men are what makes the world a better place. Women, more often than not, are the ones who teach and show men a better path to being via those vital feminine traits. Hence, the desire for kinder, gentler men.
Another factor to consider is genetics. I am no geneticist, but I know that during the development of the fetus, there are common genetics between male and female. Perhaps maybe enough to suggest that the capabilities for perceived feminine traits are in play for the survival of our species.
I am reminded of a nature documentary that depicted a pod of male baboons, all acting arrogantly in a toxic environment. One lone male is viciously bullied out of the pod. He leaves and travels a fair distance away, until discovering another pod comprised mostly of females, run by females. They are peaceful and nurturing. The ousted male then tries to join by acting arrogantly, but is rejected. He tries a second time with the same results. Finally, he gives in and adopts their ways, and is allowed to join.
This is not to say that an all-female environment can't be toxic, but it is further evidence that the best core human traits are feminine, and that women embody that vital key. They are the hope of humanity.
Both women, and this new definition of feminine, deserve far more credit for shaping humanity. As men, we can all play a crucial role in honoring, valuing, cherishing, understanding, respecting, validating, empowering, and loving women. For when we don't, we literally deny the best parts of of ourselves.
Shawn is a volunteer and contract worker for a mental health non-profit. He's a strong advocate for mental health, and for valuing women. You can connect with him on Instagram.