The 2016 election is unusual in a lot of ways, many of them negative.  But one of the positive legacies of this race will be an increased examination and understanding of unconscious and ingrained gender bias, and whether we, as a culture, are ready to allow all people, male and female or otherwise, to step up to the plate and develop their full potential without ridicule and abuse.  malefemale

 

In this blog I am departing somewhat from my usual format by providing links to other writers who have important thoughts to share.  In the last few days I’ve read two articles that have caused me to think deeply about the balancing of male and female energies and the role the election of 2016 is playing in that process. Both are long, but very thought provoking and well worth the read.

 

The first examines toxic masculinity and its implicit emotional and energetic abuse, not just for women, but for everyone in its path.  The current male nominee is a perfect character to bring this behavior to consciousness since he exaggerates and amplifies these traits to such a degree that we have to pay attention.  If Donald Trump does nothing but make us more aware and less tolerant of these abusive practices, he will have served us well.

 

“One of the best ways to deal with emotional abuse is to shed light on the toxic tactics.

      Even when the abuse is leveled vaguely at entire groups from a public podium – as

      opposed to you personally in the privacy of your home – the first crucial step [is]to

      identify what is happening, and to name the tactics for what they are.”

 

http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/09/trump-emotional-abuse-tactics/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare

 

The second article looks at how our first female presidential nominee is defying gender stereotypes, but is also making many people, both men and women, very uncomfortable.  This article helps us understand why so many people detest Hillary and readily believe negative characterizations and rumors even when facts don’t support them.  Change is chaotic and challenges our stereotypes and unconscious belief systems.  Hillary is both a symbol of, and a catalyst for this balancing process.

 

      “We women, even the most educated and progressive, still spend much energy

        trying to please. We almost can’t help it. We’re groomed for it from the get-go —  

        learning to lower our voices, to put others first, to make ourselves tiny, to try for

        the prettiest face — until it feels as natural as breath. There’s nothing wrong with

        cultivating attraction, or sacrifice, or kindness. The real problem is how uncomfortable

        we become when someone breaks out of the mold and comes at the world with an

        unbroken gaze. No matter how much we embrace the concept of powerful women, 

        in real life we aren’t always comfortable with them. They rattle subtle but ingrained

         expectations and threaten to undo something so embedded in the fabric of our

          culture[that] we can hardly name it. We tend not to like them, even if we aren’t

          exactly sure why.”

 

http://www.salon.com/2016/09/30/our-lady-of-the-pantsuit-in-praise-yes-praise-of-hillary-clintons-style/?source=newsletter

 

The Obama presidency was symbolic of the balancing of light and dark.  During his time in office we had the recession and with it, the revelations that banks are not the trusted institutions we thought they were.  We had Black Lives Matter and light shed on an unfair justice system where Black people who have always been treated unfairly are finally being seen and heard. We had Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning who uncovered the dark secret practices of our government. And these are only a few of the rocks that have been overturned.

 

The balancing and integration of light and dark is not complete, but now it is time to begin the balancing of male and female energies.  The process of integrating these dualities is not easy and will cause many more years of polarity and discord.  But if we can look past our emotional responses to the election (and to everything else), we can begin to see the balancing process slowly unfolding right before our eyes.  When we step back, our awareness expands to see the bigger picture.

 

And awareness is the engine of change.

 

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