When I was 15, I had an epiphany I just knew was true and was stoked to tell my parents. I burst into the kitchen where my dad was at the table drinking coffee, my mamma standing by the fridge. I gush: Women are life! and men are death! Pause, beat. Mamma turns with a half smile to her blender and my dad crankily says, “What crap.”
So, it’s not without a bit of trepidation that I repeat this here.
Women—in general—bring life to things: spin food-stuffs into food, knit, sew, plant flowers and vegetables, arouse lilos (penises), create new humans, nurture said humans, domesticate animals…
Men—in general—like demolition. They do create things but many of those things—in general—destroy, either directly or inadvertently: my brothers fashioned blocks, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs so they could knock them down; often men raze something to build something else and—most of all—they adore and build tools. Unfortunately, they frequently call weapons “tools” and engage in the patriarchal win/lose, right/wrong paradigm most deadly displayed as war.
Before you get your speedos in a bunch boys I’m not suggesting that all destruction is bad or this is all you do. Without disintegration, we’d have a messy, cluttered world [see: you’re garbage!]. For instance: a mushroom’s job is to decompose—i.e. destroy—and I love them! So please, I don’t want a barrel of men complaining how they don’t destroy and how they create, cook and parent.
Yeah, I know! I live with a man, half of my friends are men and I have a feminist-thinking son. I’m talking innate generalities. I think humans are—as Blake said—half angels, half human. We can exercise choice. I’m all about telling my clients—both male and female—they have the power to overcome their “biology.”
But, realistically, when we say that “someone” bashed in trashcans, batted mailboxes off their posts, raped a person downtown, stole a car and lead the cops on a high speed chase, shot another outside a bar, trampled flowers, destroyed Wall Street, burned a cat, graffitied a garage, roofied someone’s drink, oil-spilled the Gulf, broke into a house, battered a child, opened fire with assault rifles in a mall or committed the bulk of violent—and otherwise—crimes, well, “they” would be mostly men.
If we don’t accurately identify the problem, we can’t fix it. If we don’t acknowledge our own inborn drives and archetypes: the hero, the trickster, the shadow, we’ll act them out.
Let’s not make this about “sides.” Be you female or male, it’s time to call a dog a dog, accurately address the issue, without blame, so we can all apply compassion and intelligent choice. Change only happens in truth.
*original art “I War the Mask” by Dario Ré