Masculine and feminine are terms often equated with the biological equivalent of male and female, or social equivalent of man and woman. But in realty, the distinction between masculine and feminine goes far beyond biological, psychological and psychosexual constructs. It transcends cultural, religious and societal notions of male and female, man and woman.
The masculine and feminine, the yin and yang, the anima and animus by definition are consciousness or energies we each possess in equal amounts — men and woman alike. Each of these energies is like one side of a coin. Neither is more or less important than the other – they both are very necessary dimensions of our human being-ness.
Each of us, men and woman alike can (and often do) express these two energies; only the emphasis, degree, quantity and relation to each other are different. Masculine energy is primarily emphasized in how we operate our outer world and primarily expressed by action, force, movement and firmness. Feminine energy on the other hand, is primarily pronounced in how we operate our inner world and primarily expressed by fluidity, creativity, sensitivity, introspection, and nurturing.
The quantity of energy we express (at any one time) bestows on us a masculine or feminine persona/traits. The family, culture, religion and society we’re raised in greatly influences which energy we express more of, when and how.
Traditionally, boys who are naturally physically stronger and more physically adept are often encouraged to express more of the masculine energy serving to reinforce a sense of masculinity. We see this abundance of masculine energy out on the playground with little boys kicking things and pushing one another, challenging and expanding their outer world. Battles over who is stronger and more physically adept further serve to reinforce their sense of masculinity.
A man (or woman) whose sense of masculinity is not fully developed or is weak, is unable to take lead, to direct, to trust himself, to take risks and to move into the world around him with self-confidence. He has lots of fears and doubts; fears and doubts about himself and his ability to operate his outer world. But most importantly, he is afraid to put himself out there because he somehow thinks his lack of “masculinity” will be obvious to others. In some instances he’ll put on a “macho” persona to mask his fears and doubts.
Most families, cultures, religions and societies on the other hand encourage girls to express more of the feminine energy serving to reinforce a sense of femininity. We see this abundance of feminine energy in little girls found sitting around grooming each other, relating intimately and showing concern for each other’s feelings and well-being.
A woman (or man) whose sense of femininity is not fully developed or is weak, is selfish and self-seeking. Instead of creating a safe, supportive and nurturing space, she controls and interferes with the lives of others (especially the man in her life). She has a hard time allowing others (spouse, children and close social networks) choose their own obligations and own path or direction in life without being manipulated or hindered by her. She’s more concerned with her own well-being than the well-being of others.
Masculine energy though encouraged in women and more expressed by men must also exist in a woman for that woman to be well adjusted and balanced. Likewise, feminine energy though encouraged in women and more expressed by women must also exist in a man for that man to be well adjusted and balanced. An imbalanced and disharmony in our masculine and feminine energies can have enormous consequences on a variety of levels.
When our masculine and feminine energies are not complementing each other but are instead interfering with one another, we feel confusion and unrest, incompleteness and a disconnection within ourselves and with out outer world (including our relationships with others). But when the energies are well adjusted and harmoniously balanced we feel more connected, in harmony, at peace and whole within ourselves and with out outer world (including our relationships with others).
Masculine energy without the feminine energy to balance it off can cause a person to be cold, insensitive and emotionally closed off, reckless, wasteful, overly critical and aggressive (even physically violent). Most men and women who express too much of the masculine energy find themselves too outwardly-focused and out of synch with their own deepest feelings and the feelings of others because they lack that feminine energy that drives fluidity, creativity, sensitivity, introspection, supportiveness and nurturing.
Feminine energy without the masculine energy to balance it off can cause a person to be too timid, too passive, superficial, compliant, clingy and needy, unable to make decisions, overly dependent, vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Most men and women who express too much of the feminine energy find themselves too inwardly-focused and unable to move forward in their lives. They stop engaging and challenging their outer worlds and instead go too far into their inner worlds and sometimes find themselves stuck because they lack that masculine energy that drives action, force, movement and firmness.
Men and women must express both aspects of these energies if they want to live happy, productive and fulfilling lives all by ourselves or with a partner.
Once you begin to think about this and look at life with the acknowledge that both energies are operating within you, you will appreciate your own dual conciseness more. As a man, you can afford to express your feminine energy without feeling a threat to your masculinity because your masculinity is already strong and developed. And as a woman, you can afford to express your masculine energy without feeling a threat to your femininity because your femininity is already strong and developed.