Moving Beyond the Binary: My Experience with Masculine/Feminine Energy
August 25, 2016
This post is not to rail against people who prefer to label their personal energy using the feminine/masculine dichotomy. The intention of this post is to provide an alternative look on energy and present my reasoning for why I don’t subscribe to the binary. TW: mention of menstruation.
Energy is a part of everything. We, humans, have energy systems. So do plants, animals, cosmic bodies, the universe, spirits, etc. How we each feel and interact with those energies differ.
As a cis-woman living in the culture of the United States, I was told (explicitly and implicitly) that I am worth less than a man. The Feminine/Masculine energy binary told me that we were equal. And I felt empowered. I was finally being told what I knew to be true. There wasn’t that aching feeling.
However, the dichotomy came with other requirements. I was told to be like the goddess, but only a specific kind of goddess, the Maiden/Mother/Crone variety. I was then told that I had to take pride and find joy in childbirth and in becoming a mother. That “biological clock” stopped ticking a long time ago. I am nurturing, but the moment you put a baby in front of me, I have no idea what to do with them. I was also told that because I have a uterus and because I menstruate, that I should draw my strength and pride from this. Where as, in reality, being in pain really just turns me into a mess. (Of course there were other things too.)
I didn’t fit these requirements, but I still identify as feminine and thus my energy had to be feminine right?
Where did this leave me? Changing my views. Because why stick to beliefs that hurt you?
With some reflection, I saw that what I was taught had nothing to do with energy, but everything to do with gender roles. I left the binary behind. Below are some of the conclusions I came to after doing some soul searching, debating within my mind, and confirming with other individuals.
Energy doesn’t fit nicely into one of two boxes for me. An energy can feel different to two people. An energy may not be fixed – it can change and fluctuate. By placing an energy in one of two boxes, it loses much of its depth and subtleties. It can be passionate, fiery even, and still soft. It can be commanding and nurturing.
Energy does not conform always to our ideas of gender. These ideas are based on specific sets of traits and roles which can very from culture to culture and even person to person. There is no universal definition of feminine or masculine to apply to energy. When I have felt energy, it does not come with a feminine or masculine identity. My intuition instead has told me, “Hey, that person is a woman.” Or “That spirit is a man.”That isn’t based on their energy though. It is based on how they identify themselves.
The use of binary gendered descriptors alienate groups of people – those outside of the gender binary and those who identify with a binary label but not the prescribed characteristics. And saying that each individual has a mix of both masculine and feminine energy can be really dysphoric for some people. Two ways to be inclusive include: drop the gender roles that have been associated with the feminine/masculine energy binary, and widen the energy vocabulary to include words such as agender.
To really boil everything I have found to be true for myself: Energy isn’t limited to feminine or masculine. It is so much more.
If the binary doesn’t work for you, for whatever reason, get rid of it! (De-gendering energy.) Or find ways to tweak it so that it works for you! (Opening up the binary.)
Leave a comment below sharing your experiences with the feminine/masculine energy binary! Do you love it? Do you do describe energy differently?