#Breaking the bias – Which Man Would You Prefer to Live With?

April 10, 2022
Barbara Cook

Part 1

3 action figurines. Male energy. Barbara Cook blog. Breaking the bias.
Photo by form PxHere

Woo hoo! I had my first guest speaker gig a couple of weeks ago. It was for an International Women’s Day event. “#Breaking the bias” was the theme for 2022.

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been biased in the past.

And yes, I’m still working on breaking that same bias. Here’s the personal story I shared today:

The scenario from a few years back

It’s a super busy job I have, teaching Dance choreography to secondary school students. The early mornings, being ‘on’ all day juggling the intricacies of meaningful interactions with up to 30 students, the physicality of back-to-back classes without a pause, rushed lunch breaks as I supervise extra-curricular rehearsals, paperwork galore as we keep abreast of pedagogy changes, phone calls to parents, planning, corrections and the myriad other details that any teachers reading this will be aware of.

Not to worry, I have a male partner who’s onto it all!
He’s the one who handles all this for me, exhibiting the best and most glorious qualities of the masculine energy. He’s the ultimate ACTION MAN! He’s super-organised, loves a good list and ticking boxes, he’s forthright and direct, loves to get out there and get things done, capable, courageous and assertive in conversation. He can fix any problem and is energised by a challenge.

Oh, wait, maybe you thought I was talking about an ACTUAL external male partner? Oh no, I’m talking about my inner male partner; what Jung called my animus.

According to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the animus represents the masculine aspect in women while the anima represents the feminine aspect in men. Source

I have a slightly different view of it, preferring to see the masculine energy as one half of the Chinese Yin/Yang symbol, available to us all, whether in a female or male body and whatever sexual orientation we adopt. The masculine energy can be a glorious thing! He’s potent! I’m very happy living with this empowered male ‘partner’ within.

Without meaning to sound like a crazy lady, I like to think of my internal male and internal female as characters in a stage play. 
The play is about an INNER marriage. As such, my title “Which Man Would You Prefer to Live With?” is relevant to my readers of all genders.
The two marriage partners have particular qualities and characteristics. Sometimes I even give them names. 
If you’re still with me, here’s how the play unfolds.

The plot thickens — the female speaks up

Soon there’s comment from the glorious feminine energy within. She’s the partner who is intuitive, reflective, in touch with the body’s wisdom, solid and confident in her gentleness; the Yin part. 
She’s putting her hand up, saying, “I have some feedback to offer about the relentless busy-ness of this teaching life scenario we’re experiencing. You might not have realised, but this amount of ‘doing-ness’ is overloading this system. This is too much for the organism to handle and stay well. Before symptoms arise, we need to make some changes regarding rest and recharging.”

What does ‘he’ do with that?

Do you remember my confession about being biased? Well, I’m sorry to say, but here’s where my bias was exposed. As I’m always overseeing this internal partnership, and they’re both a part of me, it seems that I allowed the equally-valid feminine wisdom to be relegated to the position of second-class citizen. Here’s a picture I sketched to show my audience today. My Yin Yang sign was seriously out of balance!

Yin Yang sign out of balance. Barbara Cook blog.
dodgy sketch by author

Instead of listening and collaborating in equal partnership with ‘her’, my internal bias allowed my glorious inner male to be overtaken by a lower version of himself! (maybe he, too, was panicky and overwhelmed).
He put his fingers in his ears, and simply didn’t listen!
He dismissed any feedback he did manage to hear, saying, “Yes, yes, we’ll rest later! That can wait until the school holidays. That’s not a priority!”
He became quite tough, forceful, harsh and, dare I say it, even a little bullying. “Come on, keep going! Don’t be so weak! Keep pushing through this! Don’t stop until you’ve finished the whole list.”
In fact, he’d even do this weird thing of piling more and more extra stuff onto the list just when I was feeling the most overwhelmed! What the heck’s that all about?

Before you read Part 2 next week, perhaps you can guess what happens next? Did I end up breaking the bias?

I’ll also be exploring a fanciful vision of a future world in which the two energies in both women, men and all genders are truly aligned and equally valued.

(By the way, I can activate and burn my bra as much as I like in the external world to bring about gender equality, but if a bias against the feminine energy is happening inside, then there’s work to be done.) Breaking the bias; How exciting!


Sending love to your inner male and inner female,

Barb x

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