The War Between the Sexes

“Men are dumb, and women are mean.” – Victor Baranco

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood

In this chapter and the next one, we will start to distinguish the issues that stop men and women from getting along. There are two issues, fundamentally: unhealed hurt, and ignorance. Unhealed hurt is another name for internalized oppression.

I am talking mostly to men in this book because men, with their natural leadership qualities, single focus, courage and vision, honesty and depth, loyalty, intelligence and heartfulness, have the capacity to lead us all into love. However, this chapter ends with a direct appeal to women – the first, and last appeal to women I will make. I will then return to speaking to men.

Men are genetically programmed to support women, take care of them and attempt to make them happy

Men are genetically programmed to support women, take care of them and attempt to make them happy. Now, I am not an anthropologist or evolutionary biologist, so I will pass on the scientific justification for this idea. Just consider this: throughout most of human history, 600,000 years or so, women have carried the power to perpetuate our genes – or not. Is it any wonder that we want to please them?

In the wonderful book Sex at Dawn, the authors present some evidence that within the earliest, hunter-gatherer nomadic societies, women retained the power to choose their mates. However…

The adoption of agriculture changed everything

According to Sex at Dawn, the adoption of agriculture changed all that, through the need for standing armies and higher levels of social organization. Standing armies became necessary to defend territory and the stored harvest of food. Prior to this, there was no need to defend territory. If a tribe encountered resistance or hostility, it moved on. Food was plentiful and population scarce, why fight? Higher levels of social organization came about from the need to recruit that army, as well as questions of property ownership, taxes, tithes, etc.

We can easily imagine what happened next.

When societies organized into hierarchies, one of the first things that men did was to restrict, or entirely eliminate, women’s power to choose their mates and to grant (or revoke) sexual favors. Why did men do this? Well, first of all because they could, at long last, control women’s sexuality; and secondly because they were, well, dumb-ass guys in the area of sexuality, then as now. Women’s sexual freedom was inconvenient for men at best, and infuriating at worst – then as now.

The problem of course, is that you cannot legislate intimate relationships, and having sex with an unhappy or angry woman is really not fun. Even the most brutish guy knows this. It’s doubly so when she is cooking for you and raising your children. It doesn’t matter what kind of social customs, peer pressure, economic dependence, or legislation you enact: women have the power to make men’s lives a heaven or a hell, and they always have. Men live for the company of happy, turned-on women who they care for and respond to, and who return the favor tenfold through their happiness, appreciation of us and the “magnification of love” [David Deida], which is women’s genetically programmed function. This is the Deep Feminine, which men live and die for. But when our women are not happy, we men pay. We pay through the Dark Feminine and a thousand other ways (see Chapter 23). There is just no winning that game.

David Deida (1958 – )David Deida is a popular American author, Tantra master and sexual educator. He is the author of more than 10 books translated into 25 languages, including his most famous The Way of the Superior Man. Deida has inspired thousands of men and women to greater honesty, authenticity and integrity with their partners, and is a profound influence on me. Read his semi-autobiography Wild Nights for an entertaining account of the education of a Tantra master, and see the Bibliography for a critical review of his work, and also the chapter on Masculine Purpose.

Attempting to control women and women’s sexuality is a losing game, because women’s sexuality is the source of life and, indirectly, of all manifestation. It must be obeyed, not controlled. Even women can’t control it. Any attempts to control it will create havoc, which is exactly what has been happening. Trying to control women’s sexuality has to be the craziest thought that ever entered into any man’s brain.

Consequently, men lost the war between the sexes. Well, obviously, everybody lost. But being dumb-ass guys, not knowing any better and quite preoccupied with survival and reproduction and the creation of civilization, they did nothing until the 20th century, when women finally took back their reproductive rights in much of the world.

However, this did not make the women happy because it is only part of what women want. Women want their men to be happy, successful, self-expressed and powerful, as much as the reverse. The problem is that hardly anybody knows how to relate powerfully to the opposite sex. Our parents did not teach us, because they did not know.

Women take responsibility for their own happiness and fulfillment, and the happiness and fulfillment of their men, by enrolling their men into partnership with them. It is a powerful feminine gift to enroll people and find agreement, but few women are ready or able to do this work. Other women are simply not yet willing or able to let go and forgive the last 10,000 years of oppression, invalidation, murder, and rape – which continues to this day.

Now this is not so easy for women, otherwise, they would have already done it, surely. However, the job needs doing. And it’s the men who need to take charge here. Women cannot do it alone.

And yet, for the first and last time in this book, a direct appeal to women:

Women: “Lay down your sword” [Alison Armstrong]. It’s lonely from in here. We miss you… a lot. We are very sorry for what we did to you in the past, and what some men do to you even now, but how much longer are you going to punish us? How much longer are you going to withhold your love? What is your plan? Do you have a plan? It’s not just your happiness that is at stake now, and ours, it is the survival of the species.

And also: only about half of the women of the world (at most) have real sexual freedom, to this day. Despite great improvements in women’s freedom in the last century, the gain is only relative.

And so: Women: what about your sisters who have not yet achieved their sexual freedom – do you care for them? And if you do, are you willing to “let us see now what love can do?” [William Penn]. It took you 150 years to gain sexual freedom in the Western world. Would it not be nice now to free your remaining sisters, but faster and more pleasurably than the first time… and to a far more satisfying result, which is that men would be by your side again, strong and powerful and loving, such as you like them to be?
Enough said. The rest of this book is for men who desire to “see now what love can do.”