The Vulnerability Trap
Articles like this one by NIRMALA NATARAJ in the Together Magazine are helpful for exploring sexual fulfillment in relationships.
Although I agree that vulnerability may be an important factor in the bedroom, I think there is more at play in her telling of this story that requires re-examining. So many myths about gender dynamics are perpetuated inadvertently, stunting the potential for their positive development.
Rewind a year – and you know what – I probably would be nodding my head in agreement, totally enraptured by her sentiments. Thankfully, today I feel differently. I’ve had a PARADIGM SHIFT! This is what’s brought me to Season 2 of my TV show #Lovelife2; I’ve had a change of heart.
What the writer shared was a classic reflection of the feel – good – fluffy- female- fantasy that I used to be prone to when rationalizing my own poor judgement from a more fem-centric lens.
I had a guttural response to a few of her erroneous insights that I must criticize. As a woman more informed on objective gender dynamics, I can’t let us continue to denigrate the manner in which we promote ourselves to win men’s affection.
My issue wasn’t with her vulnerability or in her meltdown, but how she made sense of the outcome of it. The author rationalizes her meltdown here: “In fact, allowing the chinks in my armor to be more conspicuous let my boyfriend see a depth and a delicacy that made me far from weak in his eyes—it made me ferocious and real.”
She claimed the reason it was a catalyst for leveling up her relationship had to do with him seeing her as ferocious – this is NOT what he saw. He saw a drunk mess of chaos versus the controlled and arrogant demeanor she typically presented. She let him be THE MAN. Men want to RESCUE women, they want to be NEEDED. He probably saw her like that and felt, FINALLY she can let ME be the MAN in this thing!
Now he probably is not an extremely masculine man, probably more of a softy who admires feminists. Nevertheless that innate biological instinct must have kicked in as he assessed that on top of whatever feelings he had for her, seeing her as a weaker woman STROKED HIS EGO. Men need a woman who will do just that, and let them LEAD her.
Then she makes a blanket statement that continues to subtlely distort and further dismiss the male experience when she qualifies her argument by stating, “this is particularly true for women, who have a tendency to place other people’s needs before our own…”
Women are NOT the ones who think of other people first. It is actually MEN who are the true SELFLESS gender. Women actually always find a way to skew things to how they are impacted or perceive things. The exclusion of which is only with their actual children. Men on the other hand are also the true ROMANTICS.
They spend their whole lives striving to build themselves up well enough that they can EARN the respect of a woman and to PROVIDE for her and their children and his immediate family. The only element that men are weak and selfish about is SEX. It is women who don’t accept it and shame them for it. Women can’t seem to let this flaw go. Why can’t we look at men and see all the good that they do and value that without rejecting them completely? Mature men who have self actualized won’t NEED to act out sexually and CAN commit to a monogamous relationship. We just have to accept that they get there in their own time – if they so choose.
Men accept us for our imperfect feminine nature, that’s actually what they love about us. What they reject is our masculine attempts at dominating them. It would behoove us ladies to stop trying to equalize our roles by becoming more dominant in relationship with men and spend time embracing our inherent femininity, integrating it positively into our consciousness. We can be strong, assertive, successful without losing our feminine magic. What we risk is the optimal pair bond between the masculine and the feminine. Then I reflect on the state of where we are in the dating culture and I’m not surprised…
We have lost ourselves. We have tipped the scales too far in the other direction to try and correct the wrongdoings of some who abused their power. We all need to balance our masculine and feminine energies internally so that we allow the natural biological states to harmonize both within ourselves and with each other.
This is a universal and holistic phenomenon, characteristics that are independent of sexual and gender variance – but that discussion remains bookmarked for another time.
On “Positive Gender Dynamics”
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