I want to be clear, right from the start, this blog is NOT about men and it is not against men. This blog is about a characteristic and behavior pattern of Western culture that I have come to call “the unholy masculine.” Both women and men are guilty of embodying characteristics and engaging in behaviors consistent with the “unholy masculine,” and THIS is the cause of all that is wrong with Western culture and IT is killing us.
The unholy masculine can be defined as:
Behaviors and characteristics of power and control, ultimately motivated by fear.
The unholy masculine are all the ways in which we attempt to have power over ourselves and/or others through acts of coercion, bullying, manipulating through fear and insecurity (think advertising and the media), trying to “make things happen,” forcing outcomes, agendas, our own will, etc.
The unholy masculine ultimately arises in response to our wholesale rejection of all that we perceive in ourselves as weakness, vulnerability, imperfection, helplessness, powerlessness, etc. Often this rejection of self isn’t even known, but is instead projected onto others, resulting in behavior patterns where we reject “them” (think “the poor,” “the jobless and unemployed,” “homeless,” “disabled,” “sick,” etc.) because of their “weakness” or “powerlessness”. The irony is that when we are rejecting others for their “weakness” what we are really rejecting is the weak and vulnerable parts of ourselves, which we then mask with behaviors of power and control.
Let me tell you a little story to help illustrate the subtle and insidious nature of the unholy masculine, as I have experienced it within myself.
As a Type One on the Enneagram, the Perfectionist/Reformer, imperfection is not allowed – specifically, imperfection as I define it. Imperfection in my mind has been anything that has to do with my definition of weakness and includes such things as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, helplessness, neediness, illness. Sadness, loneliness, and anger have also been included in the soup of what I had/have rejected in myself, and what I therefore rejected in others because I could not accept them in myself. In contrast to the weakness that was not allowed, what was allowed was my definition of perfect….which meant independent (self-sufficient), courageous, smart, strong, and accomplished – specifically accomplished.
If I was accomplishing tasks, achieving my goals, I was perfect and strong. Especially if I was accomplishing these goals in spite of my fears, my insecurities, my sadness, loneliness….and later…anxiety, depression, panic attacks and SHEER EXHAUSTION. For most of my life, I rejected these parts of myself so much that I didn’t even know they existed. (My Chi Qong master once observed, “Lauri, I sometimes think the only way you are making it from day to day is simply by force of your own will.” Yep…she had me pegged!)
Accomplishing arose out of Doing, therefore “doing” was “good” and “not doing” was bad. Enjoyment, for the simple sake of enjoyment was also not allowed – because enjoyment did not equal “doing.” Besides, enjoyment is only allowed after the doing is done, and the “doing” is never done – there is always something else I could/should be doing to accomplish my goals and complete my tasks.
THIS is the UNHOLY MASCULINE – suppressing the parts of myself I had rejected by means of power and control, forcing myself to DO and ACCOMPLISH because this is what I perceived to be of value and what I believed it meant to be perfect.
As it turns out, all of this “DOING” for the sake of “ACCOMPLISHING” was mostly done in opposition to what my Soul actually needed and wanted. On occasion, my Soul would let me know this by casting me into a pit of profound “weakness.” In high school it was two bouts with mono, in college it was chronic migraines, in midlife, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Most recently, it started with a MASSIVE virus that turned into an ear infection leading to vertigo, which then led to anxiety and depression, even panic attacks– the effects of which I am still struggling with today (hint….”struggling” is another manifestation of the unholy masculine).
THIS is the UNHOLY MASCULINE….and I am not the only one guilty of this behavior. In fact, the Unholy Masculine is what is wrong with our culture and it is the Unholy Masculine that is killing us.
- Every time we act in opposition to our Soul,.
- Every time we FORCE ourselves or others to do something, through coercion, bullying, manipulating through fear or by triggering insecurities.
- Every time we JUDGE parts of ourselves as weak, worthless, unworthy, imperfect, bad, and then reject these in ourselves.
- When we project our judgment of ourselves or our rejection of ourselves onto others.
- When we bully, intimidate, try to “make something happen,” force ourselves or others into situations that are in opposition to their Soul.
- When life feels like a struggle, a fight, a war.
- When our relationships feel like a struggle.
- Every time we treat ourselves or others in ways that are non-loving or unkind…
We are engaging in the Unholy Masculine.
The key to healing ourselves and therefore our culture of the Unholy Masculine begins with identifying and learning to love all the parts of ourselves we had previously rejected:
- Our perceived weakness (which often turn out to be our greatest gifts).
- Our vulnerabilities.
- Our needs, wants, desires.
- Our past hurts and unhealed wounds.
- Our losses, our sorrows and our grief.
- Our aging, changing bodies.
- The ways in which our looks don’t measure up to what Victoria’s Secret or GQ Magazine tells us is the ideal.
- Our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual “illnesses”.
- Our past traumas, and broken hearts.
- Our emotions.
- Our thoughts.
- The unique way in which our Soul NEEDS to move about this world.
As we come to accept these in ourselves, we come to accept them in others, the result of which is loving behavior toward ourselves and loving behaviors toward others.
In this we transform the unholy masculine to the HOLY MASCULINE – providing, protecting and supporting through kind and loving acts, which is exactly what I am off to do for myself this day. Game of Thrones, Season 3, here I come!