Man, You’re a Woman

There's been much talk lately about Sheryl Sandberg and her new book Lean In about “leaning in” at work and asserting themselves more. I think it's safe to say that many of her ideas and terms evoke an image that many women fear; one of a manly woman, a woman turned masculine and a woman who is an angry feminist, man hater. There has been talk for years that women in power take on manly traits. What isn't talked about as much is the feminine traits or qualities that men have within themselves. Carl Jung has stated, as has many therapists and writers, that both men and women carry the male and female archetypes within themselves. The anima and the animus is part of Jung's archetypal analytical psychology. These are largely unconscious qualities that we are not aware of, and many of us want to discount. I think that women more than men are able to consciously view their male parts and men still are unable to fully release to their feminine qualities. It is my belief that until we are able to embrace both the feminine and the masculine within us, we will lack a fulfilling home and professional life. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Heather- While a lot of what you write resonates (and I haven’t read Lean In, yet. Just got a copy…) The construct of feminism that you’re describing is the white women’s 2nd wave feminism of my mother’s generation. I fall into the 3rd wave of feminisms which are diverse and expansive. My sense is that 4th wave feminists (identified as man, woman, genderqueer…) & Millennials will continue to progress far away from masculine/feminine dichotomies and the feminist as man hater. You and Carl Jung are correct, gender is anything but a black & white issue and gender identity is complex and nuanced by all sorts of other identity politics. I hope Sandberg’s book goes there…

  2. Heather- While a lot of what you write resonates (and I haven’t read Lean In, yet. Just got a copy…) The construct of feminism that you’re describing is the white women’s 2nd wave feminism of my mother’s generation. I fall into the 3rd wave of feminisms which are diverse and expansive. My sense is that 4th wave feminists (identified as man, woman, genderqueer…) & Millennials will continue to progress far away from masculine/feminine dichotomies and the feminist as man hater. You and Carl Jung are correct, gender is anything but a black & white issue and gender identity is complex and nuanced by all sorts of other identity politics. I hope Sandberg’s book goes there…