Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WIE Editor Suggests the Eradication of Terms Masculine/Feminine at the 1st Biennial Integral Theory Conference

This review of a presentation at last weekend's 1st Biennial Integral Theory Conference comes from Black Plum - Emptiness and the AQAL Matrix.

At the First Biennial Integral Theory Conference, hosted by JFKU, an editor of WIE magazine suggested that we not use the terms Masculine and Feminine as she sat and debated with others on the Integral Feminine panel. Sources say she suggests erasing these two terms from our language because people do not understand the difference between masculine/feminine and male/female or man/woman.

My analysis…

The impulse to eradicate the terms masculine/feminine from our language because people do not understand these terms suggests that said editor does not believe in the inherent nature of human beings to actually learn. With that said, it also implies an eradication of types altogether. The negation of types leads to a neutralized androgyny similar to those inhabiting what Deida calls Stage 2, or the 50/50 relationship. In Wilberian, this correlates with the pluralistic stage of development, where people stationed here often (but not always) find offense with types, even calling them sexiest!

By negating types in culture, in language, in our shared meaning, negates 20% of experience if not more. You see, types are one of the five main elements of the AQAL model. So to negate this element seems to suggest a negation of a certain percentage of manifest reality. And not only are types one of the five main elements, types are the only element that one can find within all the others.

For example, you can find types within quadrants, like blood types, types of religions, types of government, and even masculine/feminine types. You can find types up and down the spiral of development. Yes, you can find types within each stage. You can find types in states. Why do you think Genpo talks about Big Mind AND Big Heart?? Even lines that grow through stages have types associated with them. Even pathologies that occur on the path of development, whether addictions or allergies, have flavors to them or types.

Types are inescapable. To negate the idea of types is to negate the idea of polarity. And without polarity, people are not having sex. And if we aren’t getting down and knocking some relative boots, we halt the process of procreation. And without procreation, we are putting the human race in some serious jeopardy.

My conclusion…

If we eradicate types from language, from our understanding and experience, we might as well kiss the human race good-bye!

- Kelly Sosan Bearer

For the most part, i agree with Her. We can never do away with masculine and feminine without also losing the whole first tier of the developmental hierarchy. i wouldn't want to lose that, would You? No first tier, no animal-nature in Our sexuality. No fun there.

Besides, polarity is crucial to true sexuality, as David Deida repeatedly points out (OK, this is a summary of His views):
Knowingly treading in some dangerous waters, Deida first establishes some basic fundamentals, common ground, or "the basics," because nowadays, there's really a great deal of confusion about fundamentals.

So, Deida starts with the basics: What is the essence of being a man, or "masculinity"? What is the essence of being a woman, or "femininity"? And how do they interact?

Term Clarification: Deida talks more about a persons' "sexual essence" than their actual physical gender. To be accurate, he does not use the term "men" or "guys" as much as he uses "those with a masculine sexual essence" (because to be accurate, the two, strictly speaking, don't always go together) . . . and similarly, he doesn't say "women" or "girls" as much as he says "those with a feminine sexual essence," for the same reason.

To clarify, in general, guys have a "masculine sexual essence," girls have a "feminine sexual essence" . . . but not always. A persons' "sexual essence" is more an inner, psychological quality or character essence than it is pure physical gender.

These basic essences find their grounding in polarity -- without the polarity, no juice to fuel the magic of intimacy. It's that simple.

Dropping terms from the language wouldn't really change that fact -- but that fact necessitates the use of masculine and feminine in the language. At least that's my take on it.


Coach Justice said...

A surprising suggestion from WIE. I (obviously?) tend to agree with you WH.

Y'know, at the end of the day, all this navigating masculine and feminine is just plain fun. And sometimes that's enough, yes?

Elizabeth Debold said...

Just to say that I'm the WIE Editor in question and my comments are being taken out of context and distorted--could it be that just suggesting that we might not know what gender looks like at a fully integral level of development is cause for defense and alarm? Fascinating! For more info, check the Integral Life blogs. And Kelly has published one of my responses on her Black Plum blog. This is all ground for serious and critical contemplation...

--Elizabeth Debold

gregory said...

oh, gosh, the author's conclusion seems an argument for limitation .. but it doesn't matter .. nothing stops in this river, right or wrong doesn't matter to the flow of time. we won't recognize ourselves, is my bet. still in neanderthal times compared to what is coming. enjoy. gregory lent