Masculine and Feminine Strategies for Intimacy

I’m assuming what people want is intimacy — knowing and being known — and it’s also what people are most afraid of.  So I am concluding that masculine and feminine roles are ways to navigate and negotiate that ambivalence.  You could also think of them as bargains we strike with the other, or starting positions for a negotiation.  But an interesting thing that I’ve been thinking of lately comes from the idea that although they are inherited roles they are not unified.  Masculine and feminine roles are bundle of strategies.  Masculine for example includes — I’ll fight for you if you love me — and also — I’ll be your guide into the world of nature if you view me as part of nature — and also I’ll be the representative of the transcendent G-d if you worship me — I’ll be your ruler — I’ll be your little boy if you care for me — I’ll break the rules and you’ll forgive me.  A whole bunch of criss-crossing strategies, some of which are self-defeating, some of which are ok but limited, others of which fight against themselves or exist uneasily,  or just in unrelated forms like plumbing and dentistry.




One thought on “Masculine and Feminine Strategies for Intimacy

  1. There’s a lot of truth in what you say. I think that masculinity and femininity relate to what we are, while roles relate to what we do. Some role activities are conventional, some chosen, and some pre-programmed into our biology. And we can invest our relationships with all kinds of different meanings that depend on our own background and psychology. Conflating what we are with what we do causes a lot of problems for people.

    It seems to me that women enable men to experience ourselves and the world in ways that we otherwise could not, and that we do the same thing for them.

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