Iran News ...


8/15/05

Feminine Psychology

By Roya Monajem, Tehran
 
Statistics show that the number of women showing interest in the fields of ‘health and hygiene’, ‘psychology’ and ‘spiritualism’ is far greater than men. For example, in this country (Iran) the number of women going to Yoga and Meditation and all other ‘esoteric’ classes, to psychiatrists and consultants, to reading relevant books is considerably higher than the number of men. Why? All the answers given so far can be classified into two groups.
 
1 – In patriarchal cultures men are expected to be strong enough to solve their problems personally and at most with the help of God. That is why they do not show much interest in the above fields of knowledge.
 
2- Women, as a matter of fact, are more emotional and sensitive, therefore they are more vulnerable toward ‘harshness of life,’ consequently more prone to psychological imbalances.
 
And here let us remember two other ‘as a matter of fact.’ The first is that in nearly all Religions, women are considered the ‘second sex’ and nearly all ‘great’ philosophers (meaning men of Logic) have enough ‘degrading, humiliating, negative’ comments and commentaries about women. The second is that there has been no female prophet and no ‘significant’ female philosopher, artist (in the masculine sense of the word) and thinker; and there are only a very few female saints, gurus, masters and the like in the history of Mankind.
 
And among planets of our solar system, we have only one attributed to a goddess (Venus); all the rest are males with the exception of Moon and Sun whose gender differed in different cultures. Can there be any ‘biological reasons’ for such dominant state of affairs in our man-made world?
 
From the time of Mithraism - as the primal exemplary model of all religions of the world as well as any lasting Secret Societies (Brotherhoods) with recorded history, such as freemasonry - women have been prohibited to enter definite realms of life which in one word is the Realm of Knowledge and Leadership. The irony here is that in Judo-Christian and to some extent Islamic scriptures, it was She who discovered the Tree of Knowledge and Led Adam to eat from it. The result of this “Greatest Sin’ was to be driven out of the ‘Garden of Eden,’ the “Heavens” and to fall on the Earth. And then once on the Earth, Men took their revenge for being sent to this painful ‘Exile,’ by not allowing woman to ‘eat from the same tree of knowledge’ which means they were forbidden to play an ‘active’ role in the affairs of Management of This and the Other World whose main pre-requisite is developed capacity for knowledge and leadership. Instead, they were assigned the role of the ‘Nurse’ (as mothers) and the ‘Entertainer’ (as wives, lovers, concubines).
 
Most probably God thought of creating the female sex on the Seventh day of His Creation when He felt tired and decided to take a rest, but the curtains had not yet gone up for him to sit on His Imperial throne to watch the ‘movie’ he had just finished producing and conducting. He thought this is exactly what his Adam and his lot might feel on Holy Days (holidays), and it was thus that Eve came to life.
 
Forgetting this ‘historical’ irony, this has been more or less the dominant human “Scenario” on the Earth as far as the recorded history shows. Women were prohibited in taking parts in the affairs of this and the other world.
 
Now leaving this ‘masculine’ interpretation alone and getting back to our initial inquiry, that is, what may be the cause and the need for this sexual ‘religious political’ differentiation, let us start with looking at what we all know as ‘actual’ or ‘objective’ facts of life. And by ‘objective’ or ‘actual’ we mean what we all, regardless of our personal cultural and social background, ‘feel’ as ‘that’s it.’ In other words, they are the facts that we can feel and observe both inside and outside our selves or our subjective minds.
 
One of these facts of life is that our phenomenal world and whatever found in it is the result of reciprocal interaction of two complementary (opposite) pairs.[1]
 
One of these opposite pairs is man and woman, masculinity and femininity. Biologically our gender is determined by our sex chromosomes. The chromosome that carries ‘feminine characteristics’ is called X and the one carrying ‘masculine characteristics’ is called Y. And as everything should have a pair, women have two X Chromosomes (one coming from the father and the other from the mother) and men possess an X (from the mother) and a Y chromosome (from the father). Compared to X chromosome, Y chromosome has comparatively less genes or in short we can say that it carries only those genes needed for expression and actualization of ‘masculinity.’ This is like saying that in men there is only one set of genes for each characteristic or quality while in women there are two sets.
 
The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ effects of this state of affairs differ from different perspectives. From physical or biological perspective, having two sets of genes for each quality, that on this level can be called ‘instincts,’ make females the immunologically stronger sex. The biological reason for it is that women are the responsible sex for the survival of the species, and such a state of affairs can guarantee survival of the species more adequately. In animal kingdom, the role of males is more or less limited to ‘impregnation’ of females, then it is the female which should carry if not all, but most of the rest of the work, that is pregnancy, giving birth and nursing and tendering the newborn until it can function on its own. In other words, from the physical point of view, having two sets of genes is an ‘advantage’ that the feminine sex should enjoy. Although this gift is presented to women to guarantee the survival of the species, nevertheless, it is ‘positive’ ‘good’ for women as individuals as well. From this perspective ‘males’ are in a less advantageous position. Once pregnant, the female may even devour the male and use it as ‘food’ as it happens in certain insects. And in human society, not only men live a shorter life on the whole, as the task of ‘defense’ is still their major responsibility, at times of ‘wars’ additional factors can make their lives even shorter.
 
This is almost the situation at our physical or instinctual level. Now let’s look at the situation on the emotional level. Let us take the genes that determine our ‘emotions.’ Here too having two sets of genes for each emotion may double their strength and force. This is like saying women love and hate twice as strongly as men which in turn can explain why women are as a matter of fact, more ‘sensitive’ and ‘emotional’ in nearly all cultures. But this common feminine characteristic, i.e. higher sensitivity and perhaps sensibility can act like the sword of Damocles. It is a merit when it serves our instinctual drive for survival of the individual in question as well as her family and accordingly the species. Perception of a ‘bad’ or life-threatening feeling and the corresponding response to it takes much less time than when the same process takes place on the mental level. Like in the case of animals, the possible threat can be smelt, sensed almost immediately, and reacted upon almost instantly again. See how much more time it takes to look at a similar threatening scene ‘mentally, logically’ and then show a corresponding ‘calculated, logical reaction.’ Again as the sex more responsible for the survival of the species, women should have been endowed with this higher sensitivity and sensibility anyway. But god forbids if this higher ‘sensitivity’ could not be considered proper and probable enough to be acted upon! She can become really ‘hysterical!’ Imagine that you constantly feel a threat, for which you find not that much ‘logical’ reasons. See in what a situation you will get caught. You sense and feel a danger, your body automatically starts being alert and ready for the next move, but you get no positive feedback from your other systems. You don’t feel any strange or new smells in the air; you don’t see anything threatening around; you don’t hear any suspicious sound; it is your same old secure safe home, for example. By this time your ‘common sense’ ‘mind’ ‘logic’ have finally joined the board of decision makers and make the final judgment that “there is nothing to worry about. Get on with your normal life.” Yet somehow you still feel a threat deep down. Under such conditions, one can easily go crazy. Isn’t this enough to explain why women seemingly have relatively more mental psychological problems?
 
Having two sets of genes is now causing a serious problem. When a man is faced with the above situation, no matter how much ‘hysterical’ his mother might have been, he has only one set of genes for ‘higher sensitivity.’ So in the situations described above, once he becomes conscious of the final judgment of his common sense and mind, he would indeed ‘get on with his normal life.’ But in a woman who has two X Chromosomes and accordingly two sets of the corresponding genes in question, what would happen if both her grandmothers were very ‘sensitive’, called ‘hysterical’ in masculine vocabulary. Doesn’t this adequately explain why ‘hysteria’ has largely been a feminine disease throughout the history? Incidentally, can this be the very same state that in masculine vocabulary, is called ‘ecstatic’ or ‘epileptic’ state, that is the state when they could receive divine inspirations?
 
No matter what is the name for it, the above state is indeed a difficult situation to be in. The situation, when one’s ordinary consciousness and common sense thinks ‘everything is fine and one should get along with one’s normal life,’ yet there is this constant feeling that as though ‘something feels really wrong.’ As the result of the above contradictory state of being, a chaotic state of mind will naturally arise, that can gradually lead to development of minor to quite serious psychological problems. Doesn’t this explain why the number of women suffering from insomnia is so high?
 
Added to the above situation - which in itself is grave enough - is the higher feminine feeling of insecurity arising from her weaker physical body. In other words, add a fearful feeling, again for nothing, just because we carry the genes, to the above hysterical emotional state, again ‘innocently’ inherited from our grandmothers, then it is only natural to find ourselves caught with a lunatic. Under such conditions, can we still doubt that women are not indeed very good candidates for running the affair of the world, particularly a world ‘created’ predominantly by masculine worldview.  
 
But as usual this is one side of the coin or story.
 
In a world of duality it is not possible to experience only one pole of the opposites; there is always a balance, an equality in the sense that each side of the opposite poles are experienced as intensively as the other side. Taking fear and love as opposite poles, experiencing twice as much fear, insecurity, ‘hysteria’ in life opens the way for women to experience twice as much love in themselves. Yet, this part of the story has so far been mainly the fate of mothers and not women in general, as the only place that two X chromosomes carrying sometimes even totally different genes for the same trait or quality, will probably agree and join forces? Only in relation to motherhood. “Do you want to redeem a woman? Give her a child” says Nietzsche.
 
Motherhood can indeed be the medicine for overcoming that inherited duality. In the cauldron of patriarchal masculine world-view, the instinctive motherly ‘love,’ automatically transforms women into a relatively enlightened grandmother. Before the era of Feminism, weren’t old women (grandmothers) always patient, loving, compassionate creatures full of wisdom? And aren’t these the sort of qualities that are considered ‘higher,’ ‘spiritual,’ or the goal of spiritual enlightenment? Is it surprising then that women did not concern themselves with such aims and goals. In the cauldron of patriarchal masculine human relationships, mothers were and are automatically transformed through their love for their children.
 
But the world appears to have changed at least from this one aspect. On one hand, mothers and children get separated much earlier in their lives, and as the result there is now a whole army of single or married women in whom the instinctual motherly love finds no outlet to grow and express itself once the children leave home. On the other hand, there are now an increasing number of women who consciously choose single-hood and womanhood to mother-hood. In any case, when a woman stops feeling insecure due to her financial professional independence and safety-wise, due to our relatively safer dwelling places, she is free to choose any of the three.
 
Women are going through a very painful crisis. They are torn between their instinctual, self-centered womanhood and their equally instinctual, but sacrificial motherhood. Now add to that their recently acquired third personality, i.e. that of a professional blue or white collar worker or professional anything, to actually feel how tragic everything seems to her.
 
Does it still sound strange that women suffer more from psychological imbalances than men? - whose psychology we will examine in our next article. But before leaving you alone to reflect upon these concepts, in case you find them worthwhile, there is one more thing to add in regard to feminine ‘hysteria,’ which seems to be the worst type of women in the eyes of masculine philosophers, and men of Gods, Mysticism, Esoterism of even our Age.
 
Nature has been using the female sex as a very sensitive ‘receiver’ to guarantee the survival of Her most physically vulnerable species, yet endowed with the power of mentation called Homo Sapiens.
 
Let us imagine what sort of ‘waves’ a sensitive receiver, with her biologically programmed antennae of human five or seven senses[2] would get sitting alone or even with her family in a safe house anywhere in any big city of the world.
 
Starting from waves of the local temperature of air and other ‘known or unknown’ forms of energies coming from the skies above and the Earth below, other known waves include:
 
Harmful waves of air pollution, water pollution and…; depressing news of all sorts of new debilitating diseases, cancers and other known forms of ‘terrifying’ illnesses that one regularly hears that a dear relative, friend, a member of family or people of other countries are facing everyday; news of wars and various natural calamities, in addition to the threat of American-European attack, for us living in this country; and the threat of terrorism, attack of suicidal bombers, for those in Europe and USA…
 
Let us stop this enumeration immediately before getting really ‘hysterical!’
 
On receiving all these ‘high-voltage’ (dangerous, life-threatening) waves and energies, don’t you think insomnia, hysteria, schizophrenia, paranoia are the least psychological symptoms that such receivers, regardless of their sexuality may suffer?
 


[1] Actually, as I just recently ‘read’ in Gurdjieff’s work, the world and everything in it is actually made of three forces and not two which is the root and explanation of the ancient symbol of Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Ghost or the Universal Law of Three, (active, passive and neutralizing).
[2]  If we have seven of everything, from Heaven to Earth, seven musical notes, seven days of the week, seven chakras, etc, logically we should have seven senses and not the traditional medically scientifically verified five.

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