By Harvinder Kaur April 2011 An open letter to men…(perhaps women too!) Dear fellow traveller, It was hard to find the right word to address you – ‘the other half’ came nearest, but wasn’t close enough. It is not the cliché I’m afraid of, it is the lie. Let me call you ‘fellow traveller’, since we are travelling together. We, men and women. What is it that I, the quintessential woman, want to say to you, the quintessential man? First, the inevitability of us. Whoever or whatever made the world made the male and the female, throughout the entire living kingdom – mammals, birds, amphibians, fish. We humans too are part of the chain. We humans have identified and categorised ourselves in quite a few ways, on the basis of religion, language, occupation, nationality. I guess gender beats them all. We are 50-50 stakeholders. Yet, we seem to be tugging in opposite directions at the two ends of the rope. Why? From the war between the sexes to the search of soul mates, from DNA to subtle bodies, from the bedroom to the boardroom much has been said, some understood. Yet, there is heartache. Why, again? The last century has seen a rapid metamorphosis in the role and status of women. With women voting, getting a good education, working and earning money, the roles set out in the past have been challenged. In societies where patriarchy has been the unquestioned norm this has been a thorny affair. Marriages have broken, daughters have rebelled, mothers have cried acid tears. How is the man supposed to handle all this – the father, the brother, the husband, the son? First, stop struggling against change. Remember, all change is integral. A ripple runs across the water, life is fluid. An idea that changes one part of the world affects other parts. The woman wonders: “If I can earn and fend for myself, if I can produce kids and provide for them, why should I play second fiddle? When I can choose expression over suppression, freedom over fear, sincerity over manipulation, peace over nagging, then why shouldn’t I?” The reasons for staying on in a relationship are changing – and they have to be good reasons. You cannot have only women happy at the cost of men or men happy at the cost of women. There is a deep and intense call from the collective consciousness of women to grow in a way that hasn’t happened before in the history of the planet. Centuries of suppression, or at least lack of support, have led the steam to build. Now, the steam is let loose with a force that will not withstand any opposition. The woman is redefining her role in society. This cannot be stopped, it has to understood and channelised. That alone will lead to harmony. If the spirit has taken on the body of the female, the same spirit is aching to express itself in its entire glory. No more, no less. But the structure of society has to be prepared and changed, in certain ways it’s crying for a paradigm shift. It is time to look beyond social roles. Understand that nothing is sacrosanct forever. Change is sacred and necessary for the spirit to flower and find expression. Yet, it’s hard. What would help would be to prepare the next gen early in life. It is important to bring up boys differently. The toys need to be more unisex, boys can play with dolls and cook, they can hang around while their mother is cooking and help instead of ‘being with the lads’. If we are truly moving into a deeper, more alive spiritual awareness then old norms will be tossed up. Some will shatter. When mothers and fathers bring up their children with sensitivity, without claustrophobic gender rules, the children grow up freer. Men don’t have to go out of their way to try to be stronger, heavier, louder, bolder; women don’t have to struggle to be seductive, manipulative, sentimental, submissive. The qualities that develop are a natural unfolding of one’s soul qualities. They needn’t be gender driven and determined, but a result of the individual journey to growth. So, the ‘gentle’ man and the strong woman are not necessarily a subject for lampooning. Till now, society has been trying to create two perfect halves that find each other, complement each other and live with each other, in a bid to create a harmonious exchange. Somewhere, this has led to discontentment and more. But now, evolution is taking humanity to a different plane. It is time, for not two halves, but two wholes to merge to make yet another whole. The woman is moving fast to find the male principle within her, the man too needs to find the female within him. When complete individuals meet, miracles happen. Such is completeness, such is delight.
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