Masculine / Feminine

Masculine         -                    Feminine
Order                 -                    Chaos 
Active               -                    Passive
Give                  -                    Receive
Assertive           -                   Receptive
Creator              -                    Consumer
Red                    -                    Blue
Death                 -                    Birth
Known               -                    Unknown
Authoritarian      -                    Decadent
Fascism              -                    Nihilism
Day                     -                    Night
Stability              -                    Plasticity
Negative              -                    Positive   

Within every living thing there is a tug of war, consisting of the the pull towards life, and the pull towards death. The life urge is conservative, the death urge expansive.

Life is defined by the process of limitation; a thing is only a thing because of all the things it is not; from a sea of infinite possibility certain characteristics are chosen, at the expense of others. Infinity is bounded.

Death is the return to infinity; the unbounding of what has been bound. If life is synonymous with 'limited', then death is synonymous with 'unlimited.'

As humans we have an urge towards expansiveness - the need to constantly explore new territory - that must be balanced by the imposition of limits. A lack of boundaries allows us to adventure to far flung places, full of mystery and novelty - but whenever we travel to extremes we also dance with death.

We mothers do what we can to keep our sons from the grave. But they do seem to yearn for it.

['Oleanna Tyrell']
Dialogue from 'Game of Thrones'

Dumont: No. My thinking was that today's spectator is so well-versed in film language that all theories about suspense, as argued by Dreyer and Hitchcock, on what makes you scared in cinema, can be ditched.

It's the spectator, finally, who's going to construct the menace and the fear.

In Twentynine Palms because supposedly nothing is happening, it's impossible, something has to happen. What I discovered during the editing was that a dramatic tension emerged [between the scenes] that hadn't been there during the shooting.

indieWIRE: Yes, but that's partly the result of your very precise mise-en-scene.

Dumont: Maybe, but the more elaborate your narrative, the more the spectator shuts up and listens obediently. And if the filmmaker keeps quiet, the spectator will himself project his own assumptions and sentiments onto the screen.

[Bruno Dumont]
Interview with indieWIRE, full text here.


In the Jungian way, Neumann sees the creative man as "bisexual," even "feminine," because of his high "receptivity."

[Camille Paglia]
'Erich Neumann: Theorist of the Great Mother', p. 13

At the broadest level of description, variation in human personality appears to reflect engagement and restraint of behavior.

The first metatrait ['Stability'] is thought to relate to the need to maintain a stable organization of behavioral and psychological function.

The second metatrait ['Plasticity'] has been hypothesized to relate to an individual’s basic need to incorporate novel information from the environment.

These two metatraits have been theoretically linked to the functioning of the serotonergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems, respectively.

Serotonin is a broadly functioning neuromodulator with regulatory or inhibiting effects on mood, behavior, and cognition [...] its widespread projections act to limit negative affect and aggression while maintaining behavioral and motivational stability [...] a review of research on serotonin and personality found the most consistent association to be between greater serotonin function and greater impulse control.

Dopamine is also a broadly functioning neuromodulator, but with primarily activating effects on behavior and cognition.

[Jacob B. Hirsh, Colin G. DeYoung, and Jordan B. Peterson]
'Metatraits of the Big Five Differentially Predict Engagement and Restraint of Behavior,' p. 1-2

Here's why the sexes differ.

A sexual organism must divide its total reproductive investment into two—competing for mates and caring for offspring. Almost from the dawn of sexual reproduction, one sex specialized slightly more in competing for mates and the other slightly more in caring for offspring. This was because only one sex was able to inherit the mitochondria (the powerhouse of cells); so that sex started out with sex cells larger and more resource-rich than the other sex.

And thus began the great divide into fat, resource-laden eggs, already investing in "caring"—providing for offspring—and slim, streamlined sperm, already competing for that vital investment. Over evolutionary time, this divergence widened, proliferating and amplifying, in every sexually reproducing species that has ever existed.

So the differences go far beyond reproductive plumbing. They are distinctive adaptations for the different life-strategies of competers and carers. Wherever ancestral males and females faced different adaptive problems, we should expect sex differences—encompassing bodies, brains and behaviour. And we should expect that, reflecting those differences, competers and carers will have correspondingly different life-priorities.

And that's why, from that initial asymmetry, the same characteristic differences between males and females have evolved across all sexually-reproducing animals, differences that pervade what constitutes being male or female.

[Helena Cronin]
'2017 : What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?'

Cowen: Marriage is good for men, on net - it feminises them, for one thing.

Weinstein: So, greater health, lower depression...

Cowen: ... less drug abuse, suicide rates lower, and so on.

[Eric Weinstein & Tyler Cowen]
'Tyler Cowen on "The Portal", Ep. #016 (w/ Eric Weinstein) - The Revolution Will Not Be Marginalized.'
(Timestamp: 1:03:43)

It is impossible to define a feminine practice of writing and this is an impossibility that will remain, for this practice can never be theorized, enclosed, coded - which doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. 

But it will always surpass the discourse that regulates the phallocentric system; it does and will take place in areas other than those subordinated to philosophico-theoretical domination. It will be conceived of only by subjects who are breakers of automatisms, by peripheral figures that no authority can ever subjugate.

A feminine text cannot fail to be more than subversive. It is volcanic; as it is written it brings about an upheaval of the old property crust, carrier of masculine investments; there's no other way. There's no room for her if she's not a he. If she's a her-she, it's in order to smash everything, to shatter the framework of institutions, to blow the law, everything, to break up the "truth" with laughter.

[...] you can't talk about a female sexuality, uniform, homogeneous, classifiable into codes - any more than you can talk about one unconscious resembling another. Women's imaginary is inexhaustible, like music, painting, writing: their stream of phantasms is incredible.

The Dark Continent is neither dark nor unexplorable. It is still unexplored only because we've been made to believe that it was too dark to be explorable. And because they want to make us believe that what interests us is the white continent, with its monuments to Lack.

We're stormy, and that which is ours breaks loose from us without our fearing any debilitation. Our glances, our smiles, are spent; laughs exude from all our mouths; our blood flows and we extend ourselves without ever reaching an end; we never hold back our thoughts, our signs, our writing; and we're not afraid of lacking.

At times it is in the fissure caused by an earthquake, through that radical mutation of things brought on by a material upheaval when every structure is for a moment thrown off balance and an ephemeral wildness sweeps order away, that the poet slips something by, for a brief span, of woman. 

But only the poets - not the novelists, allies of representationalism. Because poetry involves gaining strength through the unconscious and because the unconscious, that other limitless country, is the place where the repressed manage to survive: women, or as Hoffmann would say, fairies.

[Hélène Cixous]
‘The Laugh of the Medusa’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 1976, vol. 1, no. 4, p. 876, 878, 879-80, 883, 885, 888.

Related posts:-
The Principle of Polarity 
Life and Death (and everything in-between)
The Space Between
Dreams from Dreams
Giving and Receiving