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.

‘A hard heart has Wotan set in my breast', it says in an old Scandinavian saga: a just expression coming from the soul of a proud Viking. A man of this type is actually proud that he is not made for pity: which is why the hero of the saga adds as a warning: 'he whose heart is not hard in youth will never have a hard heart'. 

Brave and noble men who think that are at the farthest remove from that morality which sees the mark of the moral precisely in pity or in acting for others or in désintéressement; belief in oneself, pride in oneself, a fundamental hostility and irony for ‘selflessness' belong just as definitely to noble morality as does a mild contempt for and caution against sympathy and the ‘warm heart'

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
Beyond Good and Evil, 260

To blunder over the fundamental problem of 'man and woman', to deny here the most abysmal antagonism and the necessity of an eternally hostile tension, perhaps to dream here of equal rights, equal education, equal claims and duties: this is a typical sign of shallow-mindedness, and a thinker who has proved himself to be shallow on this dangerous point - shallow of instinct! - may be regarded as suspect in general, more, as betrayed, as found out: he will probably be too 'short' for all the fundamental questions of life, those of life in the future too, incapable of any depth. 

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
Beyond Good and Evil, 238

Since the French Revolution the influence of woman in Europe has grown less in the same proportion as her rights and claims have grown greater; and the ‘emancipation of woman', in so far as it has been demanded and advanced by women themselves (and not only by male shallow-pates), is thus revealed as a noteworthy symptom of the growing enfeeblement and blunting of the most feminine instincts. 

There is stupidity in this movement, an almost masculine stupidity, of which a real woman - who is always a clever woman - would have to be ashamed from the very heart. 

To lose her sense for the ground on which she is most sure of victory; to neglect to practise the use of her own proper weapons; to let herself go before the man, perhaps even ‘to the extent of producing a book', where formerly she kept herself in check and in subtle cunning humility; to seek with virtuous assurance to destroy man's belief that a fundamentally different ideal is wrapped up in woman, that there is something eternally, necessarily feminine; emphatically and loquaciously to talk man out of the idea that woman has to be maintained, cared for, protected, indulged like a delicate, strangely wild and often agreeable domestic animal; the clumsy and indignant parade of all of slavery and bondage that woman's position in the order of society has hitherto entailed and still entails (as if slavery were a counter-argument and not rather a condition of every higher culture, of every enhancement of culture) - what does all this mean if not a crumbling of the feminine instinct, a defeminizing? 

There is a desire to make her in general more ‘cultivated’ and, as they say, to make the ‘weak sex' strong through culture: as if history did not teach in the most emphatic manner possible that making human beings ‘cultivated' and making them weaker - that is to say, enfeebling, fragmenting, contaminating, the force of the will, have always gone hand in hand, and that the world's most powerful and influential women (most recently the mother of Napoleon) owed their power and ascendancy over men precisely to the force of their will – and not to schoolmasters! 

That in woman which inspires respect and fundamentally fear is her nature, which is more ‘natural' than that of the man, her genuine, cunning, beast-of-prey suppleness, the tiger's claws beneath the glove, the naïvety of her egoism, her ineducability and inner savagery, and how incomprehensible, capacious and prowling her desires and virtues are.... 

And is woman now being deprived of her enchantment? Is woman slowly being made boring? O Europe! Europe! We know the horned beast which always attracted you most, which again and again threatens you with danger! Your ancient fable could once again become ‘history' - once again a monstrous stupidity could master you and carry you off! And no god concealed within it, no! merely an idea', a 'modern idea’! ...

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
Beyond Good and Evil, 239

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