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  
Differentiation    -           Equalisation   

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', The Portal, YouTube

Marriage is the social regulation and placement of sexual energies, which for Spenser otherwise fall back into the anarchy of nature, ruled by the will-to-power and survival of the fittest.

Marriage is the sanctified link between nature and society. Sex in Spenser must always have a social goal.

[Camille Paglia]
Sexual Personae, p.189

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

Women, too, recognize the social value of male initiation and accede to its necessities. The power and authority of older men in this context are considered necessary to make everyone conform to the cosmic plan.

What men display is the ability to “look after” people. Of course, at the same time, they define what it means to “look after” others: One does so by carrying and passing on the Law.

[Fred R. Myers] 
Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self, p. 240

That is why women remain children their whole life long; never seeing anything but what is quite close to them, cleaving to the present moment, taking appearance for reality, and preferring trifles to matters of the first importance.

For it is by virtue of his reasoning faculty that man does not live in the present only, like the brute, but looks about him and considers the past and the future; and this is the origin of prudence, as well as of that care and anxiety which so many people exhibit.

Both the advantages and the disadvantages which this involves, are shared in by the woman to a smaller extent because of her weaker power of reasoning. She may, in fact, be described as intellectually shortsighted, because, while she has an intuitive understanding of what lies quite close to her, her field of vision is narrow and does not reach to what is remote: so that things which are absent or past or to come have much less effect upon women than upon men.

However many disadvantages all this may involve, there is at least this to be said in its favour: that the woman lives more in the present than the man, and that, if the present is at all tolerable, she enjoys it more eagerly.

[Arthur Schopenhauer]
‘On Women’, Parerga and Paralipomena

Projection is a male curse: forever to need something or someone to make oneself complete. This is one of the sources of art and the secret of its historical domination by males.

The artist is the closest man has come to imitating woman’s superb self-containment. But the artist needs his art, his projection. The blocked artist, like Leonardo, suffers tortures of the damned. The most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, records woman’s selfsatisfied apartness, her ambiguous mocking smile at the vanity and despair of her many sons.

[Camille Paglia]
Sexual Personae, p.28

Male homosexuality may be the most valorous of attempts to evade the femme fatale and to defeat nature. By turning away from the Medusan mother, whether in honor or detestation of her, the male homosexual is one of the great forgers of absolutist western identity.

Male concentration and projection are visible everywhere in the aggressive energy of the streets. Fortunately, male homosexuals of every social class have preserved the cult of the masculine, which will therefore never lose its aesthetic legitimacy.

Major peaks of western culture have been accompanied by a high incidence of male homosexuality—in classical Athens and Renaissance Florence and London. Male concentration and projection are self-enhancing, leading to supreme achievements of Apollonian conceptualization.

[Camille Paglia]
Sexual Personae, p.14-15, 22

The fire-pit ... signifies the woman and the poles represent the man. Men are the shield; they protect. The woman is the center, being protected …

Everything revolves around the tipi … it's a people. The cover is men. The fire is woman, warmth, love, and perpetual labor for a family to live. If there's no woman in here, there's no rhyme or reason to it … Everything is male in that lodge except the women and the fire.

The four Grandfathers are the home: in the center is the hearth, the woman: this is completion. Neither is anything without the other. That is what our life is about.

Creation is recapitulated in the holy lodge as the Singers sing the first night to the first Grandfather and what he represents, the second night to the second Grandfather; and so on.

The singing is structured to bring together male principles (the structure itself, the dancing hides, the Singers) with female principles (the fire-pit, Godmothers, those impersonating White Painted Woman) - balance again.

[Bernard Second]
‘Singing for Life: The Mescalero Apache Girls’ Puberty Ceremony’, Betwixt and Between, p.244, 255, 257

Primitive life, far from peaceable, was submerged in the turbulence of nature. Man’s superior strength provided protection to women, particularly in the incapacitating final stages of pregnancy.

The polarization of sex roles probably occurred rather early. Men roamed and hunted, while women in their gathering forays ventured no farther from the campsite than they could carry their nursing infants. There was simple logic in this, not injustice.

The link between father and child was a late development. Margaret Mead remarks, “Human fatherhood is a social invention.” James Joyce says, “Paternity may be a legal fiction.” Society had advanced when the male contribution to conception was acknowledged. Both sexes have profited from the consolidation and stability of the family.

[Camille Paglia]
Sexual Personae, p.42

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