Major Kira Nerys: Is there anything wrong?
Haneek: I’m just not used to the men being here. Skrreean men don’t involve themselves in situations like this.
Lieutenant Jadzia Dax: Are all your leaders women?
Haneek: Yes…. Men are far too emotional to be leaders. They’re constantly fighting among themselves. It’s their favorite thing to do. [Skeptical glances shared between Chief O’Brien, Doctor Bashir, and Constable Odo, the males gathered at the discussion.] …Please do not misunderstand. We love our men. [More skeptical looks exchanged.] Really!
The real truth is that we are all emotional creatures regardless of our sex or gender. We all feel and we all act on those feelings. While higher levels of testosterone may make some people more aggressive and higher levels of progesterone may make some people more likely to cry, the bottom line is that we all have emotions that we feel overwhelmed by. How we act on those emotions is probably influenced by both nature (hormones) and nurture (what our society teaches us the gender-specific appropriate response is).
This disturbing division of the feminine and the masculine in our society is based on unhealthy stereotypes. Even in my own life, I've experienced quite a bit of judgment because I am “too masculine” since I am a strong, highly-organized, educated woman who doesn't hesitate to act on what will help her life. I had a male friend act surprised when I said that I missed having opportunities to dress up in frilly dresses; he erroneously presumed that since I didn’t wear makeup I didn’t enjoy most stereotypically feminine things. For me, developing my masculine side was probably more of a survival technique, one that I began in my childhood as a way to protect myself. Like Gawain experienced personally, part of my challenge as an adult has been embracing my feminine side and recognizing that it is not a sign of weakness: The feminine is merely a different type of strength.
It will be a wonderful day when our society can accept the masculine and feminine as different but synchronistic qualities which work together to make our society complete. I look forward to the day when the way women are still treated now is seen as ludicrous as the Skrreean idea that men are too emotional to be involved in leadership. Once the yin and the yang of our lives is more in balance, our society will become totally different than what most of us experience now.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC