A friend of mine just posted this video on Facebook, in which a group of men issue their apologies to women for (unconscious) male aggression over the centuries. My friend suggested (to paraphrase) that it was a sign of a hopeful convergence between the sexes.
I would strike a slightly discordant note, however: while I don’t disagree with any of what they say, I do have a problem with the meaning being given to it, because it does not invite women into a similar introspection.
I do not believe that there is an imbalance between masculine and feminine energy, for me such a statement intuitively violates a law of nature similar to the first law of thermodynamics and Newton’s third law of motion. Such an imbalance cannot exist. All there is, is a lack of consciousness.
As men have perpetrated violence on women, so women have done so on men. They have merely done so on the next generation left to their safekeeping. The violence has been a defiguration of our shared humanity for both sexes. At the heart of men’s unconscious violence against women is the reflected anger of their mother against their masculinity which they absorbed as children. No-one started that, and we can only heal it together.
These guys’ gesture I appreciate and respect, but it tends to be the only perspective we get to see. It feels, to me, too much like they are saying sorry to mama because they are still childishly dependent on her love. I like the vulnerability, but I feel a lack of masculinity in the voices and expressions. These look like the nice guys who, for good reasons which women will never tell you to your face, are not getting any sex. Their masculinity is problematic to them and a source of guilt. Any convergence with the feminine results only from a lack of polarity.
In my experience also, those women who have a great appetite for this kind of mea culpa, and they are many, are often doing so out of an unconscious and unreflective misandry of their own (a word I am surprised to discover in fact exists – and that says a lot). They are not only punishing their sons for the sins of their fathers, they are punishing their own father for his emotional absence during their formative years. I can’t help feeling it is dangerously facile.
For my part, I deeply regret and weep over a state of the world in which men deny their nurturing, expressed as protection and honoring, to women, and in which women deny their nurturing, in the form of physical intimacy, to men. However, it is not my fault, nor the fault of any of the women I encounter, and, if it were, I would forgive myself and them.