Moving beyond woman vs. man dualism

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By Gina Orlando

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In his Jan. 3 Viewpoints column, "Calling all women: Help!" Ken Trainor wrote about important issues involving women, men, politics and society. This big topic needs much fleshing out beyond the woman vs. man dualism. It seems he was discussing the light side of the feminine energy and archetype which can be present in both women and men. This feminine energy is so needed now.

I teach some of this material at DePaul University in both of my courses. One of the models I use is the Old Wave/New Wave model by Jim Kenny from his book Thriving in the Cross Currents ( 

The patriarchal Old Wave is about abuse of power and focuses on "me." It is the shadow side of the masculine energy and archetype. Trump is the poster child. The rise of the light side of feminine energy is the New Wave. It embodies a sense of cooperation to solve the big problems, it honors diversity, and focuses on "we." The power is "together-with."

As a longtime feminist, I am avoiding pitting women against men, or grouping all men into the patriarchy. I like men. I have found it neither helpful nor valid to make such generalized statements implying that all women are capable of solving society's issues (not) or that all men are part of the patriarchy and dominate and abuse power (not).

Some recent examples in politics help clarify: Alabama Senator Doug Jones is coming from this light side of the feminine archetype as well as the light side of his masculine — powerful partnership that has depth, safety, courage and spirituality, giving us hope. This man projects a different type of power in his melding of both feminine and masculine energies. My whole body relaxes when I hear him speak. It's refreshing. He hasn't denigrated Roy Moore, which is really hard to do! He has a clear intention of working across the aisle to solve problems. Pope Francis uses a term for this style of power: "an artisan of the common good."

Yet some women senators, such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, voted for the tax bill. They weren't coming from the light side of their feminine energy since this bill does not help the common good.

It seems partnership of the power from both the light side of the feminine and the masculine archetypes is what we need so desperately now to solve societal problems, including racial, financial and employment inequalities, climate change and environmental devastation. This partnership paradigm honors "The Golden Rule" rather than "the rule of gold." The "Do Unto Others" ethic is a common human value and is present in all of the world religions, so it's a good place to start.

Many of us tend to be tribal. Any group advocating for change has to be careful about an angry, divisive "them versus us" stance. What are we for? How do we join and create together? We have to avoid clumping "all men,' "all wealthy people," "all Republicans," "all climate deniers," etc., together. We are at a tipping point and our very societal, human and environmental survival rests on getting together as partners to find solutions that are novel, fair, creative and even fun.

Join me and others in a lecture-discussion on these rich, important topics titled, "The Emperor Has No Clothes! Shifting the Male-Female Paradigm to Partnership" in the Veterans Room of the main Oak Park Library on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. You are most welcome to add your energy to this healing, partnership discussion and share your ideas for New Wave actions.

We can survive Trump, and even thrive, together.

Gina Orlando, a longtime resident of Oak Park, is a social justice and environmental activist, a lifelong learner and teacher.


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Alice Wellington  

Posted: January 17th, 2018 11:23 AM

Just out of curiosity, how much of the taxpayers' money is being spent on the courses like this by various colleges and universities? Wouldn't it make more sense to divert public funds to educating students in the fields where the labor shortages exist, such as nursing or computer engineering, and let those who want to explore gender dualism pay out of their own pocket?

Emily Marx from Downers Grove  

Posted: January 17th, 2018 8:59 AM

Ms. Orlando ~ Bravo!, I loved your article! It' shines a Lightt on all the different ways we can begin to solve the imbalances, for a more harmonious path ~ "A Path With Heart". Thank you, Gina! Love & Happiness, Emily Downers Grove, Il.

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