“A woman simply is, but a man must become.” This quote, and bold declaration, belongs to Jungian analyst Camille Paglia.
The common prejudice, exclaimed through time, romantic comedies, pop literature, etc. is this: “A man is simple. Has simple needs. A woman is complicated.”
Bam! Give him a sandwich, rub his crotch and don’t complain too much. But in contrast to popular belief – and several analysts and therapists agree: A man is far from simple.
A man is born out of a woman. He is born out of a gender different from himself. His attachment to a woman, his mother, is the first relational encounter in his life – and the most important one. In order for him to become a man, he must detach himself from his up-bringer, his mother, his first influence, and embark on a journey among other men, in order to assemble the masculine qualities that his future mates will grow to either love – or hate.
This is not written out of a simple notion that: “Look, we’re complicated too.” The key message to all men is: You have a woman within you. And don’t transfer this to every time you shed tears, feel as vulnerable as a giraffe in a Danish ZOO or feel a rush of love and have no clue what to do with your frail body. No! These qualities are what makes you human.
The woman within you is a body of your first familiar, instinctive, love: your mother – and all the women you carry with you in your next relationships. These women echo when you respond in a way that biologically contradicts with your gender. They echo when you catch a glance with another man, they echo when you start over-analyzing simple problems – such as what to write or respond in a text – either with yourself or your female friend – they echo when you find moments where you fantasize about crossing platonic genders with a friend or stranger of the same sex.
The woman within you is not a weakness. But your early response is to treat it as such; the woman within you is a blessing in disguise. She shortens the gap between you and the heart you want to win. And—while we are at it—herein lies another problem: Men think in terms of winning and conquest, by sheer instinct. Women don’t want their hearts to be won – they want them to be earned. Your pride – as miles high as the number of rejections you’ve had in your life – will stand in your way of earning her heart.
But this is not a courting lesson. Trust me, you don’t want me to deliver one. All I want to leave you with for now is: If you solely embrace your manly qualities and reject the woman in you, you are lost. An important milestone is to learn from her. Women have insight we men will never experience nor comprehend.
Remember the expression, “behind every great man is a woman”? With every year these words ring truer to me than any before.