The Threat of a Woman's Voice

There is more power in a woman's voice than any crashing wave, herd of buffalo galloping or any rocket launch. 

The power of tenderness and her telling you, "I love you."

The power of finality when she says, "Absolutely not, I will not do that!"

The power of leadership when she says, "Ok, this is what we're going to do..."

I've watched grown men cower when a woman sees through his veiled attempts to manipulate her. 

Then again, I've watched other men become enraged when they feel threatened by a woman's choice to exert her voice. 

Why is her voice such a threat to men? 

I believe it's because of eons of energy imbalances. It's NOT about gender.

Here's an example: 

A high school friend's father, who is very well off and also quite charming sat across the dining room table from me silent until his wife left the room. He then puffed his chest, drooped his shoulder and looked at me sternly and said, "Women are just holes."

It seems that his wife had just voiced an opinion that he didn't agree to regard. 

Would he have aggressively disagreed with his with in private? 

Maybe he just said nothing and kept his rage secret.

Either way, this man, whom I knew as an affable, genuine, caring, loving father suddenly erupted with not just with a quip, but with a slur so horrible I never forgot it. 

Here I illustrate an imbalance of energy. 

On one hand he could work a room and gain the friendship of almost anyone. He seemed so balanced. Until he wasn't. 

So who was this man, truly? A genuine loving man or a woman hater? 

Both. And both were totally out of balance.

It's not that he's a man and she's a woman. It's not that he disagreed with her opinion, even though it seemed that way. 

It's that for generations upon generations the fathers and grandfathers and elders were also imbalanced. Masculine energy grows like an other type of energy when it's given power. This is what most men were taught - "women are just holes."

More specific to our current era, this excerpt from NY Mag recounts Robert Bly's "diagnosis" of the American male:

The trouble, he wrote, started with the Industrial Revolution, which broke the age-old tradition of boys serving as their fathers’ apprentices, and sent fathers off to remote factories and offices — places where their work was secret and possibly shameful. Meanwhile, a guy like D.H.Lawrence saw daddy come home every night tired, sooty, and crooked from the coal mine, and was told by day in the classroom, by young women teachers imported from London, that such work was beneath what the education he was getting would make him. Closer to home, for Bly, was “’50s man,” who was “supposed to like football, be aggressive, stick up for the United States, never cry, and always provide.” This led, Bly wrote, to Vietnam, Reagan’s ’80s meddling in El Salvador, and callousness toward the poor and the elderly. It also led to the younger “’60s man,” who was more in touch with his feminine side — a “wonderful” thing — but disillusioned with manhood because of Vietnam and generally “lacking in energy.” “They are life-preserving but not life giving.” Add to this a growing number of men raised in fatherless homes, the rise of violent street gangs, junk-bond trading, swelling rates of alcoholism and cocaine use, plus an epidemic of “passivity,” and you have Bly’s vision of the crisis of male identity circa 1990.

I mention Robert Bly because I was turned on to him during a personal crisis. He helped me identify myself as a man and helped me to understand my own imbalances. His book, "Iron John" was truly the beginning of my work in support women in leadership. I realized that both masculine and feminine energies, when cultivated and given practice, helped to create a receptive communication style, a decisive way of being and a humble disposition that I thought were the keys to highly functional relationships in life. I also knew that for the most part these yin/yang energies were the root cause of our most pressing problems in society and that if I could support women in cultivating these energies they would potentially help to change the world faster than if men could do the same. 

I'm reminded of this story of this community-minded man rattling and hurling obscenities about women as the result of way too much masculine energy. (And perhaps a narcissistic life I just hadn't ever before considered.)

A woman's voice, her opinions, her choices, her demands is a threat of identity to a man. An assault on his very being, as blind to his being as he might be. 

The question I have and one I work everyday with my clients to answer is: how do we convert a threat into an opportunity? Can what a woman has to say create safety in a man instead of instability? Can the generations of domination mentality with us men be transformed into a new generation of collaboration? Can we balance the masculine energies with feminine energies to re-emerge as partnership society? 

The answers to these questions are multi-faceted, indeed. My motivation is to get women stronger than they've ever been by unifying mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy within them. From this place they will have a voice of impact and resolution. It's time.