Are the differences between men and women as distinctive as we believe? Are men indeed from Mars and Women from Venus? Sometimes it can feel as though we are from different planets, but are we indeed that different?
What are the differences between men and women?
We can approach this question using the paradigm of yin and yang, or complementary opposites. Each human being has a varied mix of both feminine and masculine qualities and energies. These qualities and powers can be distinguished (though not always easily) within an individual. Though saying that women are this way and men that way is oversimplifying the matter.
We are complex beings, and an oversimplification never does justice to an analysis of the human beingness. It does make it easier to discuss the qualities that make a human being if we arbitrarily assign them to the category of masculine or feminine. However, we categorize these traits as belonging to women or men may not necessarily be inherent; they may be bred or socialized into each separate sex. We all know of men with an abundance of “feminine” qualities or women with many “masculine” qualities (Ancient Amazons anyone?). We can also find examples of men who display an uber amount and level of masculine qualities while also finding examples of uber-feminine women.
Does the concept of yin and yang explain the differences between men and women?
We all carry these dual energies of yin and yang in varying degrees within us, and these energies display themselves to different degrees at different times. The thing about yin and yang is that they are constantly in flux in our internal reality, and they are constantly in flux in our external reality. One dominates at different points of the day, week, month, year, lifetime, and at times they are even in balance.
Balance is key. Sometimes a more feminine response is best; at other times, a more masculine response. You have both within you. Every animus has its anima, and vice versa.