Gender Issues and Politics and Psychology and Social Issues28 Dec 2007 09:59 pm

In our series of posts regarding male sexuality we’ve encountered a number of myths. In this post we will attempt to address one more overstatement which could be considered a myth. This myth is the one that states that modern society is a male society and that its goals, methods and strategies are all male oriented.

In the last couple of posts we’ve explored both the male and female sexual symbols. We found the current view of the male phallic symbol  to be kind of limited. While it is true that the phallic symbol as depicted by the sword, missile and gun are prone to violence and aggression and that part of the phallic symbol is accurately portrayed as a vehicle for power and violence, we also found the symbol had a positive role. The phallus not only symbolizes violence but also creativity, invention, progress and discovery. The male phallus is an organ that penetrates, probes and emits and, therefore, its symbolic images should include these concept areas. The paintbrush, pen, airplane, train, and submarine as well as the microscope, telescope and hypodermic needle are all phallic images. Likewise most tools used for construction and technology are phallic images.

The female vaginal/womb images are likewise plentiful though ignored by both psychologists and lay people alike. The vaginal/womb images include the purse, bank vault, nest, home and mineral mines. They also include pots, pans, urns and vessels of all types. The female organs deal with protection, propagation, housing, safety, storage, containment and accumulation. The female symbolism centers on containing and accumulation.

We talked at length in earlier posts of how much a woman’s world is pervaded and focused on beauty. When you couple this the vaginal symbolism you get an  idea of what  a woman likes to collect, and that is things of beauty that appeal to the senses. Woman often like to surround themselves  and their home with things that look beautiful such as flowers, pieces of art, jewelry and furniture. Yet, they also like to surround themselves with pleasing fabrics and textures,  and objects that smell pretty, and sounds which are pleasing to the ears, etc.

In recent years our advertising industry has valiantly attempted to convince men to be shoppers and better consumers. In many respects they have succeeded but still the majority of men are not into gathering and collecting objects and surrounding themselves with beauty. In olden days when men spent their days hunting, conquering and exploring they did not spend much time at home. Even in industrial societies men have spent their time working and little time purchasing and accumulating goods.

This leads me to agree with Nietsche when he states that modern society is very feminine. It seems to me that capitalism with its emphasis on consumerism is a female oriented society. It is after all a society that measures a persons importance in terms of how much they own and possess, how much they accumulate and purchase. While older societies often viewed power and free time as the height and goal of wealth, modern capitalism looks at the accumulation of wealth and more often of goods as the sign of success.

The goal of Roman and Greek societies as well as Old European societies was to have enough wealth to avoid having to work. The very definition of “free man” in early democracies was the notion of never having to work. The crucial issue was not how much you owned or how ornate your abode, but rather if you were above having to do menial labor. Even in the 19th and early 20th century Europe you were considered uncultured if you had to work to make a living and industrial types were considered crude and not accepted into high society.

The goal has now shifted from being free of work and master of your own time, to a desire to work and accumulate as much as humanly possible. The goal is to purchase as big a house as possible, with multiple vehicles and to surround yourself with as many objects and gadgets as you can afford to accumulate. So, rather than the goal being to not work, the goal is to accumulate as much as possible.

This is why I feel confident in stating that while we still are a male dominated society, we are a female oriented society. The goals and activities of society are not so much about probing, penetrating and emitting as is the essence of the phallic symbol. The goals and means of society are all about accumulating, protecting, housing, storing and surrounding oneself with beauty which are vaginal/womb and, therefore, feminine images and priorities.

In the next post I’ll expand on this theme a little more and try to answer why a male dominated society is feminine in nature and structure.

Jim Guido

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