In the majority of known societies throughout human history, males have dominated females. In the majority of societies today, this situation continues. In the future, however, men and women will understand their basic equality and importance to each other. This growth in awareness, particularly by men who are finally learning the importance of functionally healthy and whole women to their own well-being, is the single necessary and sufficient cause of the eradication of social ills, from poverty to war to psychosis to addiction to child abuse.
Failure to correct these ills, which are causes and effects of the ongoing cycle of human harm that we call “history,” could potentially result in the widespread self-destruction of humanity as our collective, fragmented minds and emotions continue to cause a global mindset of competition and defense, rather than cooperation and assistance.
The popular perception (because it’s an observable behavior) is that male domination of women harms the woman, but not necessarily the man. This most common point of view, however, ignores the inner world of man and woman—perhaps because each person’s inner life is unknown and unobservable to others unless the person explains his or her inner world to them.
The nature of sexual-emotional harm is such that it wounds a person’s innermost feelings and self-images, the very parts of the self that are least likely to be disclosed except in an intimate relationship. These intimate parts are of course the parts of the self most harmed—cut off from awareness—in the case of emotional-sexual harm. This block to intimacy affects both partners.
We see, then, that the cycle of harm between the sexes is a difficult problem to admit and thus identify—much less overcome—in a culture whose members are nearly universally caught up in the mindset of conflict, rather than peace, between men and women. It is similarly difficult to overcome for individuals who have been harmed (or who have harmed) in such a way, and who thus operate every day without the richness of existence and unity that intimacy creates.
This conflict between the sexes—and, by extension, between people in general—is largely a result of the Great Misunderstanding: that men and women are not absolutely essential to each other’s emotional and spiritual well-being and growth. In reality, we are exactly that to each other. The Great Misunderstanding was propagated first by men (who are of course more physically powerful than women) and then culturally instilled in both males and females (by both men and women) as part of the socialization process. This pattern occurred nearly universally, very early in human history. We can see examples of the Great Misunderstanding, and sometimes even its origins, in ancient literature and scriptures.
But we can find traces of understanding about the importance of the sexes as well—especially in pre-Christian pagan or nature religions. These people recognized the power and relevance of the female aspect of life and honored it equally with the male. Modern Western religions, on the other hand, typically revere the male aspect and subjugate or ignore the equally important female.
Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of female-worship in new or throwback “neo-pagan” and nature religions among people who desire to revere both male and female equally.