Gender and fluidity


An uninformed post on something (see last paragraph) I want to inquire into:

Here’s a great, although brief, post on gender, filtered through the aqal framework, in a way that allows for a wide embrace of and fluidity among many different expressions and experiences of gender.

For me, gender is deeply interesting when there is a wide terrain and fluidity there. And it is difficult for me to be exited about it if the landscape is narrow, the dynamics rigid, and it is made into ideology one way or another. (Exited in terms of the map, and also in terms of how it is experienced and expressed in myself and others.)

This is one of the many ways to use the Big Mind process: Shift into the various expressions and experiences of gender, along different dimensions. Explore how each one contributes to the life of the small self, and to the expressions of Big Mind and Big Heart. See how the small self relates to each of them. Are there some that are disowned? Others that are rigidly identified with? How would it be if each of them are included in a more conscious way? How can there be more of a flow among them, a shifting into one and then another? What does the wider landscape look like?

The Work is also useful here, helping us to investigate our beliefs and identities around gender. Do I think I have to be one way or another? Do I see some modes as safe and other ones as unsafe? What do I think would happen if I brought out modes outside of my usual identities and habits?

For instance, the macho modes that Ken Wilber and some of his followers like to adopt is beautiful if part of a much wider landscape of available expressions and experiences of gender, and happens within a flow among them. And as with anything else, if it becomes an ideology, more rigid, and something to defend, it can quickly look a little weird.

Statement for inquiry: Ken Wilber shouldn’t be stuck in his macho attitudes.

Here is an interesting comment on Deida’s take on the topic:

So for instance David Deida’s sexology is infuriatingly heteronormative and employs some of the worst gender stereotypes I’ve ever seen. His latest book, “The Way of the Superior Man”, has a blurb from Ken Wilber saying something to the effect of how finally there’s a book for the non-castrated male. This is the kind of nonsense that is sure to attract the little-girl types in need of a father figure (cue: I gag), but I just don’t see what any of this has to do with the spiritual path, which requires incredible courage.

Another interesting point from the same comment:

As Adrienne Rich, Kate Millett and others have pointed out in their deconstruction of compulsory heterosexuality, the West’s dichotomy of homosexuality versus heterosexuality boils down to gender politics at the end of the day. Kate Millett brilliantly puts it: “Homosexuality was invented by a straight world dealing with its own bisexuality. But finding this difficult, and preferring not to admit it, it invented a pariah state, a leper colony for the incorrigible whose very existence, when tolerated openly, was admonition to all. We queers keep everyone straight as whores keep matrons virtuous.”