25.12.2011 92 °F
Today at breakfast we were discussing the never-tiring subject of men and women.
For the last few days I have been the only single woman in the hostel of about 12 roaming guys, and we had stayed up till 4:30 a.m. playing poker-like game of dice (which I of course won), so there was much to the topic.
After the typical reflections on how men are expected to be sensitive and then are scorned for losing their traditional roles, an older male traveler (German of course) chimed in:
¨Life is not a competition.¨
Sounds like some pearl of wisdom you get in your daily email from some revered buddhist monk.
But, but yes, life is not a competition.
Retiring to one of the hammocks, I took some time to reflect on this.
All too often I find myself longing, not really sure of what exactly, but longing to feel and to be made feel like a woman.
Yet, the daily interaction that most of us have is some kind of a perverted version of an unspoken competition.
We strive to be ¨our best¨, and somehow, the ¨best¨ translates in being better than ____.
All too often, I hear women around me get frustrated with their partners because I can ¨cook better than you, do this or that faster, plan more comprehensively, for god sake, earn a decent wage....¨
The list goes on.
Women feel that all-too much is falling nowadays on their shoulders.
But certainly a big chunk of the societal present toil is our own misdirected responsibility.
In the name of efficiency and saving time we are loosing something that traditionally has been one of our most prized feminine qualities.
Being feminine is associated with being nurturing and gentle, which above all requires being patient.
If we want the stronger sex to remain the stronger and make us feel taken care of, then we have to make space for that.
Just like the women of our parents´generations would pause for the door to be opened for them, we have to pause to give our partners a chance to do whatever task we want them to do.
That, of course, means giving up the control of creating the perfect outcome for whatever situation you are facing.
And like an email from a buddhist monk, this requires daily reflection on our own, often ¨unfeminine actions¨that like our beloved iPhones in the name of efficiency have stolen away the essentials of a human interraction.
If you want to have a partnership where you are a woman, are you allowing the man to be The Man...