The balance of male and female makes us whole. We all have a feminine side and a masculine side to us. In Jungian psychology, it is termed the anima and animus: the male has an inner feminine, while the female has an inner masculine. This makes total sense, as we all come from both the masculine and the feminine - a mother and a father: egg and sperm. Neither is more or less important than the other - they simply offer us different and very necessary parts of our being.
The aspect of the masculine contains (in brief) the more rational, direct, practical, assertive qualities, while the feminine is the creative, intuitive, feeling, visionary part. The feminine also contains the ability to look inward, as the masculine quality is outward directed. Just as it is necessary to be able to cope with the world and its demands, as the masculine part of our being does so well in its pure, non distorted state, so too, being introspective is a crucial aspect of who we are. In our society in general, the feminine aspect of our being, (as with women in general), has been labeled "less than." For a man, in some ways, showing feminine qualities, or feelings, has even been forbidden. If a man is seen as sensitive and introspective, he is laughed at and labeled a wimp. Therefore, for a man, often it becomes dangerous to show feelings or let others in, as there is a great fear of ridicule and rejection.
Why this has come to be is a long story, but the gist of it is, it is unbalanced to think that either aspect of our being, whether it be our masculine energy or our feminine energy, is stupid, less than, or something to be demeaned or denied. It is clear as crystal that one without the other doesn't work to create life, whether that means the creation of various aspects of our life and dreams, or the creation of a child. The old and unbalanced masculine programming that most men were given tells one that when you are introspective you are doing something wrong. Your feminine part knows you must go inward to be a clear human being. Women are also told that to be assertive, pro-active, and to use one's own power and abilities - the masculine aspect of oneself - is not appropriate. When the pure essence of the masculine energy is distorted, it turns into aggression. When the true essence of the feminine is distorted, it becomes resentful and withdraws love and connectedness. The feminine energy is all about relationship, connecting with love and support and nurturance, sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. The masculine, in its true essence, gets the job done in a way that is reliable, trustworthy, protective. When the masculine is balanced, it responds and communicates in such a way that others feel safe, physically as well as emotionally.
If a man gets very much out of balance by denying his feminine inner self, he will most likely have difficulties in that he will not be able to be in touch with his feelings, and this can lead to difficulties in relationships with others, not to mention oneself. A man, or woman, who denies her feminine, may substitute the lack of warmth that they feel in themselves for ambition, for ego attainment and accomplishment. and live a mostly analytical way of life. Mind over heart, in other words. While the rational certainly has its place and is an extremely important aspect of our being, without heart it becomes hard and cold, judgmental, critical, and aloof. A woman who denies her masculine becomes too soft, too passive, unable to move forward in her life or make decisions, and overly dependent upon others.
There are many ways to get in touch with whatever part of us has been repressed or has become distorted, or out of balance. One excellent method is to do a visualization where you find some quiet, alone time. Put on some gentle, soothing music (instrumental, no voices) and, after becoming quiet and relaxed, breathing deeply and gently for a few minutes, with eyes closed, you ask to see and speak with your feminine side. Then you Trust whatever shows up for you - whether it be impressions, or information, or thoughts, or a visual image, or a flash of memory or understanding. You then hold a conversation with this part and ask it what it needs, what may be troubling it, asking how you can help it to be more available to you, or more healthy. Then you also do this with your masculine side.
As you work and directly connect with both parts of yourself, you will create a new and healthier, more dynamic balance between them. You can then ask them to converse together, with each other, to share with one another what is needed also to create a symbiotic and complimentary, safe, trustworthy, wholeness between them. What is revealed may prove to be quite interesting. It is a good practice to do this checking in now and again to continue the healing and the growth process. This allows a healthy evolution of the masculine and feminine aspects of oneself. It creates a highly functional relationship between them, which then allows one to create healthy relationships in the external world. Working in harmony, honoring the gifts which each aspect of our being brings to us, creates a dynamic and healthy, well balanced life.
It is a timely issue. It IS time for all of us to be in and create a harmonious balance between the male and female parts of ourselves, to get beyond the duality of conflict into wholeness, where the whole is greater than the parts. We see this evidenced in the outer world every day as women struggle to be accepted, to find their own power, fearing that they will be put down or thought of as sexual objects. We see it in the aggression, stress, and fear men experience, struggling to be in relationship, but not knowing how. We see it in the movements that have taken place over the last 20 years to bring greater equality to the sexes. We have become polarized, the male and female struggling against one another, out of touch with one another, with no tools to bridge the gap. We see this in the high divorce rates, in unhappy lives, and in the distress of our children. We even see this division polarized on a world wide level - the issues of aggression and domination, and war. We need to be moving beyond partisanship, toward living in harmonious, honoring relationship as a global community. In reality the male/female balance is a oneness, as everything in Life is, both beautiful, both equal, different parts of a greater whole.
Two excellent books to read to gain profound and fascinating information about the masculine and feminine are Theun Mares's books: Unveil the Mysteries of the Female and The Quest for Maleness. Highly recommended!