Within every person the energies of both male and female exist. The Yin and the Yang, or in Jungian theory, the Anima and Animus, are present in various proportions.
Most normally, of course, the feminine energy is dominant in women, and the masculine energy is dominant in men. However, sometimes the reverse occurs, or, in rare cases, the energies may be very balanced.
Generally, the female energies are associated with traits such as receptivity, feelings, intuition, the ability to relate to people, passivity, softness, coolness, etc. The male energies are associated with outward activity, rationality, aggressiveness and physical strength. We live in a patriarchal world, where the male attributes are generally more valued than the female’s. Consequently, the male is held in higher esteem than the female, earns more than her and has more power delegated to him. In worst case scenarios, the female is often subjugated, treated as an object or a child, or is outrightly abused.
It is not surprising that in a world which values the traits and the role of the male more than that of the female, wars and violence prevail. Somehow, the human species developed the consensus along its evolutionary path that the role of the soldier/warrior is more important than the role of someone who grants life to other human beings and takes care of the young and the elderly. Most modern cultures delegate a large portion of their financial resources to the military, police and armament, reserving only a tiny portion of their resources to the care-takers of society. This order of priorities keeps our world out of balance, keeps the individual psychologically out of balance, fuels wars, and threatens the survival of all life forms on the planet— now more than ever!
Those of us who are on a path of personal empowerment and self-growth realize that in order to be stable, healthy and fulfilled, the individual must find a way to balance the female and male energies within. Obviously, this balance is also necessary for anyone who values independence; for without it, one is always desperate for relationships with someone else who can supply the lacking energies that are intuitively felt to be missing.
When it comes to assessing our own energies most of us are blocked. We tend to be biased and blind, needing a reference point or a standard to which we can compare ourselves in order to observe what is lacking in us and what is excessive in us. That is why we all need role models along the path, heroes of various kinds— those who seem to have acquired the energetic properties that we aspire to achieve. This is, again, an entirely intuitive yearning towards wholeness.
The symbolism of this yearning for wholeness and transformation of duality into non-duality still remain everywhere. Contemporary societies, for the most part, associate the feminine energies with the moon and the masculine energies with the sun. (This was not always the case, however. Certain ancient civilizations identified the reverse.) When we look at the entwined snakes that appear in emblems such as the Caduceus — the staff that remains the universal symbol of the medical profession — or in maps of the human energies, we see that one snake represents the feminine energy and the other represents the masculine energy. The two are in a constant flux, pulsating and playing with one another in the universal dance of creation.
One can balance the female/male energies within by learning from the opposite sex, by practicing activities characteristic of the opposite sex, and by releasing the gender based, limiting beliefs which we have all inherited from society. The idea of God as a dominating old male has got to go! A half female half male image of the deity, or a feminine god image, would be more aligned with the need to balance the energies on our planet. When the feminine aspect of God is accepted, women can be envisioned as a Buddha or a Christ. For those who do not have a need to personify god, an abstract image, a gender–less image and a gender-less name of the divine, would suffice.