Many women don’t want to put with a guy who doesn’t appreciate her Mars, whether she likes to spar or play Halo. We are no longer confined to rigid fifties era gender roles, but people vary in the degree to which they successfully integrate their masculine and feminine selves. I’ve written elsewhere about men’s ability to be with their feelings, suggesting that guys are still raised to choose the rational over the emotional. The article was a reaction to a woman’s comment on this blog about her Cancer boyfriend’s crying. If women want to be embraced for their masculine tendencies, shouldn’t men be embraced equally for their feminine sides?
The feminine planets
There are two planets that symbolize the feminine: the Moon and Venus. Crying would fit under the Moon. This celestial body relates to the instinct to nurture, to belong. The Moon governs habits, instinctual responses, what makes us feel comfortable. Some lunar qualities don’t really correspond to gender, yet others — like “mothering” and having a strong feeling life — are traditionally feminine. In a man’s chart, the Moon may signify the wife.
Venus signifies the young woman to whom a man is attracted. But this planet is much more than that. In addition to governing relationships, Venus is all about charm, compromise, the ability to attract and seduce. This planet also relates to our values and preferences — what we love. Venus is an “art” planet, and often a prominent Venus will correspond with artistic or musical talent, as She rules aesthetics, beauty and graceful form.
No doubt, a man who exhibits grace, manners and charm can be quite attractive (think Libra, which is ruled by Venus). Yet, via our cultural definitions, when does a man’s Venusian side get characterized pejoratively as feminine? Homophobia is still widespread, and combined with sexism, a man’s limp wrist or exquisite fashion sense may be seen as less “manly.” Witness the metrosexual craze a few years ago, when a hetero guy got manicures and spent $200 on jeans. Just by virtue of taking care of his looks, doubt was cast upon his sexuality. Some women find this hot, yet others are attracted to a “guy’s guy.”
The devaluation of the feminine
We still live in a patriarchy, in which men have more power (and hence value) than women. Hence, it may be more “OK” for a woman to get a black belt in karate or play World of Warcraft than for a guy to get a facial and spent lots of money on hair products, or for a boy to go to ballet class. I (Sun, Mercury and Venus in Pisces) have always gravitated towards fields that are dominated by women: literary magazine in high school, counseling psychology in grad school, astrology later in life, expressive dance throughout my adulthood. And as “valuable” as literature, education, social work and the arts are, they don’t pay. Big business and engineering do. Do you see a pattern? If teachers hold the key to our children’s futures, why are their salaries so low? Could it be because they are predominantly women?
Nurturing and beauty, the Moon and Venus. Men need both, but they detach themselves from integrating these archetypes, choosing instead to get their lunar and Venusian needs met through women — going for trophy wives, arm candy (objectification of women) or looking to their wives and girlfriends to “mommy” them instead of finding ways to express their own nurturing and aesthetic impulses.
So, the question is: What are women’s attitudes towards men who are able to integrate these qualities, even if it makes them apparently less “manly” according to our rigid cultural stereotypes? And is this just an “American” thing? Please share your thoughts below.