The Androgynous Paradox

by on November 25th, 2005

The human race represents two very distinct ideas: female and male.

Inseparable yet opposed, disgruntled yet dreamy eyed, resolute in its unity yet divided by its distinctiveness, the bipartisan gender consciousness is the most testing and phenomenal inventions of natural law and yet one of its most rewarding discoveries.

Nothing in the studies and exercises of our human race compares in volume, vigor, and verisimilitude to the preoccupation the female has eternally imposed on the habits of the male, nor the longing obsession that the male has instilled in the intuitive and imaginative faculties of the female.

Despite tens of thousands of years of diplomatic correspondence transacted through the poets, artists, singers of both gender, neither male nor the female claim that they quite understand each other to a level of adequacy permitting as much of a cosmic harmony as is possible in an otherwise unpredictable universe.

Purely in the terms of what-ifs, imagine how wonderful life would be if the female and male were in harmony. Life would run efficiently at the jaunty pace of intuition, chocolate sales would be brisk; Viagra shares would plummet, cuddling would be the lingua franca of all human recreational activities.

As a result male-to-male and female-to-female relationship would be at an all time bonhomie, and universal trust wrought in the understanding and super-intuitive ties of opposite-gender marital fidelity would caste the recurring old-world themes of mistrust, intrigue, suspicion, jealousy and insecurity into extinction as a resplendent new world of neighborly goodwill and m:f bliss usher world peace.

Yet that is an impossibility we should be grateful for. In a world of opposite gender bliss, nothing would actually move: for it is the opposing traits of man and the woman that has substantiated the drama of history.

To perceive the so-called mystery of women, men have failed to understand the power of make up, lip gloss, eyeliner, mascara, twisted smiles, and nail biting, and have been mesmerized by the way women move their hands, hips, and hormones.

These subtleties have challenged man’s matter-of-fact maleness to abandon the straightforward tools of trade and forced him to internalize a part of something he covets without understanding. And that, which is not understood, to the man, has always been an incentive for great adventure.

In fact, Bettany Hughes, a British Historian, alleges, “Helen of Troy has been established as a primal whore, in a long line of sexually powerful women whose purpose is to bring down men, perpetuating the ancient notion that female lust pollutes male intellect.”

The female, by distracting the male from her otherwise simple and unremarkable biology consisted of fleshy particulars and concomitant contraptions; with make up, smiles, glances, way of moving herself, and other such engagements, attempts (and succeeds) to reel in and retain the most competitive and balanced members of the male gender whose loyalty is insured in the perseverance of the aura and the continuation of the mystique, beyond the simple and natural primality of lust. She intuitively knows, the moment her ‘intrigue’ is spent, his interest is lost, and his lust, and other females with new intrigues are hanging right around the corner if the pick is prime.

Sometimes men don’t like this sort of thing to go on for too long, and like Semonides, a seventh century BC male, express such subversive sentiments as:

Yes, women are the greatest evil Zeus has made,

And men are bound to them, hand and foot.

With impossible knots tied by god.

It is no wonder that Hades waits at the door

For men at each other’s throats

Over women.

On the other hand, women respond to male neglect by advocating their weakness attempting to appeal to the distracted man’s pocket of tenderness. Let us examine a song called ‘Lovefool’ by Cardigans in the voice of a female:

“Dear, I fear we’re facing a problem,

You love me no longer I know and,

Maybe there is nothing that I can do to make you do.

Mama tells me I shouldn’t bother,

That I ought to stick to another man,

A man that surely deserves me.

But I think you do.

So, I cry and I pray and I beg,

Love me, love me, say that you love me,Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me,

Love me, love me, pretend that you love me,

Lead me, lead me, just say that you need me,

So I cry and I beg for you to

Love me, love me, say that you love me,

Lead me, lead me, just say that you need me,

I can’t care about anything but you,

Lately, I had desperately pondered,

Spent my nights awake and I wondered,

What I could have done in another way to make you stay,

Reason will not teach a solution,

I will end up lost in confusion,

I don’t care if you really care as long as you don’t go,”

Yet at the end of the day, the so called opposed attributes of the male and female are reconciled in the legacy of creating new generations of males and females.

Moving beyond the inevitable and unremarkable animality of lust, intrigue, playfulness, rituals, and accouterments, have forged and sustained an entire society called human civilization, forcing a balance in an imbalanced world of male militancy and objectivity, and so called female passivity and subjectivity.

At the end of the day, intrigue has outlived lust, and trust, understanding, and unconditionality has ideally outlived the eccentricities and entropy of intrigue.

Despite the man’s bravado and independent habits, he is hopelessly tender inside and yearns for the comfort of a lap, a kiss, and a hearth, which in turn allows him to eventually pass on his genes, which if he were to be without his tenderness, would have been the end of both his race and hers.

Despite the woman’s apparent coy and submissiveness, she succeeds in expropriating the security afforded by male muscularity, rendering the strength of sinews inutile in the game of hearts of which she is a sovereign. By annexing the male, the female succeeds in providing a shelter and sustenance for the new generation.

The dynamics then, of male and female discovery has become the best kept open secret in the legacy of the human continuum, allowing youthful vigor, middle aged appetite, and old-age companionship segue into one another creating in the process a new generation, new merchandising and brand products, innovations in cologne and cocktails, and ultimately mellowing into an ancient respect each gender has to one another for their otherwise irreconcilable differences.

That is the power of not understanding that which doesn’t exist and that which always has. That is the nature and destiny of the cosmic quest, indeed, of our human race.

Alexander Rai