Image Courtesy: Sandesh Krishna Kumar

“What if our world had a little more colors than it does, wouldn’t it be a sight to behold?” “What if it already does, and we are in the process of developing an eye for it!”

Our specie is a little too fond of fictions and storytelling. Amongst all the fairytales knitted by our ‘wise men’, it is particularly the tale of culture that has some severe impact on our specie. Imagine a lioness who one day decides that she is not going to hunt for the day. She won’t put food on table for the pride for that particular day. She casually minces her way down to the river to have a day off and catch up with her other female leo circle.

I wonder the situation when she returns from her unplanned Sabbath. Would there be a tensed atmosphere amongst the pride? Disappointed male faces and overly concerned females gesticulating to the rebellious one to meet them in a corner of the open grassland. There she would be pounced by the adult lionesses of the pride about all the lion values and ethics and how a female lioness is supposed to behave! What are her duties as a lioness, how it is them who have to make a sacrifice for the entire community of the lions! She might also be asked to get these lionessest (Read feminist) ideas out of her head! While there hangs an intervention sign on the tree above the Big Cat family.

Well, pardon me I got carried away analyzing the situation a bit too – Sapienly!

Animals are instinctual. Their behavior is only guided by the biological impulses. Since their conception their inner impulses guide them to their gender identities which in turn defines their gender roles. However, in humans besides biology; sociology and culture also plays an important part. Despite the human anatomy undergoing tremendous change over part thousands of years together with the sociological changes in the conditions to which both the genders have been exposed, the contemporary man is not able to release the catharsis of his cultural impounding although there hardly remains any biological underpinnings for the same.

Charles – A boy who chose shades of Turquoise over Blue.

Charles was a young enthusiastic boy. He was seen as a compliant lad who is always smiling and into his own world. He did not bother much to indulge into the complexities of the world around him and would often be defined by his family as ‘over protected one’ where in reality he remained the ‘over powered one’.

While growing up Charles had two pillars of suffocatingly dominant feminine energies around him. At a tender age he was well exposed to the feminine drama and manipulation by his duo of mother and sister. In his culture it was the males who were supposed to be the one leading the heard and females remained the silent obedient of the husbands. But the ground reality remained something totally different. In his family, the females had their way to have the last say in all the decisions that were made. The father knew his position and worth in the family so to catch up with his alpha male image once in a while he would awake from his dormant position and pick up a fight from all the commotion of the family. Physically and / or verbally abuse his wife and go back to his nonexistent self.

Charles became the target of his father’s impotency and lechery. While playing with his dad, his dad would often pin Charles down and molest him. He would resist it and find it disgusting. As years passed by he slowly started enjoying the games his dad played. After a point it would be Charles who would initiate the role playing games with his dad. It was here that his inner feminine side was physically abused and he was too tender to have understood what repercussions it would have for him in the future regarding his gender identity.

Since his childhood he was very emotional, understanding and spiritual. As he grew old he found boys his age to be stupid and lacking empathy. They were too aggressive, unconcerned and rogue. Throughout his early childhood he remained confused about his gender and roles he should be playing according to it. During the time of adolescent he developed a medical condition of Gynecomastia (Male breasts). From then on he started disliking his body and his body image went for a toss. Around this time he realized what his gender identity was and the roles he needs to be playing. He hated his soft feminine body and tried every trick in the book to re shape his body and even developed many unhealthy eating habits. He tried really hard to act like guys and fit in to his gender identity. His confusion would double itself when he would find himself getting attracted towards girls. Was he homo sexual? Bi sexual? Well, he didn’t even know these words back then!

As he matured he realized and understood his situation. He appreciated the beautiful feminine side he had to himself who was nurturing, giving and universally encompassing. He made peace with the fact that the feminine side of his oozed out physically because of his early experiences and that it was harmless. He developed a more balanced side to his identity and what had remained a liability became his biggest asset. He attracted female partners who were more balanced in their identities rather than his past partners who were either confused about their identities or were too masculine. He kept his feminine fantasies limited to his imaginary world and explored relationships as a heterosexual man.

Whenever, he saw a guy carrying the weight of the character of being a male a little too much, he would smirk to himself and reminiscence about the time when he too was heavily under the influence to act and prove to himself that he too was a ‘man’!

Sakina and Aksha – Red mixes with a confused shade of Pink.

Sakina was a rationale, self-made, independent young lady. Her ideologies in life were based on logic. She worked on the principle of “Snatch your right if it is denied”. Aggressive. Ruthless. Assertive and Unemotional (at least on the outside). She was a lone warrior without a pack to lead but still it seemed as if she was marching on to a war every day – the seeds of which were sown in her childhood days and were beating in her heart since then. While growing up she realized quite early that she and her sisters were unwanted. They were all born out of duty and not love. There would be constant fights in the house which involved all sorts of physical, verbal and emotional abuses. She saw her father as a well-respected man in the society but within the four walls of their house he failed as a husband and as a father. For himself he did all that he could do for the family but in reality he remained lacking in empathy and support towards his daughters.

She saw her mother as the dominant figure in the house and one who had shouldered all the responsibility to make the emotional ends meet. Sakina also saw her older sisters either becoming too idealistically attached or too detached from the family ties. She had seen more than enough for a girl her age. She developed a deep seated hatred towards masculinity and found it too egoistic, ugly and hypocrite. She became emotionally independent very early in life and distanced herself from feminine softness. Her culture did not permit any pre-marital experiments with the boys and neither was she interested in any such exploration. She sublimated her gender sexuality on to her religion and condensed into it all the built up sexual tensions of adolescent.

[One interesting point to note in such cases is that while the female is trying really hard to curse and push the masculine influence away from her life in turn what happens is that only a strong stench of animus (masculinity) remains behind whereas the anima (feminine) slowly vanishes out of the sight].

Aksha was an ordinary sweet girl next door. Her childhood was very simple and a regular one. Her parents did not indulge much into her personal affairs as far as she would not go too stray on her experiments and explorations. She did not get herself into much trouble growing up. She was told she was a female and she knew she was a female and that’s where the matter mostly ended. As she grew old she had many questions about her gender identity and curiosity regarding the adolescent changes she was going through but they were only answered superficially and that’s how her relation remained with her inner self – superficial.

She had had a few failed relationships where she attracted guys who were too shallow and incapable of understanding her inner quest for meaning. After which she developed her mind such that she became sure that she would never find a guy who would ever be able to understand her inner chaos and commotion and it is futile to even try. The inner drama continued.

Sakina and Aksha were often seen together. They were colleagues and often came together in breaks and even take out time for each other besides work and out of their family duties. To a layman it might seem just another friendship reunion but it was peculiar quality it had that made it unique which was their intensity when they were together. Sakina would often pick up a masculine role and would be seen leading the reunion and Aksha would be a bit submissive but playful at the same time trying to bring distortion and colors to the gathering. Very often there would be an intense look in the eyes of Sakina of appreciation of the childish simplicity of Aksha which could be missed in a blink of an eye. For Aksha who had given up hope on males had found a companion who was a female but was assertive like a male and also understands how a female works, at least theoretically.

We as a race are too graphically advanced and try to find sexual connotations everywhere. But such relations are beyond the grasp of sexual aberrances and are born out of the inner gender identical needs of the individuals. In fact it might be outside the knowledge of the individuals who are involved into it that how such an arrangement was webbed where two broken pieces; one of the rebellious boy trapped inside a dormant feminine body and other of a confused girl who had given up hope to find a man who would ever be able to fill the void of her inner demons of unsureness, fit so perfectly together.

Tom and Philip – Two Yellows make a Magenta.

Tom was born in a family which was dominated by masculinity. In his culture men were often send to army and were expected to be ruthless, uncaring and aggressive. He was the elder son and was expected to shoulder the family name with equal nobility and honor like rest of the men had done. He was trained to be like a man since his early developmental days, a little too hard maybe, he was made to believe that men are unexpressive, emotionally strong and unavailable and practical.

It was so shoved down his throat that he accepted with blind folds and unconsciously became so detached from his inner self that the call for a balanced gender identity started showing up. In reality he was a cry baby. He was expressive, emotional and nurturing and in short he was nothing more than just a human! But that humanly quality was so suppressed that the repressed feminine energies started surfacing into latent homosexual tendencies.

Philip belonged to a culture lineage where the matriarchs use to rule the communities and males were a secondary genders. Philip was really close to his mother. He understood and appreciated his inner femininity but was just not sure about openly expressing it but he could neither hide it.

They had been together since forever. They had seen each other grow and witness the men they had made themselves. Interestingly, they would find themselves at the receiving end of the unwanted attention from the same sex people. In their own words they would describe their quarrels as that of a husband and a wife. They both were sure of not marrying anyone and remain a bachelor their entire lives. They had a beautiful set up where we easily identify the gender roles and identities playing its part.

Their relationship was beyond just physical sexual urges as it was an emotional cushion for Tom to access to the ever flowing femininity of Philip without surrendering and giving up his masculine genre in front of an actual female and for Philip this remained an extension of inner expression of his feminine side. Whereas both of them kept an outer as well as an inner illusion intact of not being homosexuals by constantly playing the male gender roles in the society.

Lily – Black and White in search of a shade of Grey.

Lily was born into a family where the lineage of her mother’s side had a collective flow of hatred towards masculinity in general. And males considered their wives as not worthy of equal status and only as a secondary sex who are dumb and dependent on the emotional and financial support of the husband. The girls are taught in her family to surrender and submit themselves to their husbands and carry forward the family tradition of being a submissive sex gender.

Since her early childhood Lily had observed her mother going through verbal and physical abuses at the hands of her father. Despite her mother being financially independent and emotionally distant from her father, she did not raise her voice against the violence and bore it as one of the flaws of the institution of the marriage. Her father was a brutal two faced man. He ran his theories on hypocrisy and blasphemy. Lily had developed a morbid image of masculinity in her developmental stages.

She generalized masculinity as too arrogant, ugly, dominating, unjust, brutal and barbarous. As a child she was mostly detached from the inner security of the family and was made to look after for herself. She developed her own coping avoidant mechanism and theories on life which were self-tested and experimented. Lily had a deep seated fear of surrendering to the hideous masculinity. She had a very childlike nature. She was giving, nurturing and compassionate. She was afraid of surrendering to the unruly male community.

Her heart wanted to become like a male but her soul remained a generous feminine. In relationships she would try and mask her emotions, be as unavailable as possible and basically not take the other person seriously but deep down the feminine insecurity and an impulsive need to belong to her man kept her divided. She wanted to have a normal family life but that would mean she will have to surrender her masculine veil and she was not ready for that sort of vulnerability in her life. What if she becomes just like her mother and every other stupid girl who surrenders herself to the haughty masculinity and then regrets?!

She was always afraid of the malevolent men so she decided to become like one! As that way she would be able to avoid the possibility of surrendering to one and also help cope with the traumatic pain of the childhood experiences. Her genuine vibe of an enriching female remained trapped in her early images of masculinity. In relationships she would on purpose attract men below her capacity and keep a testing period where she would try and show the partner her non-conforming side to social ties and when the guy would get possessive or dominant, she would surrender thereby reassuring her faith in her early image of masculinity.

Only after many failed relationships and troublesome experiences did she realize that if she wants to break out of the family tradition of hurt and blame game, she will have to rise above it and be open to changes. She took her time with herself before jumping from guy to guy to prove her point right. It took her sometime to understand and fully absorb that her parental images are just the first images of male and female that any child encounters and unfortunately accepts it as a lifelong code for rest of his life but that is not all restrictive but one can learn from it and go beyond and find and even create new images of gender identities- the one in which he feels most comfortable.

A sea is always measured between two shores each at the extreme end from the other. Similarly an individual has both these ends within him. But when he is assigned and expected to one sided gender role playing, he becomes too absorbed and stays too ignorant and most often an extra pair of his Adam or Eve remains unexplored!