Being who really are with both our unique feminine and masculine qualities

Many people went to see the movie, “Barbie” recently.  Many of them may have one or a few Barbie dolls in their childhood.  Who does not fancy to become the stereotypical ideal feminine figure living in the perfect world?  In this movie, Barbies are living in the Barbieland, a matriarchal society where women dominated and held high and successful roles.  Due to sudden realisation of mortality and some changes in her perfect figure, Barbie, accompanied by Ken, went to the real world to find her owner.    After Ken learned about the patriarchal system in the real world, he returned to the Barbieland and took over it by teaching other Kens about this and indoctrinated other Barbies to be in the submissive roles.  In the end, after regaining the power, Barbie realised the previous matriarchal system was not fair to Kens and apologized for her neglect on giving attention to Ken.  Ken also realised about his lack of identity and dependence on Barbie throughout his life.

In real life, it is common to see people relying on either the matriarchal or the patriarchal concept to gain control and power towards the people in the opposite sex.  For instance, a lady paid a lot of effort to achieve a perfect figure and attain top position in the corporate ladder.  She seldom paid much attention to her children and her husband and never got in touch with her inner negative feelings, such as sadness, regret, or shame.  She tended to dominate in her family and thought her husband was in a subordinate role.  In another instance, a gentleman focused all his energy into his career and also dominated his family by expecting his wife to be a submissive housewife.  He never listened to his wife’s and children’s inner feelings and did not realise his wife was in depression due to his neglect.  He also seldom had connections with his emotions and tended to suppress his feelings when he was very stressed.  In fact, these people are immature in their psychological development, because both groups are only living on ones’ masculine qualities, being competitive, dominating, controlling and achievement-oriented.

According to Jungian psychology, every man has a female element and every woman has a male element.  In the process of personal growth, a person needs to be aware of one’s own element of the opposite sex.  However, these elements of the oppostie sexes are often stored in our unconsicous and frequently being projected to our significant others in the opposite sexes by ourselves.  For example, the gentleman above might project his feminine elements into his wife and thought having feelings and being caring are too feminine for him.  He might even act in a very masculine way to exaggerate his male element without consicously knowing his projection of his female elements onto his wife.  In fact, this gentleman is very attached to his wife as he is very dependent on this projection to live as a holistic person unconsciously.  It is very difficult for him to let go of this projection and this becomes a stereotypical patterns of behaviors as a man in this patriarchal concept.

In the end of the movie “Barbie”, Barbie realised her tendency to rely on her masculine qualities, being perfect, acheivement-oriented and dominant.  She also encouraged Ken to start his journey to find his true self with both masculine and feminie qualities.  In fact, it is only when both Barbie and Ken realise their own qualities of the opposite sex, they can have their own true identity and uniqueness.  It is when they could learn to be more intuitive and nurturing, as well as more connected with their inner feelings, they could develop their uniqueness.  At the same time, their relationships with others could be healthier and more fruitful.  In this way, they are not bound by the stereotypical standard to live as a typical female or male.

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