Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Equality in Relationships

Equality is integrity in relationships.

I had an important realization a little while ago while I was reflecting that most of the people I've been working with lately happen to be women. 

What struck me was the word "happen." That I really felt that way. That I had great partners in business and in the thinking. That those relationship were rooted in equality. And then...after all that...those people happened to be women. I recognized in that moment that I don't carry prejudice. That I only love great thinking and integrous people. 

This was an exciting realization for me. Not because I it showed "just how neat" I am, but because I realized that this must be a reflection of the way that I was raised. That there must be other people that were raised the same and so feel the same way that I do. And I've found this to be true! A number of the women I know refuse to be a part of any relationship not rooted foremost in equality. They'd rather be alone. I recognized that men seem to be lagging in figuring this out. In particular, there seem to be a lot of complaints about men in the 20-30 year-old age range. Regardless, there are men who are achieving clarity regarding this issue. 

I do think things will change and here's why. I didn't always have the clarity that I have now regarding this. Although growing up, I never recognized any integrous reason for gender inequality, I was raised in a world where that was often the thinking expressed. The men attacking, women defending dynamic of dating always felt strange to me. It didn't feel honest. Although there was a recognition of strangeness in this interaction, I did date in this way. Since this realization, I've found incredible relief in my life. Dating is fun. It's just an extension of friendship. It's no longer an experience that feels painful. 

In dating, there's been a kind "line of scrimmage." Men tend to be the ones trying to push across this line. Women tend to defend this line. 

Q: What can we learn from this? 
A: That everyone knows where the line is! 

Men are insecure that if they don't push on the line, they will probably never again have sex. That's kind of what they've been taught. But, if you spend any time talking to women, they'll tell you that they like sex, too. That they like it at least as much as men. 

So, then why are we pushing on the line? If everyone knows where the line is and everyone likes having sex with people they want to have sex with, the line will move it's own. In a way that is mutual. Equal.

I think things are changing. That this is the most important development that will happen during the time our generation spends on this planet. I don't think things will change immediately, but I do believe they are changing. 

I believe that if we recognize a disconnect between truth and our world, it is our responsible to change it. I recognize that popular commercial media in practically no way seems to be descriptive of this change. My thinking is that this media is much more reflective of where we've been than where we are heading. I believe it is our responsibility to educate our own and - most importantly - the next generation of this disconnect. That we are the keepers of that change. 

And when things change, it will be transformative. No longer will so many interactions between men and women reflect this disconnect. That men an women will be able to interact from a place of equality. That relationships will no longer suffer the challenges that this disconnect inspires. The world will be happier and less painful. For everyone.

I am incredibly grateful for all of the women - and men - in my life who have helped me find my way on this path. 

If you have any thoughts, please share them. I recognize that there will be work required to make this transition. If there is some way I can help, please let me know.