As a man, I often hide behind a mask of emotional superiority to women by claiming that women are moody, overly emotional, needy and childlike. Curiously enough, I also recognize that women will claim the same thing about me and other men. The fact is, at times, we as human beings are ALL like that, regardless of gender and as long as we persist in putting it all “out there” rather than taking a stand for it in ourselves, gender differences are held in place and we get to be stuck in a quagmire of sexism. The problem I see with claiming superiority to another is that I get to be right about myself only by making others wrong. I get the “booby prize” of righteousness at the cost of my own and another’s “aliveness.” I get to be superior to women only by making them inferior to me.
I ask the question, how did I get “the mask”? I also answer my own question by saying “I have always had the mask and I will always have it to hide behind. By recognizing that I have this mask, this “shadow”, I always know that anytime I choose, I can choose to not hide behind my mask and to be authentic and alive instead, including being moody, overly emotional, needy and childlike, in other words, to just be myself. And when I let myself be human, I can allow others to be just as human as I am.