Our shadows

By “shadow” I here mean our dark side, what Stevenson portrayed as Mr Hyde, as distinct from Dr Jekyll.

Everybody casts a different shadow, as individuals and as groups.

We men have been invited to look at our shadow for a long time now. Many of us have accepted the invitation, sometimes even too much, resulting in a self-destructive self-image, unjustly negative. Some men have internalized the accusations of being potential rapists and potential pedophiles even though they have absolutely no leanings in that direction.

This could be called male dis-empowerment. However, such word are too oppositional and polarizing. They don’t lead to peace.

What I think is important now is to share, not the limelight but the cellar darkness. The shadow needs to be looked at, by both sexes. Both sex’s shadows.

So I will write a few texts about the female shadow, the dark, unethical side of womankind. Not as a way to get even, to be as hateful as Solanas or other “radical” (violent) feminists. But because it takes two to tango, because we are in this together. Peace is not the job of just one party.

The difficulty of this undertaking should not be (and probably isn’t) underestimated. The courageous Esther Vilar talked a lot about shadows in her book The Manipulated Man, with the result that she was physical assaulted by “sisters”.

That is of course very sad, but to an extent understandable if not forgivable. She expressed herself very directly in a way that almost invited kneejerk reflexes. Still she needs to be read.

So, with all the love, tolerance and paxosophical good-will I can muster, I will soon write about Mrs Hyde.


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