Elbow: The Sacred Feminine

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Sacred Feminine

Women are a necessary treasure. With all this DaVinci Code talk about "The Sacred Feminine" I have thought a lot about what the idea of womanhood means in relation to my life.

Growing up I came to realize that women were sacred and pure objects. The Mormon Church teaches that the body is a temple, and that sexual promiscuity is a sin. While very young there were always lessons about keeping your body clean, and then as I grew older and I knew where babies come from, I was taught that any unclean thought about a girl was evil. I came to feel very strongly that women were to be respected, and that I should do all I could to not have a sexual thought about a girl. I'm not sure if I took that idea too far, but it was always very easy for me to never have an impure thought about a girl.

I love my wife so much, Women shouldn't be objectified, women should be cherished and respected. Women should be admired for their femininity, not sexualized for it.

Sometimes when I look at gay culture and I see my friends who are gay and who live an openly gay relationships, I see a lack of balance between the masculine and feminize energies that the earth holds. It sounds weird, but it feels like some gay men disregard the role of womanhood in the world. I think because gay men are stereotypically more feminine it seems odd to think that gay men lack the essence of what makes a woman unique to men.

I often wonder if that balance between man and woman is what life is really about.

Woman are really great. I think about my mother, and my grandma and I feel so much respect for their strength. I admire who they are and I feel something special from them because of their abilities to nurture and care for other people.

I guess everyone has their strengths.

Regardless of anyone's lifestyle or sexuality, I feel that it's important to realize that there is so much to learn from women and all the attributes they possess. I feel blessed by the the woman that my wife is.


Anonymous mark said...


The feelings you express about women are exactly (EXACTLY) how I always felt about women. I didn't grow up in the church (joined as a convert at 17) but from somewhere I got this idea that women should be treated with respect and not be objectified. When other men objectified women, it just drove me crazy...I hated it! So, like you, I really had no problem not feeling lust towards women. My father had porn around the house, and I would look at it, but I was never never much interested in the women...I looked at it for picture layouts of men with women, and guess who I was fixated on? Really, I idolized women; definitely had crushes on women, lots of them...but never really had any kind of sexual feelings for them. But guys, on the other hand, while I don't think I really had conscious crushes until my late teens, I definitely fantasized about them sexually.

I always prided myself on how "righteous" I was in being able to "control" my sexual feelings towards women. When I was struggling with depression a few years ago, I saw a psychiatrist who specializes in gender identity issues. He pointed out to me something that had never occurred to me before...there is no real "control" of feelings involved if there are no feelings in the first place, and this should be a clue to you that maybe you aren't straight since straight guys DO have feelings to control.

That really hit me. And think about it...it is kind of meaningless for the scriptures to talk about "bridling your passions" if there aren't any passions to bridle. Of course, I realize this could be applied to all sorts of passions, sexual and non-sexual, but it has most often been applied to the sexual and, after all, the church has I think always taken the view that heterosexuality is the norm, homosexuality a perversion from the norm. If these gay feelings are just an aberration, something I have to control, why are there no simultaneous hetero feelings to control? Maybe I am missing something obvious, but it still seems pretty odd to me that if I am really a hetero guy who is just confused and needs to get back on the right track, why no straight feelings to have to bridle?

Anyway, I'm rambling...but I have to say it is really comforting to know that I am not the only one who had those attitudes and feelings towards women...so thanks for sharing.


3:50 PM  
Anonymous tbirdguy58 said...

Women do a great job of nurturing. I don't know of any man who can measure up in that way.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I love my wife so much, but it's hard to think of her in a sexual way because I have learned my whole life that to have a sexual thought about a woman is wrong.

Mark was getting at this, but I'll be more blunt about it. It's hard for you to think of your wife in a sexual way not because of what you have learned about women your whole life, but because you are gay. There are plenty of Mormon men who learned the same thing you did, but who have no trouble thinking of women in a sexual way. No amount of religious conditioning is going to trump your hard wired sexuality.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous mark said...

Exactly, hurricane. The problem is that, within the framework of Mormon teachings, that inability to feel sexual attraction to the opposite gender gets confused with being chaste, and consequently is rewarded or commended by church leaders, etc., as being righteous behaviour when, in fact, the person couldn't have a sexual feeling towards the opposite gender to save their life. When the truth is, all those "righteous" heterosexual men have sexual feelings all the time...they just discipline themselves (presumably) not to act on every one of them.


3:55 PM  

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