For most of my life I have bought into a myth of such magnitude that it is impossible to either calculate or fathom the sum total of its catastrophic effects. It is a myth that is held almost universally and one that is encouraged and perpetuated by both men and women equally. Popular culture coined the term for this myth, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus:’ in a nutshell it describes the seemingly irrevocable differences between men and women. And up until very recently this is something that I simply took as gospel.
I felt that everywhere I looked there was evidence to support the myth. Growing up in the 70’s in England, the differences between what the two sexes actually did was stark.
Men almost exclusively held positions of power, not just as world leaders but leaders in religions worldwide, as well as in government, pretty much all businesses, schools, local authorities and indeed most organisations. Women on the other hand were generally always the ones who were at home with the kids and if they did work, then it tended to be as nurses, in the typing pool, as secretaries, in the school canteen etc. It was a given that women did the jobs that supported the men to be able to do their jobs.
The myth was mirrored in my own home. My dad was a manager in an insurance company. He often travelled a lot for work. My mum looked after my sister and I when we were smaller and then when she was able to return to work, my mum worked in secretarial and personal assistant roles. I never remember Mum working for a woman, only ever men. The other thing that mum did, which seemed to bolster my belief that men and women had very different qualities, was that she ‘helped out a lot.’ Mum did lots of charity work and she cared constantly for those around her. As a result, I grew up believing that women were naturally more caring than men.
Even though I grew up in a family where my parents shared the decision-making process and always showed one another the greatest respect, I was very aware that this was often not the norm. I knew just from being out in the world that men were by default the decision makers – they were the ones that said what was going to happen. I knew that they didn’t have to justify or reason why; they were able to have the last say based purely on the fact that they were men. I was also aware that violence towards women was an accepted part of our society and I saw what I deemed to be the ‘aggressive side of men’ as simply yet another glaringly obvious sign of the differences between men and women.
Growing up, the evidence was all around me: men and women were indeed a completely different species. As I became a teenager and started to go out with boys, the differences between the two sexes were further confirmed. I had boyfriends who drove cars in destruction derbies, boyfriends who volunteered to fight fires, boyfriends who were enthusiastic about cars and motorbikes, boyfriends who loved competitive sport and boyfriends who loved going to the pub with their mates. Basically, boyfriends who loved doing things that many girls didn’t.
Although my relationships always started off well, they also ended up full of struggle, a familiar pushing and pulling, a lack of understanding one another, an inability to see things in the same way – basically a breakdown in communication. I remember being in my mid-twenties and thinking to myself that although I was not attracted to women in a sexual way, I could see the benefits of being in a relationship with another woman – at least we would speak the same language!
So when in 1992, John Gray’s book ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ was published, I thought, “How true that is – men and women are indeed a different species,” and I saw the prospect of spending my life in a relationship with a man from another planet as rather gloomy.
In the last several years, I have been involved in the process of healing: a process that has involved the stripping back of many layers. Layers of muck that I have accumulated not just from my current life, but from many lifetimes. These overlapping layers are multitudinous, made up from an array of different things; reactions to being hurt, beliefs that I have taken on, ideals that I have tried to live up to. They are many and varied but basically what they all have in common is that they are all not me.
When healing is true, then the false layers get stripped back and removed for good.
I have received true support for this healing process through Universal Medicine. There are many men and women who are on the return leg of the journey with me and as a result of being with, and feeling the quality of the men, who are also stripping back their layers, I have had a revelation of such magnitude that it has quite literally taken the top of my head off.
When you strip back everything that does not belong, then what you are left with in both men and women is exactly the same essence; identical in fact. Ok sure, we have different bodies and yep, men can lift more weight than women, but in our essence, we are the same. The alarming thing is that I have had the living evidence with me my whole life: I have a dad who is the most tender of men and a partner who is a naturally gentle and caring man but the belief that men and women are different was so strong that it overrode the evidence that was right under my nose.
How destructive a force must beliefs be that they have the power to do this?
What these realisations have led me to understand is that any differences that exist between the two sexes have been introduced by us and are as healthy as the introduction of myxomatosis to rabbits. What’s worse is that we have lived with these introduced changes for such a long time that we have come to see them as normal but they are not – they are not normal at all.
So, something to ponder on is how would life be if we lived free of the largely unchallenged myth that ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ and simply allowed men and women to be who they naturally are?
By Alexis Stewart, Disability support worker, yoga teacher, massage therapist, mother, partner, patch of God, Sydney, Australia
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‘When you strip back everything that does not belong, then what you are left with in both men and women is exactly the same essence’ not only is this the same with men and women but also colour, creed, and country. In truth we are all the same.
Spot on Vicky, we are all unified by our divinity, which is our essence will always be in connection with God!
our divinity is in itself unification.
Young children never discern between gender (unless they are taught otherwise from a young age) – they are effectively genderless.
Yes very true and it only really changes when they start going to Kindy or such, unless it is imprinted before then at the home front…
Whether we are men or women, ultimately we are all the same… tender, caring, sensitive and loving human-beings.
Although there is a difference between being in a female body and being in a male body and energetically this also brings a different quality in essence we all come from God.
I grew up keeping my distance from men because I lacked worth in myself as a woman. The more I have come to appreciate myself the more my life is surrounded by very gorgeous, loving and caring men. I have come to see that the quality of my relationships is set by how I am within them.
Great article as we often like to think we are different yet try to act the same without appreciating we are “exactly the same essence;”, the subtle things that get magnified in society are devastating to us living our fullness and having great relationships with each other. It’s only when I started to embrace how we are the same in quality, in essence that life for me turned around to be an amazing learning experience every day.
Alexis this is a huge consciousness you have tapped into. As people we default to making life about the physical and so when we see the obvious physical differences between a man and a woman, we seem to put them into 2 baskets. But in this we do not consider the essence of a person, and that it, in fact, has no gender. What is interesting is that I have met men who are more tender than women I know, and met women who are harder and tougher than men – perhaps a cry out that it is not about categorizing people because actually we can be seen from our essence first.
“When healing is true, then the false layers get stripped back and removed for good.” I say Amen to that.
Bringing up my son was a constant revelation for me, He is now a young adult and I can only now say I am no longer surprised by his tender & considerate innate nature and the stark contrast of what I thought was inherent in a males nature.
When looking at young children it is easy to see we are all the same, yet we are imposed on from a very young age so for a true reflection we have either babies to look at or those of us who are letting go of the imposed beliefs and ideals.
Yes I agree, Alexis, this belief is definitely one of the “biggest, most damaging lies” we have been fed and along with many others have created a world where men and women have lived in separation to each other, even when in relationships. To peel back the insidious layers of polarising beliefs about men and women and to come to the realisation that in our essence we are both equal is so incredibly liberating and inevitably life-changing for all of us.
It is very beautiful to realise that men and women are in fact equal in essence although we express the quality of our essence differently through our incarnated bodies. However, when we break it down, as you have described so beautifully Alexis, all the layers we load ourselves up with, the introduced beliefs and pictures that are divisive in their intent, we discover that underneath it all we both crave the exact same thing, to be and express the love we naturally are, and that we are in fact here together to support, compliment and inspire each other.
Yes, this concept, was shown to me when I was a young boy. I had three younger sisters, I got the impression that I had to treat them differently. This has colored my relationship with women most of my life. As a teen I was very confused about how I should treat girls. I was attracted to them, but felt like I could not be myself around them. Treat them specially.
With support from Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have gotten to the root cause of these beliefs. I am now in a true relationship with women.
A different world would be present for sure if we got rid of the belief that we were from different planets. But, then who would we blame? Is it possible that that lie was designed to have us not appreciate everything we have? To keep us stuck in patterns and behaviours, and to have something to roll our eyes over or whinge about till the end of our days? Seems, that’s all this concept has really brought to the table.
Roles are like cloaks we hang over our equal essence and when we forget who we are underneath, the role takes over and as we’ve seen the outplay of this – when enough of us do it – is the tragedy and comedy that comes with any act.
As we reconnect to the essence, the drama stops and the roles no longer own us, identify us, or determine our worth or define our relationships with ourselves and each other.
Thank you Alexis for the invitation to see beyond the roles that foster separation and get in the way of our natural connection with each other no matter what our sex.
The differences between men and women are but skin deep. When we look at the qualities of the being that is within each human we are from the same magnificent source. Therefore we have much more in common that we do, apparent differences.
I never did read that book, although I did hear many people talk about it. I went to an all girls school and grew up thinking men were somehow a different species from us women. This was quite damaging and caused problems in the way I used to relate to men. Yes we have our differences, but we have so much more in common, and I too have been fortunate enough to have a super gentle dad and wonderfully gentle husband to help me bust some of the false myth I bought into.
If we really were two different species then there would be a lot of inter-species breeding going on! Just because we have developed different ways of dealing with life on the outside does not mean in any way that we differ in the inside.
Hmm Joshua your comment got me pondering as to whether men and women have developed different ways of dealing with life on the outside. We’re both pretty good at numbing ourselves with food, alcohol and drugs, we’re both pretty good at distracting ourselves almost constantly with all manner of paraphernalia and we’re also both absolute masters of deceit. It’s ironic isn’t it, that when we share such absolute beauty, we also choose to share such despicable ugliness.
Great points raised here Alexis, in the manner of dealing with life we do not really differ at all, as men and women use more or less the same to numb, check out etc etc. Where then, are the ‘true’ differences? Apart from the physicality there aren’t really any that one is born with – so it is imprinting then from role models and taking on beliefs that these perceived differences get pointed out time and again …
Yes, yes and yes. This is a great conversation to be getting out there. I have had a very similar evolution in my relationships with men and women and in my observations of what each offers, and can absolutely attest to their equality. And, to prove this, I now have men in my life with whom I have the most tender and transparent and nurturing relationships (a role that would ‘traditionally’ be taken by a woman) and i have women in my life who are absolute powerhouses of strength, authority and leadership (a role that would ‘traditionally’ be taken by a man). Neither is less or more than the other – each are just the natural expressions of who we all are.
Brilliant exposure Alexis of the man-made great divide between men and women. This is perpetuated by beliefs and ideals we have taken on and therefore only choosing to see what supports the lie ‘men are from mars and women are from venus’. I live with three amazing, gorgeous, sensitive, gentle-men and have seen how these lies have affected them and at times eroded their sense of self and who they are. This especially plays out in school, it shocks me some of the lines that are said to teenage boys by Teachers that contribute to the separation and not seeing each other for who they are. And of course this is what Teachers have also been through themselves. This blog is great to start a much needed conversation on how our essence is naturally the same and how far away we have walked from this truth.
Just like myxomatosis in rabbits our beliefs stop us seeing clearly. A very good question to ponder on at the end. Thank you Alexis.
‘When you strip back everything that does not belong, then what you are left with in both men and women is exactly the same essence; identical in fact.’ Great call. Yes, both men and women are equally tender and sensitive and when we allow ourselves to express this and give space for others to do the same it is remarkable what a turnaround this can give to life!
In essence men and women are the same and we really do not acknowledge or appreciate this fact, instead we have been, for far too long, looking at physical differences and behaviours that fit the stereotypes we have created.
Great call Alexis, we are all the same and have been the ones that have supported in one way or another, that old myth, that men are from mars and women are from venus. It’s great to know that men are exactly the same as us in truth and capable of just as much tenderness and deep love.
To purport that men and women are two different species perpetuates misunderstanding, lack of communication and giving up on each other. This myth draws invisible battle lines and does not support our innateness and the superb tenderness that is equally in men as it is in women.
As I was reading this I was also reflecting on the patronising remarks that are commonplace about what women do and are like, and what men do and what they are like. We conveniently separate ourselves from each other, perpetuating a schism that has existed for eons, not because this schism is natural but because of age-old hurts.
When we decide to peel back the layers of hurt that have kept us separate from ourselves and each other, pigeon-holed into boxes of our own making, we actually realise we are all the same. Yes, women have certain qualities and a different physicality, and men have other innate qualities and their physique is of course different. But in essence we are the same – the same tenderness, sensitivity and preciousness resides in both genders, for both are in fact divine when all those layer of hurt are peeled away, and we are with the truth of who we are: Sons of God, men and women alike.
Love this Katerina – “But in essence we are the same – the same tenderness, sensitivity and preciousness resides in both genders, for both are in fact divine when all those layer of hurt are peeled away, and we are with the truth of who we are: Sons of God, men and women alike.” And when we then hear ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘don’t be such a girl’ – this is so very harming as these children grow up with beliefs that will imprint their behaviour for years to come accordingly.
I love the way you write, Alexis, with such humour yet hitting the nail right on the head, exposing our craziness with a good dose of loving understanding. The sooner we connect with one another from our essence instead of the outer appearance and demeanour the better!
I completely agree that we are all EQUAL but also there are differences in our expression. I love being a woman and also can connect to having been a man in many lives – we have all been and will continue to be both as needed for our learning or service.
Great point to make Nicola – and when we remember this how can we possibly see men and women as different in their essence…
“both men and women [have] exactly the same essence” – This is gorgeous Alexis, and what a great reminder that in truth there is no hierarchy of power, leadership, abilities or duties between the sexes because all hearts beat the same. We should be appreciating the qualities every member of humanity brings rather than focusing on ideals based on face value appearances/genders.
So very well said Alexis. Myths like these can leave us feeling so very far apart from each other, and as you say, they keep us from seeing the truth that is right under our noses.
I was at a healing course this weekend and was doing a session with a man and whilst I was the healer doing the moves I felt such an exquisite quality in this man, his essence oh my it was absolutely divine, a tangible feeling in my hands and body that was so sweet and just simply love, like you say Alexis we are all the same when it comes to essence to essence,
Being supported by Universal Medicine that there is not something wrong as a man for not fitting the model of a ‘man from Mars’ has been far more than just a relief, it has been a re-birth.
Love this Jonathan – and when deeply connected men as well as women can stand in their own beautiful truth.
Absolutely we need to work as hard at eradicating the false belief that men and women are innately different as we have at getting rid of myxomatosis.
I agree that our ideals and beliefs are like a plague and an introduced disease that we have infected ourselves with and that can affect our very perception of life.
Andrew I feel that what you have shared about ideals and beliefs “affecting our very perception of life” is actually the intention behind why ideals and beliefs were introduced. They were introduced to specifically taint and tamper with our perception of life, much as interference on the TV would distort the picture. The problem is that we have lived with a distorted picture for such a long time, that we no longer doubt it’s validity.
And not only that, these ideals and beliefs can then infect all around us too as they try to live up to that ideal and belief and in the process everyone loses their true connection to themselves.
These words are very strong Andrew but oh so true.
Wow Alexis, a brilliant, powerfully written blog that completely exposes these myths as the manipulative lies they are. We believe and have accepted these as are our normal reality, which they are not. These lies are deeply harming for humanity as they are far from the truth of the true and natural essence we ALL are, equally so within, whether men or women.
Alexis, great article, “When you strip back everything that does not belong, then what you are left with in both men and women is exactly the same essence; identical in fact.” I observe this is with young children, there is no difference between boys and girls, they are just as sensitive and sweet, playful and tender as each other and at this age they play with each other, there is not this boy/girl divide that happens later on – unless parents have introduced this early on.
Very true Rebecca. Young kids are the same. They play, are tense, considerate and inclusive of the all. Looking at the face, body and interactions of a young child in their openness and then comparing that side by side with the majority of people – their bodies, manners, faces – then it is easy to see how beliefs and ideals lived realistically affect the body. Adults in general feel so much more harder, not as open, identified by status and looks etc and young children are just about being them in the moment.
A profound observation Rebecca. When I observe young children too all I get a sense of is their utter gorgeousness – whether male or female. I literally melt in the face of all that sensitivity, joy and playfulness. To me, there is no delineation between the genders. They just are. It is only when I observe older children, teenagers and adults that those protections in the form of certain behaviours are seen and felt and within that separation has become palpable.
The reinterpretation of the truth about men and women is deeply harming as it makes us for instance accept behaviour of the other gender that we would never accept if we would remember the truth the we are inside all equal and the same.
As the world continues to spin and life continues to be lived – the more we take the untruth as truth then the far lesser and lost we are leaving this world for our future generations. This really magnifies the importance of having true reflections around so the truth can be seen and felt in movement.
Loved your article Alexis. That book I read as well, trying to understand women. But the book solidifies there is a difference, and that is pure evil. Of course it is not only that book, but a society that promotes these differences, through books, magazine, ideals and believes we all buy into, me included until recently. Promoting and accepting there is are these differences is indeed not normal, seeing that in essence we are same should be the new normal.
Every thing that is created on Earth has come about because of a demand. This book and any like it, that encourage there to be great divides between us are a reflection of the inequality we hold onto within ourselves.
A point we could all do to remember more often Aimee; that what we don’t like in the world has been supplied in response to a demand; our own (collective) demand…
Perhaps we have wanted to believe men and women are fundamentally different to excuse the lack of true understanding between us?
Great point Aimee and Jo; everything only ever happens through demand – so were is humanity at that it demands separation, and on so many different levels. As long as we look to the other for fulfilling the demand we will have that separation, as only when we truly connect and fulfill our demand to our selves, can we hold another in the equalness of that connection.
Agreed Aimee Jane, there are massive rifts within us and so these rifts are magnified all around us. Only re-unification within can bring about re-unification of all that is around us.
Hear hear – exactly so.
I think “men are from mars and women are from venus” is a great description of just how far away we are from the amazing, caring, committed men and women we are designed to be. I agree we are all essentially the same in essence, but what if the deviation from that essence is what causes the seeming divide or rift between men and women?
Yes that could explain why people so often treat each other as aliens rather than lovers.
So true Meg. We are so far away from that original essence as a humanity. The very separation from it has led to us all being poles apart, whether we are men or women.
Indeed, as women separate from women as much as they do from men, and men from men too. So it really is all about everyone being ‘separate’ from everyone, and healing can only really take place once everyone has re-connected to themselves first and if everyone does that, then we all can only but be connected in our essence 🙂
Meg, I agree with you that the ‘deviation from that essence is what causes the seeming divide or rift between men and women’, but the most harmful part about it is, is that we have come to believe that the differences are fundamental to our nature, when in truth they have nothing to do with our original nature.
Yes it is truly harming when we live without our connection to our essence.
That is exactly what I was saying too, all this can only happen in separation to self first.
So true that people think they are what is not their essence and then write books on having relationships based on these false parts that aren’t who we are. It’s no wonder that those who’ve lost their connection with their essence, like myself at the time, buy books that promise insight into that something people know they are missing but can’t perhaps name. These books take us further away from who we are, complicate and fog up the issue when we need just look within.
Could it be, that we would no longer see stars and wonder, to become one ourselves and shine for all to see?
I had to read that twice Steve but yes I think you’re into something there! We are the beauty we simply need to be willing to be that and for all to see us like that.