I love and I hate The Way of the Superior Man, however, a man very close to me suggested I read it (and I’ve made him read all of Brene Brown’s work so…). Here I land. Fighting and saying “yes” at the same time.
As a yogi, and a general practitioner of being in alignment with our soul’s work, I find the beginning of the book dead-on. In fact, I’ve been saying this very thing for a number of years. Finally, someone gets what to me is the essence of the struggle for men.
“Many men are willing to poke their women and bloom her in a mediocre way, sharing a few orgasms and a few emotional moments of bonding before going over tomorrow’s schedule. Many men are willing to poke the world and bloom in a mediocre way, making a few bucks and contributing enough betterment so they don’t feel like their life is a total waste.
But very few men are willing to do the deed for real, to use everything they’ve got to liberate their woman and the world into the deepest possible truth, love, and openness. Few men are willing to give their deepest genius, their true endowment, the poetry of their very being, with every thrust of sex and life. Most men are limpened with doubts and uncertainties. Or they hold back their true drive because of fear. So they diddle their woman and the world just enough to extract the pleasure and comfort they need to assuage their nagging sense of falsity and incompleteness.”.
How many relationships have I been in where the man just seems to be getting by—often riding on my life force? In my experience, men are so burdened with fear they can’t truly own intimacy and surrender within a relationship. They don’t know how to be kings because they are so afraid of failure (we women are equally as guilty of not owning our own power, but that’s a different conversation) when failure and ownership of the process and the learning is the very thing that makes the king.
I’m simplifying the book but basically, Deida continues by suggesting that because men are not expressing their true selves, their most powerful, in alignment-with-their-truth-selves, they aren’t able to be the leaders their women need and want them to be. I’m a very independent woman, don’t get me wrong, but I have this discussion all the time with women. We want a man who is powerful. We want a leader. We want a king. These are my words but in essence, Mr. Deida understands this basic premise.
Then I read “Part Two, Dealing with Women”
I’m not sure, but there’s something about that phrase that just rubs me wrong. So I took a big, deep breath and began. Now that I’m at the end, I have to wonder, what kind of women he’s been involved with? I’m thinking he’s been on the crazy train with a nutcase or two. I know a lot of women who don’t vacillate the way he generalizes about us.
“…but more often, and almost always in emotional moments, what she says is the sound of her feelings. Her feminine speech is far more like poetry than like a clearcut agenda for action. In an emotional moment, what she says she is going to do is actually an expression of what she feels like doing in the moment. Her feelings, and therefore what she is actually going to do, could change in five minutes. It could change every five minutes….What your woman says is like a cloud passing in the sky: well-formed, coherent, and unrecognizable moments later. The cloud is an expression of the precise physics of water, wind, and air. Your woman’s words are expressions of the physics of her feelings, your relationship, and the nuances of the present situation, seen and unseen. A moment later, these factors will change, and so will your woman’s expressions.”
I’m sorry, WHAT??? The danger in these vast generalizations about the way a woman’s mind works is that he makes us ALL sound like we change our minds if the wind blows the wrong way. Statements like these diminish a woman’s intellect, ability to analyze and come to sound conclusions that oftentimes don’t change, even in “emotional moments”. In fact, I would argue that most women I know are far more grounded in their decision-making processes and their ability to speak clearly in emotional moments than are men. Moreover, so often I hear about arguments between men and women (let’s assume these are “emotional moments”) where women will speak their minds, and the men will say nothing of any content whatsoever. How does that factor in his equation?
I say this rather tongue and cheek, but you’re basically saying that if a man knows himself well enough, he can steer his woman effectively even though most of the time she has no idea whether she’s coming or going? I do understand that women are different creatures from men. We do often operate from a place of feeling, and we also operate from a place of knowing. So while I agree with your statement, “One of the deepest feminine desires in intimacy (though not in business or simple friendship) is to be able to relax and surrender, knowing that her man is taking care of everything.” I just can’t get over the underlying message that we women are a bunch of coo coo birds and that’s just the way we are. If you men are steadfast then our little crazy selves will soon enough settle down and be okay. (can you see my eyeroll? I hope so.)
I don’t know, the book is still worth the read. I agree we’d all be better off if men could get the message. Do the work of the king and learn your true vocation and you’ll be a better partner, lover, and overall contributor to the master plan of the universe. We women do know when you’re being inauthentic, to yourself and to your soul’s calling. We are powerful not in spite of being “emotionally intense”, it’s fucking because of it. Please, Mr. Deida, a little more awe, a little less disrespect would be appreciated. And I can’t help you with the crazy ones.