Justice and Mercy

Yesterday we took a look at an energy continuum on which the energy of the universe runs: the tender-hearted/tough-minded continuum. We imagined a world with only one or the other. All justice and no mercy? Autocratic, unjust. All mercy and no justice? Dangerous, unmerciful. No thanks. We need these forces operating in tandem, simultaneously, creatively in a complex world.

With all the gains men and women of the Feminist movement have made—mostly in trying to inject more tender-heartedness in a tough-minded social system—there are some important losses that we need to solve for. For example, we need to get men back to a place of knowing their importance in the social fabric of society.

The Economics of Sex

The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture says it this way in their video, “The Economics of Sex”:

“By nearly every measure, young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life. When attractive women will still go to bed with you, life for young men, even those who are floundering, just ain’t so bad. In reality, men tend to behave as well or as poorly as the women in their lives permit. Economists say that collusion, women working together, would be the most rational way to elevate the market value of sex. But there is little evidence of this happening among women today. At least, not yet. If women were squarely in charge of how their relationships transpired and demanded a higher market price for the exchange of sex, so to speak, we’d be seeing, on average, more impressive wooing efforts, greater male investment, longer relationships, fewer premarital partners, shorter cohabitations, and more marrying going on. For a women to know what she wants in relationship and to signal it clearly, especially if it’s different than what most men want, this is her power in the economy. But none of these things seem to be occurring. Not now, at least. Today, the economics of contemporary sexual relationships clearly favor men and what they want, even while what they are offering in the exchange has diminished.”

If sexual economics favor men, it’s only a short-term gain. In the long-term, both sexes pay—with unstable relationships. If we want long-term gains, we’ll need to solve for the problem of unrestrained sexuality too, so that sexual responsibility tempers sexual freedom.

Know What You Want

That brings us squarely back to your next date, where the battle of this emotional process in society silently rages throughout your conversation. I suggested the other day that it’s important for people to know what they want in a relationship and to put it out there clearly when they’re dating. That way, folks who want a long-term, committed relationship won’t be hooking up with people who don’t.

Keep in mind that when you say yes to one thing, you say no to another, and vice versa. Identify what’s required (of you, first) to get what you need, and say yes only to those things that will help you achieve that. That may require you to say no to a lot of things, too, and it may take some time to figure it all out.

Know Who You Are

Fortunately, you’re now armed with a wealth of information that you can use to decide how you want to be on your next date…and for the rest of your life…which starts now. Who do you want to be? Can you believe in and hold onto your desire for intimate connection long enough to learn whether or not the person you’re with is interested or even capable of the kind of connection you want? How can you get to know the other as a human being, without requiring him or her to be what you wish s/he would be?

I hope these posts can help you do that. I encourage you to go back and read them over and over, like daily meditations, until they form themselves into a practical picture in your mind about yourself and how you need to be in relationship to get the kind of connection you want.

That’s what we’ll talk about tomorrow: how you can figure out who you are and how you can confidently present yourself to the world.

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