Archive for October, 2015


Marriages are breaking down in the West. The older I have got the more I am in favour of monoganous marriage for the simple reason that I care for the children. The 60s have produced all kinds of picadillos concerning relationship. The sexual freedom gained through contraception has led to a weakening of society because of the weakening marriage not proviing a basis for children. People should not be slaves in their marriages but equally marriage with children is not simply an extension of a one night stand.

Strength in a marriage can come from mutual listening and respect, but I suggest that longevity in marriages comes from fear, mutual convenience and social imposition. Sexual desire is often the cause of marriage breakdown (or is it the final straw?), and yet on paper it is the easiest to resolve mutually. Get married with aview to being faithful. In marriage listen to each other’s needs and attempt to fulfil them. Don’t bring any demands to the bed.

It is usually the man who wanders, shouldn’t this be an indication that a man’s sexual needs are more demanding? If the man’s sexual desire is not being met in a marriage, questions need to be asked of the relationship; it is as simple as that. Why does the woman marry if she is not willing to have a sexual relationship with the man? It seems that the man’s needs are not being taken into account because of the history of oppression by men. It appears that a woman is saying “satisfy me” because men in the past have simply demanded sex. But they do not seem to accept the counter-position, that they are in a relationship in which both partners need to be satisfied. And a man’s desire for sex in my view is stronger than a woman’s.

So when society is pressuring teenagers to have sex I am calling that socialised imposition legalised rape, and yet in marriage I am saying that a woman has a sexual duty. It sounds contradictory, and I am satisfied with that apparent contradiction because these matters are not easy.

But what I do consider unfair is that a man falls in love, in that state of love has children and provides a house etc., and because the woman has prioritised herself as a mother, does not satisfy the man who then goes outside the marriage. This affair breaks up the marriage, he loses access to his children, he loses his home, and must make payments for his children, because the woman has not upheld the implicit end of her bargain. The courts automatically award the home to the woman, often restrict the man’s access because he is angry. This is an injustice.

Most men are conditioned chauvinists and society needs to defend the women and children against them but it is not always the case. It is hard to decide who is right or wrong because all men and women are in the problem – they are not detached.

When I read this feminist charter, I go back to what women were saying to me 30 years ago. Yet sexual relationships have moved on. Maybe the workplace has not changed but in the home men continually lose out whether justified or not. It seems to me that women want control of both the workplace and the home, they already mostly have control of the home.

Once there is marriage there are children and the relationship between man and woman changes; he is displaced. For that marriage to work – work meaning that they successfully bring up the children together – the man has to accept this changing role, and devote himself to the maintenance of the family. In doing this he must work to bring in the money to maintain the family. A man should do this, he should have that discipline but many don’t. In a promiscuous western society men often stray, have affairs, break up their family and lose their homes. In this situation what does the woman have to accept? Bringing up the children and looking after the home. Isn’t that what she wanted in the first place? So the compromise that she must accept is to keep the man happy. Before the feminist movement women did this well, and men exploited them for it. Since the feminist movement this compromise has been fulfilled less, and there have been more breakdowns in marriage. Women provide the glue in the marriage, with feminism the strength of this glue has been weakened. It would be wrong to return to the pre-feminist exploitation but it is not wrong to question the level of compromise that is required in marriages.

Are the affairs just men losing discipline? It is understandable that women prioritise their affections towards the children but it appears for some men this prioritising appears exclusive attention towards the children. Disillusioned with his one-and-only the man seeks affection elsewhere, and being a man he is led by his desire and has promiscuous affairs. Whilst not acceptable, in some cases this might be understandable – a man should have discipline. But what does he lose? The home that he has worked for, and various levels of access to his children; in some cases this could be unfair.

A woman’s forte is the emotional arena. A man loves but has no control, women control their emotions and the emotional entanglements. Whilst a man might be physically stronger he is by far emotionally the weaker, and in the home emotions are usually the interplay medium. The man’s love is pulled left, right and centre by the woman for her own agenda, to be fair that agenda is usually the children; and the man has little control of this emotional struggle. For many weak men this leads to estrangement, sometimes within the relationship and sometimes without; but years ago (pre-feminism) to regain that control men turned to violence. For me that is unacceptable but it is understandable. What we now have in society is a complete rejection of the physical violence leaving the emotional arena to be controlled by the woman, leaving the man emasculated – powerless. For a man interaction with women leaves him permanently on the losing side. Within the relationship the woman knows the emotional arena is hers, many years ago such control misused would lead to male violence; now that violence is controlled she could run roughshod over the emotions. For a good woman such emotional control would be gently used, how many do this?

Temptation and desire – I find this very difficult temptation and desire as being mutually equal. Consider this example. A young men goes out on the pull. The guys go out for some beers, end up at a pulling place – club, dance etc. They look around and try to get some woman to dance, a bit of smooching, and then leave together – pulled. At this point he is trying to get as far as he can get sexually.

I don’t know how women feel in this situation – I can only guess. This drunk asks her to dance, he is handsome but how drunk is he? What is he after? She dances and avoids the worst of his drunken lunges. Behind his drunkenness she sees something she likes, and works out how to escape that night to meet him when he is sober. And then there is further courtship during which the young man is trying to get sex, and the woman fends him off trying to decide whether this man is a keeper.

There are so many “courtship” scenarios but in none of them is the motivation the same, the desire the same.
Honey traps, gold diggers, the majority of prostitution, all of these play on men’s desires. In other words a man’s physical desire for a woman can be used by the women to take advantage financially. The opposite equivalent are toy-boys and occasional male escorts, but proportionately these numbers are not equal.

Historically female strippers have been a regular phenomenon, over the last 30 years Chippendales and others have appeared, and women give in to their baser desires. But I don’t get the feeling that these women are seeking to buy sex, I feel the male strippers is a social thing. With men and strippers the men have to be restrained from sexually assaulting them. I am reminded of a phrase used by Lucy Liu in Ally McBeal – the dumbstick, men governed by desire – by dumbsticks. I assess that as a generalisation in courtship men are continually fighting temptation whereas women are fighting off unwanted attention.

This is simplistic but in my view is much nearer the truth than suggesting that the desires of women and men are of a parity. There is a populist book “Men are from Mars women are from Venus”, whilst I have not read it this book clearly points to the notion that desires are different, and if society is to maintain stable relationships these differences have to be rationalised and satiated.

Most affairs that break up families involve men, I have alluded to that already. Why don’t married women have affairs? It is not as commonplace, I assess that this is because of different desires. A man seeks love as passion, lust, and romance, a woman seeks love as security, home and family – needing a provider. For a woman these desires militate against an affair, as such it is not clear why a woman would have an affair. But for a man who has been replaced by the children in the affection of his love for life, his lust would take him to seek gratification outside marriage. Whilst he should have discipline, in a western society where male promiscuity is not chastised – if not encouraged the less discerning men get led by the dumbstick. And they are punished for it by losing their home, access to the children and child-care payments.

What I am trying to get at is the power of male desire, and in a society where there is no moral control there is a vulnerability of men to this desire. Lucy Liu’s dumbstick description accurately depicts that vulnerability. Yet for the most part this vulnerability is not recognised. When it turns to crime such as rape or domestic violence society rightly quickly protects the woman but up to that point society commercialises and aggrandises that age, flaunts images to inflame the desire, and then expects the man to exert control. The power this desire has over a man and the ensuing vulnerability needs to be recognised, and not simply dismissed as chauvinist and ignorant, and in that recognition there needs to be a moral element of control. Remove the titillation and teach control.

But at the same time women need educating into recognising this vulnerability. We quite rightly support women because they are vulnerable to violence, but when a man loses power to his vulnerability some women seek to exploit that vulnerability to extort favours. If a man were extorting favours there would be condemnation because of the tradition of exploitation shown by men – pre-feminism. But when a woman exploits the man’s sexual vulnerability – exploiting the dumbstick, this is socially acceptable. Rather than being educated to accept the man’s desire as part of the give and take of marriage, the man’s vulnerability is recognised as a means of getting what the woman wants – the woman’s emotional arena. This is exploitation and needs to be recognised as such, and socially frowned on.

So now to the feminist charter that started this. There are undoubtedly tremendous truisms in this charter, the feminist movement is led by women – and not by men, men should be supportive especially in dealing with other men. When it comes to women’s bodies they must listen to women, and quote women rather than proffering a personal opinion that can have no basis in experience. The charter concludes with this:-

“Going forward, men need to take the next step: challenge and dismantle their preconceived notions and stereotypes of women and gender identity. They can and should do this while affirming the leadership of the many women who have paved the way.”

What are the preconceived notions? On this page dismantle their preconceived notions, there is an excellent poem by Bhatti but the page itself basically argues for the woman’s right to be “sexual”. What does “sexual” mean? In the case of a woman doesn’t it mean appealing to men on a sexual basis? Commercially this is what men want, part of the western consumerism of objectifying women as sexual objects to sell products etc. These men also encourage the affect it has on men’s desires, and then a man has to control himself because there might not be a way of fulfilling those desires. The feminist view is that a man should be able to control himself, but those feminists do not experience the desires the way men do – in effect this is woman saying how a man should feel in his body. But it is not feminists I want to think about this but all women. When a woman dresses up to be attractive, how does she dress up? I have seen a number of attractive Muslim women dressed up – not when they dress in a western way, but the way they dress does not have to be sexual but is attractive. I am sure their bodies are sexy but whether they are or not is surely an issue in the bedroom – and not for display throughout society. In many societies respectable women dress in an attractive way, it does not make them any less sexy at the appropriate time. Prostitutes dress in a certain way because they are looking for a dumbstick response so they can earn money, is it appropriate for women to dress in a similar way? And if they do should society not be critical? Many societies are, but western societies are not. And they have problems with men’s desires as a consequence.

Caveat:- How a woman dresses is not an excuse for rape or violence, when a woman says no she says no an dthta has to be respected. But taking the dumbstick to the edge of satisfaction and then denying is completely unacceptable even though the law enshrines that as a possibility.

Effectively this dismantling of preconceived notions is a recipe for women to have increased control of men’s lustful vulnerability. There is a demand for women to dress sexily, conduct themselves in a manner which would titillate men, and then when that man wants sexual fulfilment the woman says no, and the man legally musts accept this – quite rightly. It is right that he should be expected to stop when she says no, but the woman has a responsibility because sexually her body is a weapon. Because the woman cannot experience being in a man’s body the woman cannot know how powerful her body as a weapon is. “In a broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary,” [Wikipedia search weapon]. Does a woman’s body not do that over the adversary man? This is nature.

Throughout the charter male privilege is spoken of. Within business and the power in society there is evidentially male privilege. This charter decries that privilege, asks that men listen to women, asks men to support feminism and support gender equality but does NOT say what this equality means. Whilst I do not know what was discussed by these “men’s rights activists” the charter does not expect women to listen to men’s grievances whilst explicitly in the charter saying men should listen to women about the experiences of their bodies. “Men who are ignorant about feminism — and even so-called men’s rights activists — often critique feminists for not addressing what they describe as men’s struggles. Some of these issues include the disproportionately high male suicide rate, how the court system regards fathers in custody battles and the perceived abandonment of survivors of sexual violence.” Clearly I am one such man who criticises feminists for not addressing men’s struggles, but further I criticise women as a whole for not so doing.
In this article “fathers in custody battles” there is much that could be discussed, but there is a general tone, in the marital home there needs to be an equalising of roles, not a respect for the different roles but an equalising of roles. This is a fundamental problem of the intellectualism surrounding feminism, it does not investigate the roles of men and women as nature has set out.
In this article on men’s rights activists, there are responses to men’s rights but there is no question of listening. Whilst I understand this because of the conflictual position these men’s groups can take, the reality is that they need to be listened to. In the battle of the sexes no-one is listening.
Rape is presented as a crime of power on tv, power over women. But are there not cases where a man rapes the woman he knows because he wants sex? Because he wants to fulfil his desire? And as in western society where hooking up can mean casual sex for many, if a woman goes to a man’s room what are his expectations? If there is no or even a clear intimation that the woman does not want sex, then the man has to control himself and calm down. But the man should not have been put in that situation. In the following the man should stop but how fair is it? He has been to a club, he has had several drinks. He starts dancing with a girl who also has had several drinks. They have been dancing for a long time, and the final dance is a smoocher – they kiss. The man and woman leave together hand-in-hand, and they go to his room. They kiss and maybe he touches her breast, puts his hand up her dress. His passion is rising and then the woman says no. He has to stop, he would be wrong not to stop, he definitely must stop – however drunk. But what kind of decision is that to be made? Lust and passion have been worked up together – not separately but together. And then the woman decides no. She has used her weapon, his dumbstick vulnerability has jointly been titillated, and then no. This is exploitative, inconsiderate at the least on the part of the woman.

When I was young and drinking I was invited to the flat of a woman to play chess, I had hoped for more. I got to her flat and couldn’t cope with just chess. When she realised she told me to go, and I did. She did nothing wrong. At a later date I was drunk and made a fool of myself in front of her when I expressed my desire. It was all too powerful, luckily I only made a fool of myself and no more. The woman kept her distance after that, she hadn’t known. Again she acted correctly, and I didn’t. But lust and passion in men are so powerful – dumbstick vulnerability.
Bhatti’s poem talks about the horrendous way some music describes women, and if this image is what young men are expecting I have great sympathy with them in how they have to learn self-control. It is a disgrace that men are put through that. Feminists add to this problem by claiming that titillation, being sexual, is a woman’s right.
I do not know whether women get titillated in public but if there are things that men do which titillate then a man should stop doing it. In terms of equality a woman should stop as well, it is only considerate. It is time that western society started to play down its ongoing sexual displays. We have sexual desires but life does not have to be dominated by them. As a young man I would have been horrified at someone suggesting what I have written, but as a young man I spent my life lurching from one effort at controlling hormones to another. Young men are not capable of making such decisions because at their age they do not have control. In western society old men try to pretend they are young, and encourage public titillation but they can cope because their hormones are not as strong. But it creates a situation in which young men are continually vulnerable to their desires. And this causes social problems.
Men are notorious for not questioning but some do, some are self-critical – presumably the men who claim to be feminists. But do women question themselves? When I read the articles by the feminists quoted here I do not see introspection. I do not see women looking to see if what they are doing is wrong. I see attack, intellectual attack. What is the man doing wrong?

Are women introspective? Are women different in the way they analyse? Is there a way that men analyse that is different to the way women do? And if so why are women trying to do it the same way as men? Why are feminists trying to do it the same way?

This leads to a question, what is the way women should be doing it? If women are trying to be intellectual the same way as men is it appropriate? I understand that it is male academia and that is where the power and money is, but should they be doing it the same way? Shouldn’t education have both perspectives and learning occur that way?

It is time that our western societies start to examine how they conduct themselves and more importantly men and women start listening to each other, discuss each other’s needs openly and honestly, and make agreements that they mean.

I have been considering lately the issue of sexual desire, and when I read this article I was angered by the continued intellectual stagnation demonstrated by the contents.

Male sexual desire is a problem the world over but I think the effects of the problem are much more prevalent in the West because of the nature of western consumerism. I further feel that the lack of resolution of this desire is by political intent – at least to some extent.

What is this problem? There is a desire for sexual satisfaction. This desire can be satisfied out of wedlock, it does not require love. It builds up in young men from their teens, and wanes as a man gets older. For different men there is also a desire for companionship and having children, but all these desires are not constant, they are different in different men. And the problem? What do women do about these desires? This question is fundamental to relationships, and will be discussed in this blog.

Rape is a big problem, and it appears for the younger generation that there is an implied acceptance by most women that they must have sex. If there isn’t a choice then that is rape – a form of rape by social consensus and indoctrination. If it is promiscuity by social imposition then this is just legalised rape.

At the same time within some cultures satisfying the partner’s needs is part of the relationship, within those cultures it is a duty. Basically the women are brought up to believe it is their sexual duty to have sex with their husbands. When younger I met an Indian man, a teacher like myself. His family had some money and position, and his marriage was arranged. When I first met him he was alone and pining for his wife, he became so happy when she and his son eventually joined him it was a pleasure to see. For this family the system of arrangement worked, I hope it still is working. Because they accepted it was their duty to make each other happy they tried.

Compare that with a western relationship, how do people get together? There is no clarity. People meet at discos and parties, and the relationship starts with sexual attraction and how they manage sex; is this sensible? Sometimes there has been a build-up to the party, say for example the office party, where work-based relationships flourish – more stability and depth there. Often there is a relationship established through family and social status (similar to arranged marriages). But it is all extremely messy. The only
constant is that there is a lot of pressure on young people to get into relationships, both natural and social; this is something I saw when teaching in different cultures.

But does western society think about sexual desire other than men lusting for everything in sight? There appears to have grown in the last 30 or 40 years a notion that women lust after men in a similar way that men lust after women; I find this hard to accept. I do not believe male sexual desire is the same as that of a female. Throughout nature there are “courting rituals amongst species” but these rituals are not between likes but a process where male and female interests complement each other. This is not equivalent lust by both. I am concerned that the intellectual concern for equality between the sexes has developed an apparent “lustful” parity in their sexual drives, and such a parity in my view is not natural. If it is not natural it is not stable.

I have one maxim concerning this, if it is natural it is right so somehow it becomes necessary to attempt to determine what is natural. And this is why the feminist charter made me so angry, it never even considers that aspect of nature that women are a part of children and family. So this brings up the question, does feminism represent the interests of women or the interests of society or simply the interests of those feminists?

I need to discuss violence against women; I have mentioned rape already but there is also physical repression by violence. It was these violences that led me to sympathy with feminism when I became a political adult 25 – 30 years ago. Rape is not acceptable, beating your wife is not acceptable but neither is creating such a situation acceptable. If a married man is considering rape or violence then both people in the relationship have to consider the source of that. His desire is almost a complete constant, only diminishing with age, so if rape is on his mind when he is married, why? This is where I feel the lustful parity causes a problem, I do not believe a woman’s lust is the same as the man’s, and if a woman expects only to have sex in order for that lust to be satiated then the relationship will not be stable. Are men innocent? Far from it. But do men in a stable loving relationship become promiscuous, rape or seek prostitutes? In general, no, in promiscuous societies in the West sex outside marriage either consensual or financial is not discouraged, if it leads to family breakdown it is; not getting caught seems acceptable.

This is very much from my male perspective, however much I try to be detached I cannot. I am a man, I have my sexual desires. I am old, and I have never found a satisfactory relationship situation. In the end I realised I had nothing to offer a woman, and to fulfil my spiritual needs I stay alone. I think this is a balanced solution but in the culture I live I am continually questioned. Living alone, where are my children? And it is mostly women who ask this. So how does this fit in with the feminist charter in this article

I decided I had nothing to offer in a relationship. This requires a little explanation but remember you are only getting one side. When I was still trying I paid for a home including a budget, this seemed fair to me. I described what else I wanted and that was agreed. There didn’t have to be agreement but there was. In the end I decided that the agreement was forced. They wanted to live with me and the only way they could do that was to agree with me …. so they did.

To the rational part of me this seems eminently fair but it never worked. So what I was offering was not what was wanted. Why was there agreement? The women hoped they could get what they wanted when they moved in. Life became a battle with their trying to get what they wanted, and my agreement being my benchmark. It never worked.

Significant amongst what I wanted was the peace and time to continue my spiritual develpment. To these women that appeared to matter little yet for me it was more important than a relationship. This was the purpose of the agreements for me. I had hoped the security of the home that they claimed they wanted was enough – it wasn’t. With regards to the limited relationships I had it was never clear to me what was wanted. It seemed that the agreement was a benchmark to push against, a starting point to develop what they wanted from.

I assessed that I could never give them what they wanted. I assessed that the benchmark agreement was a starting point for them to try and get more, and as such there was never a possibility of stability, never a possibiliy for the peace and time to develop spiritually. Because that spiritual drive was stronger in me than lust, stronger than the need for security and whatever else people get from relationships I had no choice but to live alone. Comfortably.

Women tell me I knew the wrong women but did I? I cannot answer that but I have never seen a woman who could accept it. I have met many who say they could but in my view none that could.

For me an essential characteristc of women is to make the best of a situation by “pushing” – inherent instability before a relationship begins. Their lives are spent coping with difficult men, pushing is their way of life.

Now let’s consider the real reason for relationships – children, bringing up the family. And how does this relate to love? A man loves a woman, does a woman love a man? As we grow up our conditioning brings us towards marriage in one way or another. With this a man develops passions for women, the cosmic one, the love of his life, and the woman responds. All her life she has been looking for the right man, the man who will look after her and bear her children. This is very traditional but bearing in mind the feminist article it has more basis in the factual experience of the majority of women than does that of these feminists. Once there is marriage there are children and the relationship between man and woman changes; he is displaced. For that marriage to work – work meaning that they successfully bring up the children – the man has to accept this changing role, and devote himself to the maintenance of the family. In doing this he must work to bring in the money to maintain the family. A man should do this, he should have that discipline but many don’t. In a promiscuous western society men often stray, have affairs, break up their family and lose their homes.

The issue for me, is it just losing discipline? It is understandable that women prioritise their affections towards the children but it appears for some men this prioritising appears exclusive.

Why am I writing this? Firstly I am unlikely to upload it. And more importantly no woman is going to accept any of this. So why write it? I don’t really know. When it comes to certain things women are intractable, this has been my experience. What about truth? As a spiritual person truth is the highest. Where does truth come? Second to what is expedient. If it suits a woman to say she loves, then she says she loves; if it suits her to agree she agrees. The man brings truth to the relationship through his love. Now that is idealistic, very rarely happens, but might well be the truth – I am not sure. Whether he does or not, if it is expedient for the woman it matters not.

Personal

In this blog I am now going to investigate relationships between women and men. To understand where I am coming from here is some personal history – to give perspective.

When I was younger I had great sympathy for the feminist movement hopefully always treating women as equals. When I went to Africa, I had relationships with women there. The culture, and nature of these relationships, were very different. It was Southern Africa where AIDS was prominent, and very simply this was caused by promiscuity. To begin with I found myself overwhelmed by the availability of gorgeous young women for a 42-year-old man. Whilst I had had sexual relationships, mostly serious personal relationships, I moved in circles where sex was not reaidly available. When younger I sought sex and love but I was very independent – this basis was formed by my spiritual needs.

Up until I was 32 I had one meaningful relationship which I initially thought was love. I had a period of maybe two years in which I was “successful” finding different partners in meaningless relationships but mostly I was not sexually satisfied and for me at that time my desire for a meaningful relationship was also not satisfied.

At 33 that changed as I fell completely in love. This relationship was so deep and bitter it altered my relationship goals completely. I was in love but not loved. I became a provider but never found satisfaction. My spiritual desires were dragged down and in the end I was forced to leave after being extremely battered emotionally – feeling the scars for a long time afterwards. In retrospect from the word go I was exploited as I became the provider for the woman and her children, but of course this is just one view of the relationship – from my side. After a couple of years I was still in love but began to assert myself making demands against the exploitation. These were rejected and I left. I would assess that for many my leaving was not socially acceptable as there was a child and 2 teenagers of working age involved, but I was personally suffering and the giving was in one direction. They were left with the home that they failed to maintain, and I had financial burdens as a consequence of this years later.

Following this I still sought sexual relations but not avidly as I was unwilling to be damaged again, and nothing happened. My own hurt and the women I knew through politics meant no sexual interaction. That is not to say political people were not sexually active, it just didn’t work for me.

When I moved to Africa young women actually sought me – for my wallet and the security they thought that brought. I was not looking for love but was hoping for companionship and a pleasant home, African women were very homely – comfortable. All I found was sex and turbulence. That turbulence had enjoyable moments but it was never fulfilling relationship-wise, it was mostly just enjoyable, but risky, sex (AIDS). After Africa there was a brief fling with a Filipina in Oman. Whilst there I had begun to think Asian women were an answer because they had a reputation for a commitment to home.

Later as I became confirmed in my Buddhism I began to believe that religion needed to be at the basis of a relationship, so when I moved to Thailand I moved with hope. But in Thailand I just saw mutual exploitation, the men exploiting the beauty and vitality of the young girls, and the girls taking the men for their money. Obviously there are exceptions but they are few and far between.

In this blog I am making an attempt to look at relationships between the sexes. I believe tradition is nearer an understanding of the way relations work, but that tradition often has culture and family to back it up. Are those traditions close to an understanding of relations? Women and men come to relations with totally different mindsets, mindsets governed by totally different physicalities and emotions. Quite obviously Nature has given women and men different roles in procreation, is it sensible to see equality in everything but procreation?

Feminism came in because of violence, and bullying is never acceptable – bullying of any form. Feminism has changed the way we view genders. The “Victorian” man dominating the home even with the use of violence has been well rid by feminism, at least it is not now socially acceptable. But feminism has brought gender equality, and this appears to me to be an intellectual framework of equality despite natural differences. It is this intellectualism I am primarily attacking here, typical of it is the following interaction. I was discussing with an Australian woman my experiences with the women in Africa, she had never known me there. She came with a preconception of sex tourism. I explained that I had one relationship that was off and on for most of my time, one woman I loved, one woman I cared for, two that were sexual over 6 years. In Australia that track record would not be considered promiscuous even if it was young people exploring, but for her the preconception was all that mattered so after I had opened my heart to explain my relationships she simply said “sex tourism”- an assessment that has ignorance on so many levels. When you have such ignorance being displayed it is no wonder that relationships don’t work. Fundamentally relationships need listening on both parts, and an examination of what is rather than preconceived frameworks that distort. As a man in a relationship I was always the most vulnerable I can be. When in love I was a lost puppy, and in retrospect it seems that love was just used. Being love is the greatest expression a human can give, are men at risk loving women – at risk loving? The world needs love, and the world needs to prepare to accept love. But is it safe to love? ,

At the core we are unity, this is absolute truth. But in life there is separation, and we are on Paths to return to that unity. Are these Paths different for women and men? Traditional religions are dominated by men as teachers and leaders, is it a relative truth that men are spiritual leaders? Or is the practice simply chauvinism?

There are many wise spiritual male leaders but not many women. In Theravada Buddhism this is institutionally defined but is being questioned. Will there be a female pope?

Nature?

What is the nature of woman? Of man? Of both in relationships? Are there roles for women and men based on these natures? Is gender equality financial equality for these roles? Are traditional roles more true to nature dimply that society did not recognise these roles as equal?