A patriarchal society is harmful to both men and women, as it assigns specific gender roles and promotes socially restrictive attitudes about gender. This prevents people of all genders from being who they truly are and finding safe space to explore their uniqueness. Some of the qualities that our patriarchal society as assigned to men include violent, unemotional, strong, and sexually aggressive. Likewise, toxic masculinity is harmful to women, as it assigns them adjectives like passive, overly emotional, weak, and sexually submissive. Toxic masculinity is one of the many ways that society boxes people in and prevents exploration and selfhood. How can getting back to nature heal our ideas about gender, and toxic masculinity in particular?
Nature, like us, is filled with various energies, some of which would be considered masculine and feminine, and have nothing to do with gender roles. First, when we connect with nature we realize the divine feminine essence of Mother Earth. We call her “Mother Earth” for a reason, as she is the original mother to us all and as such, deserves our reverence and respect. This Mother Earth archetype alone is enough to make us realize the power and strength of the feminine, smashing the idea that men are the “stronger” sex. Additionally, when we turn to nature, we realize that masculine and feminine forces work together to create our world. Active and receptive qualities, or yin and yang, are the opposing forces that create balance and we, as humans, can embody any combination of these qualities, no matter our gender. Getting back to nature also reminds us that we have the power to define ourselves, just as we have the power and capability of existing in the natural world amongst its wildness and unpredictability. Mother Nature is strong, receptive, and powerful, and embodies masculine and feminine archetypes. Turn to nature to integrate the feminine and masculine qualities within yourself and release old beliefs about what men should be. Nature doesn’t hold these beliefs and in fact, opposes them.
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery offers an experience like no other through a proven, 12-step, adventure-based wilderness program. For more information, call us today: 801-921-8488.