Wherever you go, if you talk about nutrition, healing with food, natural health or any similar topics, you'll find that women are far more open to these ideas than men. I have wondered for a long time why this is, and I have a few ideas on some possible answers. For the men out there reading this, you're probably excluded from the generalizations I am about to offer, because if you're reading this, you are open to new ideas. In fact, you'll probably agree with most of this. The question is, why do other men have such closed minds when it comes to new information about natural healing or healing nutrition?
One of the answers, I believe, is that many men want to believe they already understand the way the universe works. Men like to be rational. In fact, they often disparage the intuition and emotion more readily demonstrated by women. They tend to believe that intuition is false and that making decisions with emotions is somehow inferior. They think rationality is the highest form of intelligence, which, of course, is a belief that deserves some rational questioning all by itself. For one thing, there is no such thing as objective reality because mere existence is subjective. Being alive, being born, breathing, seeing and feeling turns you into a subjective reality filter, so everything you observe throughout your life actually becomes subjective. There's no such thing as a truly objective human being.
I believe most men also don't like the idea of thinking they're not in control. If you discuss things like bioenergy or the idea that conventionally-raised meat has negative energy that affects mood or that a plant has positive energy that makes you feel better, most men reflexively reject these ideas without even bothering to consider them. That's because such ideas take the sense of control away from them. Men like to feel like they are in control of their minds, emotions and moods, and they don't like the idea that unhealthy foods or "low energy" foods could somehow diminish their cognitive function or worsen their moods.
And yet if they are consuming a typical male American diet, they are not in control at all. They are reacting with all the anger and negative energy of the foods they consume in beef, milk, dairy products and processed foods. This may be one reason why American men are such strong consumers of violent television programming and war footage while tending to be irrationally interested in knives, firearms, bombs, explosives and other weapons. Visit YouTube.com or StupidVideos.com and take a look at who you see blowing things up: It's always young men, not young girls. (It's also hilarious to see these young men "discovering" the laws of physics and chemistry.)
The "sissy" factor
There's frequently a huge "sissy" factor that men want to avoid when it comes to plants and food. Men, especially in the United States, have been trained to be macho about everything, and the idea of eating natural foods sounds pretty sissy to many men. This is a result of training. It's nothing but propaganda by society, parents and by peers.
They think they're macho when they eat steak and drink beer. They subsist on animal products and trendy processed foods, and then one day, they discover they have prostate cancer -- a disease that's very simple to prevent using natural foods and herbs. After a couple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation of their reproductive areas, they suddenly don't look very macho anymore. You have radiation burns on your WHAT?
I'll stick with my plant-based nutrition, thank you very much, and I'll keep my prostate healthy for life. And by the way, many men in their mid-30s complain about a loss of sexual energy. Every wonder why? It's all the fried foods, animal products, toxic chemicals and lack of nutrition. It all adds up to the point where these so-called "macho" men can't even get it up anymore without the help of prescription drugs. That's entirely unnatural. I can assure you that a healthy, well-nourished man in his 30s, 40s or even his 70s is brimming with sexual energy and has no trouble with performance in that department. All those "sissy" foods actually keep your vitality at peak levels!
The language of men vs. women in medicine
Ever notice that most people in the technical side of medicine are men who use war-like language, while most people in the "arts" side of healing are women who use nurturing language?
Men like to be able to name the parts, dissect the specimen, identify the chemicals and "target" the body with a "new weapon" that kills the invading disease! The body is a battleground, and male doctors have to "win the war on cancer" or whatever disease they're targeting. Drugs are sometimes called "cluster bombs" that "deliver a precise chemical payload" just like soldiers on a battlefield. Most of Western medicine is dominated by male thinking, which is largely focused on "killing" disease. (Allopathy.) Yes, it's outdated and stupid, but it remains conventional medicine's chief philosophy.
Women in the healing arts, on the other hand, look at the whole patient. They talk about "supporting" the patient's own natural healing systems and creating a "healing" effect. They consider the multiple layers of the patient -- the physical, chemical, emotional and energetic -- and take time to listen to the patient's beliefs and concerns. To them, the patient is more than just a number, and their array of potential treatments may span several modalities, including herbs, therapeutic touch, homeopathy, acupuncture or nutritional therapies. Natural medicine is largely based on nurturing or "female" thinking, which is focused on activating and supporting the body's own innate healing potential. (Naturopathy.)
Again, I realize these are generalizations and not all doctors or healers fit these descriptions, but they are, nonetheless, genuine patterns that are easily demonstrated once you observe a large number of doctors and healers.
Behavioral anthropology explains a lot
None of this is much of a surprise, by the way, to anyone who has studied behavioral anthropology. If you look at the roles of men vs. women in ancient human societies, you immediately understand the specialization that has been imprinted in our species. Women, who were the primary caregivers for newborns, had to be masters of nurturing, small group cooperation, and understanding the "big picture" implications of events. In human societies, the woman have always been the nurturers, the healers, the long-term planners and the peace talkers.
Men, on the other hand, have always been about the use of force: Attacking the enemy to eliminate competition, defending your own family with force, dominating resources through any means necessary (food resources, reproductive resources, water, etc.), hunting and killing animals to provide a food source and generally stirring up all sorts of trouble to prove how "macho" they really were. Men prefer to use force over negotiation, and just as in the international political arena today, men believe that might makes right. Men also tend to be very short-term thinkers. They're more concerned about consolidating power today than ensuring survival in the future.
It's no surprise, then, that our modern system of exploitative medicine, which is all about dominating the marketplace, profiteering, monopoly control, declaring war on alternative medicine, destroying chiropractic care and accumulating massive wealth resources, is dominated by men. How many CEOs of top Big Pharma companies are women? Zero. Who heads the FDA? Men. Most M.D.s are what? Men. Who conducts medical experiments on animals and humans? Mostly men.
As some critic will no doubt point out, all this must make me a woman, huh? Not really, it just makes me sane. I'm man enough to live beyond my male ego and look at the bigger picture of what modern civilization really needs to move forward. And we sure don't need more war, more force, more intimidation and control. It's time to add a little nurture to the mix and see if we can all learn to get along in this world, healing each other instead of harming each other.
Call it female energy if you want, or nature, or nurture, but it's just plain common sense. We are no longer living in the wild, at the mercy of dangerous animals and scary elements. We live in societies now, and it's time we all started acting a little more civil -- in medicine AND in politics. It's time we listened to the wisdom of our ancestral mothers and learned how to live together in peace, how to heal with nature, and how to honor our planet by preserving it rather than polluting it.
Accomplishing that is going to require giving up ego-dominated, aggressive, territorial male thinking.