Bonsai is the art of growing a permanently miniature tree of varying breeds inside a tray like pot.
A common mistake is the idea that Bonsais are generally crafted from dwarf trees, when in actual fact most Bonsai trees are carefully handcrafted from specific breeds of normal sized trees. The Fir treeis a popular choice for the Bonsai tree, when allowed to grow freely it is a large tree that grows to heights of 10-80 metres. In comparison the same Fir when cultivated through the Bonsai practice of “pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation and grafting,” grow to less than a metre in size.
|A Bonsai Fir Tree and Fir Tree allowed to grow to normal height
If a Bonsai Fir Tree could speak and it was placed next to another Fir Tree that had been allowed to grow to its full and natural potential… how do you think it would describe that amazing sight? Similarly if a normal Fir Tree observed this tiny dwarfed specimen, how would it perceive it? Would it even recognise the tree as being the same as itself?
The average man is the emotional equivalent of a Bonsai.
Each gender begins with the same emotional capacity. The female gender role of ‘nurturer’ promotes emotion as positive, especially those emotions attached to caregiving roles and as a result lends itself towards healthy emotional fulfillment. Men who are societally conditioned to male gender role, over time become emotionally curbed, stunted and reduced.
When someone who has spent their entire life being shaped and moulded to be unemotional, encounters a human being who has not been similarly conditioned, they perceive that person as ‘over-emotional’. As a result, what is often misconstrued as a male misogynistic view of women is actually an insight into the harmful effects of male gender role on the emotional health of men.
Most men will be able to attest to their experiences of being told to ‘be a man’ or to ‘man up’ when experiencing a normal, human emotional response to a situation.
The purpose of phrases like this is to reinforce in a male that it is his gender obligation to be willing to suffer in silence, not to process his emotions but to control them, to box them, to put them indefinitely on hold. The purpose is to build ‘toughness’, the outcome is rigid, emotional inflexibility and a lack of understanding of people not similarly constrained.
Throughout history, most tribes created a trial of manhood that decided whether boys would be allowed to take their place as men in the tribe. In almost all cases that trial was based on the ability to silently endure pain such as ritual adult circumcision, cutting, whipping, beatings or being poisoned. If they failed this test they would be unable to pursue a partner and were often cast out of the tribe or put to death.
In Western culture, the natures of the tests have changed, but the process remains the same.
When I was a boy, my father would punish me by striking me with a cane, once for misbehaving and if I cried out too loudly, once again for each time I cried after I was told to stop. Most men I know have similar stories.
At school most boys are ritually humiliated by friends or attacked by enemies if they present any emotion other than happiness, anger or lust. Why? Because love, fear, sadness and any similar emotion are all considered potential weaknesses. The male gender role is to protect and provide. A protector who cannot endure pain, who fails to act because they are sad, who flees from danger because of fear, who refuses to sacrifice what they love for the greater good—will fail at being a protector. Ritual physical and emotional attacks weed out males who cannot endure and therefore cannot be relied upon to have our back in the event we need to work together as protectors.
In short, the perception of women as over-emotional is merely a reflection of the emotional damage most men ritually experience, rather than the emotional state of women. Only by eliminating the enforcement of gender role for both genders will both genders experience, and be perceived as, emotionally healthy.