Cavewoman is REAL. She is a woman’s primal persona that takes over when we feel threatened. This week I had an experience interacting with a frustrated young man. He was filled with testosterone and frustrated at the lack of results he had achieved. As his instructor, I have role power over him. My cavewoman was monitoring his level of agitation and subconsciously looking for an exit strategy if he got out of control. I was reminded of something Alison Armstrong said, “Women can’t think straight in the presence of an angry man.” An angry man triggers a primal response of fight or flight in order to survive.
This blog series, “Returning His Balls” is based on the teachings of Alison Armstrong’s seminar, “Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women.” I took Armstrong’s Man-Seminars in order to understand the other gender. With men being everywhere; I decided I wanted to learn how they operate.
When Cavewoman feels a threat, one option is to “fight” in order to neutralize what could potentially cause harm. The weapon of choice is a metaphorical sword to a man’s source of power, his metaphorical balls. Neutering a man means stripping him of the energy he has to potentially over-power me. This makes him weak. Based on men’s reactions, they don’t like being weakened.
“Men experience emasculation as an attack.” In the process of thinking I’m safe because I have weakened a man’s power over me, I simultaneously made him vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a threat to a man’s survival. This triggers his Caveman because now I am the threat to his survival.
My Cavewoman was monitoring the testosterone level of a frustrated young man. She would have wanted me to grab the sword and deflate his power. However, all my Man-training kicked in. I remained calm. I knew that he wasn’t ready to receive help until he chose to listen. Forcing him would trigger an aggressive response. I waited until the frustration drained his energy. His body slumped when he sat down with exhalation. I told him I can help turn around his bad results. I asked, “Are you ready for me to help?” I waited until he made the conscious choice to move forward.
What I learned about men is that they respond to how I treat them. If I take a metaphorical sword of emasculation to his most precious source of power, I am attacking him. Part of the Man-training is to put down our swords. I made a vow, a covenant in front of witnesses, to stop emasculating men. Sometimes I soothe my inner Cavewoman early so she does not perceive a threat. I remind her that men go through a process of experiencing frustration and I need to calmly wait it out. Just because he is experiencing anger right now doesn’t mean he is dangerous to my physical safety. Other times I miscalculate and realize the sword is in my hand too late. My strategy for post-emasculation is to immediately apologize and return his balls. I recommit myself to my vow to Put Down the Sword.
Reflect & Share: What do women do that strips a man of his power because she feels threatened? What do men do that makes your inner Cavewoman fight or flight?
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*Note: “Men” is implied to exempt the outliers of crazy, abusive, or psychotic, etc.