Yesterday we went to see the movie 500 Days of Summer. It was a love story, a relationship story, which left me very unsettled and frustrated. As I was leaving the theater I kept asking myself, what was it that was making me so uncomfortable, even angry? Since anger almost always comes from loss of power, I started searching for the source of the powerlessness that I felt. Then it dawned on me that the characters in the movie had no control over their feelings and actions and they did not know why or how things were happening to them. Obviously I was identifying with the male character in the movie. Both of them were like leaves in the wind of life. It all was very real. I bet that the screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber must have had similar experiences to be able to make a movie this powerful.
Such behaviors which are completely automatic, with which we are so forcefully genetically programmed that we are powerless when faced with it, are prevalent in humans and although they may be counter productive in today’s society, they positively rule our lives. In order to start solving a problem, one must first correctly identify the core of the problem. So, this led me to the question: “If I had to choose one thing that drives each gender what would it be?”
From all my experience with people’ s relationships, as well as my own, I came to the conclusion that the bottom line reason for female behaviors is SURVIVAL and for males it is CONTROL. Many people would say that feelings are what drive women, and power and status are what drive men, but both boil down to survival and control. This totally makes sense when you consider that women are directly responsible for the survival of the species and that “selfish gene.” On the other hand, man’s duty is to protect and ensure that their “selfish gene” will survive too and the best way to do that is to make some sense and order and take control of this world.
So is there anything we can do about it? Yes, I think so and that is to stop resisting our natural development, EVOLUTION. We must evolve in order to survive. By evolving I mean adapting to the ever-growing complexity of the problems we face. Here we are again, having to identify a problem before we can tackle it. So, In order to overcome our thousands of years of programming we must reprogram our genetic information and bring it up to date. (Scientists are finding that it is not only possible but that is naturally happening all the time from generation to generation. Our actions and behaviors today will impact generations to come.) The first step is to stop resisting it and arguing against it and become aware and present to its power over us, distinguish it as such, as often outdated automatic behavior and bring our free choice into play. Are we ready for it? Some are and some are not. Only the future will tell. So, go and see the movie and try to look at it through the lens of survival and control for woman and man respectively.