There is a way in which a certain slice of the world’s women, particularly in the western world, unknowingly want to pull everyone and everything around them back into the womb.
Not being a woman, I’m not sure exactly where this comes from or how it feels, but if I were to speculate, it must have something to do with the feeling of loss that comes from once having carried children as a part of one’s body and one’s identity… and then having seen them disembark and emerge into the world as separate beings… and then having seen them begin to wander off, independently, into society.
I’m sure it’s a wistful, if not downright painful, feeling.
But brass tacks here, there is a toxic femininity, and this impulse is it—all of life cannot return to the womb. It’s a physical impossibility, and even if it weren’t, for anyone not an infant, the womb would be a prison, not a space of nurturing.
The deep, pained pull toward always being and doing things “the same as each other” and “together,” the unbound desire for consensus, the frustration at competition, at independence, at agency and different opinions—all of these seem reflective of the deep-seated desire to recapture a lost unity that can never be again.
Life, in other words, goes on.
For boys in particular, the impulse to engulf isn’t just stifling, it’s deadly. Boys don’t have it. We don’t need it. We have neither womb nor the impulse to fill it nor the impulse to be within it. From the moment we come into existence, it is our destiny to leave the maternal milieu forever, to make a self and an identity that is our own.
We are fertile tendrils in our own right, new offshoots of humanity. We travel for adventure, materially or conceptually. We branch from the primary root and go our own way. We break new ground, forge new foundations.
As the father of a young boy, I have to say—upon reflection—that to try to pull a boy back into the womb is to try to kill him—even if he doesn’t realize it until far too late. Sad that this bit of wisdom has been lost today.