I've been pondering a fundamental social polarity recently - male and female - and how it sets us up for character-forging experiences from sublime realisations to darkest frustrations. The difference between the two seems to power human activity in the same way, and on the same scale, as the national grid. As well as sparking crimes of passion and inspiring great works, the male/female dichotomy continues to fuel heated debate.
John Gray's controversial 90s work Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus offered a solution to the gender gap based on the understanding that men and women are, in essence, different and that each requires a unique strategy to harmonise with the other. It didn't go down well in some quarters and polarised opinion in the way that it polarised the sexes, due possibly to the simple stereotypes it employed. I found it stimulating but incomplete.
Carl Jung (or was it Emma) provides a more subtle take on the issue: what if there exist a female and a male compenent active to different degrees in each of us? Not only does this cater for the spectrum of gender we find in society, it also provides a fundamental unity rather than difference.
I really like this notion and I think that its integrating approach has scope far beyond the worlds of Venus and Mars...
...the Boardroom perhaps?