A: Venus and Mars represent the two faces of the self. Mars is the assertive ego, the self centred drive to claim one’s own space and desires. Venus is the balancing ‘other,’ the face in the mirror, the passive responder, the longing for love and completion. In our Venus selves, we are not complete without a beloved to show us who we are. In our Mars selves, we don’t need anybody else at all. Yet both are part of every human, and balance needs to be found between them.
As you point out, women do have a Mars, and men do have a Venus, so it is not so simple as pop culture makes it seem; women can be from Mars, and men can be from Venus, so to speak.
A man with a strong Libra emphasis and an empowered Venus, who is empathic and sensitive, could well be considered to be ‘from Venus.’ And a woman with an empowered Venus and Aries emphasis, who behaves assertively and is centred in herself, ‘from Mars’.
As the ruler of the opposing signs Aries and Libra, Mars and Venus represent a polarization of qualities. The conditioning and training that we receive to fit certain gender roles is largely responsible for the way men seem more ‘Martian’ and women more ‘Venusian.’
While biology and hormones do play a role (little boys do tend to be more rambunctious than girls, who do tend to be more aware of others), all humans carry within them the full range and are capable of occupying either or both ends of the polarity.
Often, men and women default into playing the opposing gender roles because it is easier to do what is expected of us—everyone knows that men are ‘like Mars,’ and that women are ‘like Venus.’ But that is all it is, a role. There is nothing wrong with consciously choosing to play those roles in relationships if that is what feels good and right. But true personal growth involves ultimately owning and occupying both sides of the self.
Women can learn to easily and naturally assert their individuality, and men can learn to be sensitive and empathic with others. It is not difficult, but it does involve challenging some very deeply imprinted gender roles.