Friday, January 4, 2013

If Women Ran the World, Would We Have Wars and Guns?

I recently read a book on the American Revolution. You’d think that women didn’t exist in that time because not one was mentioned.  The history of America was simply about the battles. Never mind about the general people and how they thought and what they did. I love the story of America’s development, but after a while it got old. 

Who gives a damn about who shot who? I wanted to know about everyday lives. I definitely wanted to know what the women were doing, what they were thinking, who they supported, how they did it. Virginia Woolf wrote a book Three Guineas which was, as far as I remember, about why women wanted so much to have what men had.

Why they didn’t forge their own way of doing things in the world. How much they contributed to war when they supported their men, sent their sons off to be shot to pieces, worked in factories and hospitals. I liked her perspective, and I agree with her. If women refused to let their sons go to war we wouldn’t have any war. Leaders would have to fight it out. 

You can bet they wouldn’t want to risk being shot themselves. So women are just as responsible for war as men, I guess, because we didn’t take Virginia Woolf’s advice at first. We didn’t forge a world where we operated on different principles, we fitted into the one that was already established. I guess that’s how we learned. 

We followed example until we had a foundation, then we started separating out, doing ourselves differently. Everybody does it like that. Still, I wonder what the world would look like if women had always had the power, run governments and corporations, been responsible for all the big decisions. If they had been the educators and the educated. 

Would they have kept men down and resisted their empowerment when men finally woke up and realized hey, we want a slice of this pie, too? Probably, because whatever the inner drive that impels people to carve an exclusive place for themselves in the world and keep competition out isn’t about gender. Women are control freaks just as much as men are.

It’s a factor of entitlement and self esteem. Too much entitlement of the unhealthy kind – I can do whatever I want because I’m more powerful than you - and not enough self esteem. A lethal combination. It’s what keeps women down and the decent men quiet, ties them both into a system where the only way they can hold onto themselves is to be passive aggressive and manipulative. 

We’re all late developers with regard to that, we’re all learning how to really know what our worth is, how to be conscious of our own behavior and be accountable for it. How to find the balance between claiming and compromise. Without a doubt, though, women have been late developers in the sense of knowing they have as much right to anything in life as the men with bullying power do. 

But that awareness is developing exponentially. Women are doing great things these days, and claiming their turf in ways they couldn’t have done in generations past, because they didn’t know they could. Now they do. And the more they come into their own, the more they are creating a world that’s quite different from the one forged by men hell-bent at one time on holding onto all the power. 

For women and young girls who still struggle to find themselves and carve that niche in the world, there are brilliant role models to help them along. And men who aren’t bullies are finding themselves too. This bodes well for humanity, I reckon. But the thing I wonder about the most is; if the power of the sexes had developed differently, how would the history books read? 

Would women have conquered through killing? Would they have instinctively designed and manufactured arms that were a projection of their sexual organs and developed them to the extent that they controlled world culture?  Since bullets and bigger destructive arms look remarkably like penises and do what rapists do, it’s hard to imagine. 

How would you create a weapon of destruction that resembled a vagina?