It’s no coincidence that I’m writing about the need for men to share leadership on the eve of Earth Day (April 22), in the midst of Spring’s unfolding, and at time when our Earth ecosystem is struggling. I don’t believe that patriarchal leadership marked by empire building has served humanity well and it’s time for a change. To me it’s very simple and very clear; if women were in charge, our environment would be healthier.
The data in the map is 4 years old but relevant I think. In Tan are the countries that have never had a female head of state. The Dark Green countries have had women at the helm for 15 years or more. Read the report here.
And just a note that I struggle to get the terminology right. Many reports on this topic use the term women and many use female. Yet many people don’t identify as men or women. I considered the term non-male so as to include non-binary people, yet I have read cautions about labeling and lumping non-binary people with women. I’m not sure what’s the best terminology, just that it’s time for a change.
5 thoughts on “The Earth Needs Women Leaders”
Non-binary people are still either male of female. Gender identity has nothing to do with sex, which is immutable. Women have been and continue to be excluded from full social participation, especially from full civic, economic and government participation, on the basis of their SEX, not gender identity. They do not have the privilege of identifying out of their oppression. Girls and women in most of the world are to this day experiencing oppression on the basis of their sex, not the “gender they identify with.” With respect, I would encourage you to consider the irony of this pro-woman post which, in an effort to be inclusive, in fact erases the basis for female oppression. Further, the idea of defining women as “non-male” is frankly insulting and takes “male” as the presumed default from which to define a woman.
I’m so grateful to you for writing this, Rodion. Thank you.
I am trying to learn and I am making mis-steps. I don’t like the term “non-male” either and now I wish I had used the term “non-masculine” instead, or perhaps left that sentence out altogether. Someone else I talked to (thanks Sydney!) helped me see that also.
And I see how you are pushing me to promote sex equality rather than gender equality, because the root cause of oppression is one’s sex, not gender.
Thanks again for explaining that so clearly.
Thanks for acknowledging, Craig. Language is powerful, and is routinely used to obfuscate, often with good intentions as in the case of inclusion. I often see attempts (not you!) to collapse categories (sex/gender, even male/female) in an effort to be more inclusive and to accommodate the recent emphasis in Western society on gender identity and identity in general. But losing the language of sex categories, reproduction, menstruation, breast feeding, etc (because we want to be nice) reduces our ability to describe the hard-won rights and legal protections for girls and women that have been secured in some of the world, but are yet to be attained in the rest of it.
All the best!
I’m not sure that leadership should be based on biological characteristics. I think character is more important. Find me a man or woman who ;eads a happy well-adjusted family, or a successful business employing and educating and financially advancing a reasonably large number of people, and you’re looking at someone who understands how to inspire and motivate, and they’d probably be able to impart that on a larger scale. Find me someone who’s already doing the job.
I know a lot of women who defer — not so good when you need backbone to protect your people. Sometimes being polite in conversation to avoid conflict and “look like the bigger man” is simply prolonging the disagreement, or delaying the sharing of needed information.
The female brain is largely relational — how does my choice affect others, myself and the world, on not just one level, but a myriad of levels? It’s a female gender trait established by 45 yrs of solid observational biological and psychological data, not opinion. The science isn’t confused. Men’s brains suffer an acid wash of testosterone in the 20th week of gestation that destroys most left/right connections between the halves of the brain. This frees them from being overwhelmed by emotion when making decisions, and allows them to be coldly analytical in a way women can’t understand. It makes them good at STEM subjects. The wiring is DIFFERENT.
Every cell of a man or woman’s body is either male or female, unless they’ve suffered a genetic failure. It doesn’t mean women are less. Women are the cherry on top of all of creation. The last very good thing that God created at the tippity top. Not better than man. Different.
Each needs the other to be complete, and to satisfy the lack in the other caused by separation. Love the other – the one who is unlike you. Synergy is a great word. That’s a man and a woman working non-competitively to reach common goals.
While there are feminine men on the masculine bell curve, and masculine women on the feminine bell curve, and they should be celebrated just like any other unique individual, broadbrushing based on sex is unwise. We are all flawed and intrinsically self-centered and self-absorbed. It comes with being bound inside of our skins. The kind of people we want to promote should have inner moral and ethical strength, regardless of sex.
Find me good people. I don’t care about their looks. The more we lift people out of poverty, the more opportunity women will have to lead. In fact, that may be what you’re seeing. Once basic needs for food, clothing and shelter are met, all sorts of creative and imaginative pursuits are possible.
Thanks for writing and explaining all this.
I love how passionate and principled you are. It’s great to see all your explanations and see your values coming through: “Find me good people. I don’t care about their looks.” Love that.