Gender Equality is Essential to our Survival as a Species

She avoids aggression

Elinor Gadon PhD, an American cultural historian, author and academic, makes the point that, in recent archaeological research, there is no sign of warfare in any Neolithic Goddess cultures, as there is no evidence of fortifications, violent death, invasion or conquest. Perhaps this is why it is postulated that women would never send their children to war! JTC

In Jungian psychology, the anima and animus represent the masculine and feminine characteristics of the unconscious – true inner self – in every one of us. The trick, we are told, to becoming a balanced person is to get these two aspects working with each other.

From this basic understanding of how we function, it follows that there is a duty upon Society to ensure that both the male and female of our species are also working in equal balance with each other, for our long-term benefit.

Let me also emphasise at outset when I refer to balance, I do not suggest for one moment that women have to mirror what men do to achieve this equality. Balance, for me, can only ever mean an equal application of power and perspective from women as that which has traditionally been exerted by the dominant male to this thing called Life.

The current imbalance has been with us since we were cave-dwellers and has seriously affected our ability to balance our development as a species. Like a Greek galley with all of the rowers on one side being suppressed, we can only ever travel in endless circles of conflict with narrow beliefs that are now taking us to our own self destruction.

This constant conflict, over the millennia, is the result of the testosterone-driven male ego functioning and reacting across the broad spectrum of our activities. Please, this is an observation and not a criticism, the subject matter is far too important and, after all, I too am a man!

If we step back and look at the contribution women have played in our Evolution, we will see it has moved from derisory to limited but growing. This imbalance has been held in check by the influence of our traditional institutions, including those responsible for our moral wellbeing, as they continue to diligently resist full gender equality.

From the very beginning of time, men have had the skills to provide and women the skills to sustain. When we lived in caves we see Life at its simplest, with the male putting the food on the table and the female seeing to the critical reproduction and maintenance of our species.

What seems patently obvious to me, with the problems we are now facing, is masculine-driven short-term thinking – and here, profit is very much a masculine value in its demand for instant gratification. We are constantly inventing new ways of providing, be it financial instruments or decimation of this Planet’s resources, but the feminine energy, force and concentration necessary to SUSTAIN all we do is non-existent.

In many other areas of Life we have introduced legislation to stop monopolies of corporate activity because we understand that domination in any sector is unhealthy. Yet we continue to operate the biggest monopoly of all by suppressing a full and equal female contribution to our Evolutionary progress.

In those areas where women have reached positions of power it has been because they have applied themselves with far great diligence, often suffering harassment and sexual abuse as a by-product of the process. Just imagine how our world will change when this tenacity is harnessed for our collective benefit.

I would also offer that it is not for women to compete with men by playing them at their own game. That would mean that the game would not change, and we would be no further forward as a species.

The task before women now, as I see it, is to play their own game in the same arena, bringing new values and perspectives that are truly feminine, thereby introducing a greater balance to Society.

Let’s face it, there are plenty of opportunities for women to bring their special talents to the struggling arenas of media, banking and politics, where there is increasing demand for transparency and respect towards the 99%.

There is not an area of Life that would not change for the better as this feminine influence spreads across the globe. Just consider the impact upon extremism, be it political, corporate or religious, as the current perspectives are reconsidered from a more balanced viewpoint.

Although we are seeing the emergence of a more balanced Society in some areas as women take their rightful place, it is painfully slow. In Bolivia, for example, in January 2010 50 per cent of the cabinet ministers appointed were women.

Redressing the imbalance of gender in this violent country now offers the first ever opportunity for women to play a critical role in changing the traditional political and environmental landscapes.

I would further venture that, provided they have been fully empowered, this new feminine influence will lead to a calming of the continuous conflict experienced by Bolivia’s people. I would also stick my neck out by suggesting this could happen within decades rather than centuries.

In the commercial arena there are many exciting developments. Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva.org, has harnessed the web to introduce one of the world’s first peer-to-peer micro-lending platforms. Since its launch in 2005, Kiva has facilitated over $436M in loans, connecting lenders and entrepreneurs around the world.

By seeking to create relationships beyond financial transactions, building partnership relationships – characterised by mutual dignity and respect, it is encouraging our natural unification as a species within the new global environment.

This last point strongly supports my argument about the equal contribution women have to, and must make, in Society. The thinking behind the work of Kiva.org goes beyond short term profit by understanding, from a female perspective, who and what we are as a species.

The future growth of this enlightened Banking will, I am certain, be recognised not only for its commercial skills, but by its longer term humanitarian philosophy. Women have a different perspective on Life to men and this difference translates into a less confrontational and more compassionate approach.

This difference in attitude can again be seen in Iceland, where two women set up a new financial services business in 2007, and survived the financial Armageddon in their country a year later. Halla Tomasdottir and Kristin Petursdottir steered Adur Capital through the financial storm with five feminine values that directed the financial services their company provided.

These values are:

a) Independence in thinking and operating to be able to put their clients’ interests first and not be compromised.

b) Risk Awareness. That they only invested in what they understand (as opposed to the sub-prime mortgage market promoted by their male counterparts and which nobody understood).

c) Straight Talking. Where the downside of the risk is brought into the open and discussed, as well as the positive features of any deal.

d) Emotional Capital. Not only is Financial ‘due diligence’ practised, but also ‘emotional’ due diligence. This is underwritten by the belief that, whilst spreadsheets are important to financial dealings, it is people who actually make the profits and losses.

e) Profit Principles. Whilst it is essential for profits to be realised from any venture, this is not the sole criterion. ‘Profit Plus’ denotes their criteria and looks for long-term positive environmental and social benefits, as well as making money.

What these ladies are achieving exemplifies a new approach and balance from the singular thinking of the past.

Whilst women relentlessly pursue their rightful place as equal members of team humanity, there is also a responsibility upon men to recognise the failings of the traditional imbalance that has existed within our species.

The Battle of the Sexes has been going on since we inhabited this Planet and it will continue, but hopefully in a more constructive fashion than previously. The Internet is pioneering a more balanced environment, where access is available without discrimination, as it increasingly permeates into our wider culture.

How will the empowerment of women change us as a species? I have no idea outside of my absolute conviction that our endless conflicts with each other will subside dramatically. A more caring, feminine influence will broaden our attention beyond current short-term goals that are now threatening our planetary resources and very survival.

Bringing us into greater balance as a species can only improve our overall Evolution, by fully understanding and empowering that part of us which has been subdued for far too long and making a crucial contribution to living Life as a Global Society.

It is a huge challenge, for both genders, in tackling an issue that is at the very core of the dilemmas we now face. However, I am reassured by the wisdom of Albert Einstein that, in bringing new thinking to the catastrophic problems traditional short term thinking is now presenting us with, we can take greater control of our future survival.

Until the next time