Tag Archives: Gender Equality

Democracy . . . Illness and Cure

As HSBC yet again hits the headlines the questions about its unpleasant business practices pale into insignificance compared with the debilitating waves its actions are sending throughout Society. The impact of the global corporations we have now created is destroying us, as the meaning of life is condensed into a single action of making profits and supporting the power structures inherent within the whole process.

What we have seen in just the last 7 days is not only the rottenness of our banking system and a political infrastructure that is equally rotten but now the church has jumped in to the fight, criticising government for a deteriorating democracy. Our traditional Establishment is increasingly fighting amongst itself as each institution seeks to disassociate itself from the others, all desperately attempting to regain a credibility each has destroyed through centuries of abuse.

Collectively it has created an environment which, like a terminal disease, will eventually result in our self-destruction as their vested interests kills the very essence of Life. For me this is vividly demonstrated by the insidious TTIP secret trade agreement now being pushed through with the minimum of democratic debate.

Here we have the power of the written word at its most menacing, as laws and agreements are put into place that will hold our governments accountable in a fashion that the people can only dream about. Any government action that works against corporate greed will result in penalties for that government (and of course its people, as they will have to pay the costs of these governmental transgressions!).

Just think about that for a moment. This deal is at the heart of the democratic process, where government is held accountable for its actions! Democracy here, however, is not for the benefit of the many but just the few. Indeed its impact upon the many (and this beautiful Planet) is like an incurable disease as our quality of life and our natural resources are abused and discarded with equal disdain.

If this is the way the game is now being played then “what is good for the goose, is also as good for the gander!” If it’s written agreements that now determine how we live, as integrity seems to have gone the way of the Dodo, then the people need their own ‘TTIP’ with which to hold government accountable.

I have argued before that Society is in exactly the same position that it was here in Britain 800 years ago, when unbridled power brought the country to its knees. Yes barons were looking after their own interests then with Magna Carta but it reflected back on the people in “no imprisonment without trial by peers”. With Terrorism we are now headed back to those dark times before Magna Carta.

It worked before and it can work again, in using the power of the written word to bring back accountability. This time the barons need to be replaced by a political party that will adopt a revised Magna Carta and legally invoke it as The Objectives of Parliament for the foreseeable future. It would be updated from time to time, to keep it in line with a changing Society and its needs, but its essence would always reflect the protection of our quality of life.

The last thing we want is a legal document that would keep lawyers in clover forever. We need a means by which the people can decide for themselves if government is doing its job. Manifestos would become simple forms which declare each new incumbents intention to support all, or some of the Charter’s aims during their term in office. People could then decide who to vote for, depending upon the popular consensus as to what needed tackling in Society at that time.

Clauses might include a ‘public’ monetary system, gender and religious equality, protection of planetary resources, a people’s democracy and so on. Empowerment of the people would come from being able to measure each government’s achievements and decide if they had done a good job or not in furthering the aims of the Charter. This decision would then influence their next vote and secure our steady progress as a Society.

How would we arrive at this new Charter? Easy! Follow Iceland’s example and give it to the people to design and agree upon. It worked there, in spite of ridicule by the opposition party and it can work here just as well!

Whilst none of this is possible by this election, if a seed is sown it will place the present party’s on warning that we are setting the political stage for the future. We are looking for a party to unite and lead us . . . and we expect it SOON!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Retuning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Are We Sleepwalking Into The Next Election? (Part 4 of 6) . . . Gender Equality is Now Essential to our Survival

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 this new millennium 21st century Society is saddled with systems way past their sell by date.

. . . A 15th century democratic system, complete with glass ceiling

. . . An 11th century monetary system that increasingly holds the world to ransom

. . . A 2000 year old surveillance system being replaced by modern technology

. . . A ‘feudal’ attitude to Women who represent half our species

 In this series of 6 posts I will offer a view on why I think we might be sleepwalking into Election 2015

Part 4 of 6: Gender Equality Is Now Essential To Our Survival

In Jungian psychology – please stay with me! – 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, capable of taking full advantage of what Life has to offer, is to get these two aspects working in balance with each other – in a similar fashion to left and right brain activity.

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

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

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. It is like a Greek galley, with all of the rowers on one side being made incapable of making their contribution to the ship’s progress. In this state, the galley will only ever travel in endless circles, experiencing the same restricted journey and making it incapable of achieving its true potential. Continue reading

Politicos ‘British Values’ + Magna Carta 2 Insult the Electorate . . . Again!

 

Magna_Carta

Apparently the latest gimmick from No 10 is to revamp Magna Carta, the most respected constitutional document in the world, in yet another attempt to salvage the nose diving reputation of Education Secretary Michael Gove and Parliament. In yet another skimpily thought out attempt to regain some credibility with the public, it is now latching on to next year’s 800th anniversary of the original Charter, (funnily enough in an election year), to try and see if some of the respect and majesty held for this historic document will rub off on the shallowness of modern politics. Continue reading

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