Ok, so there are some folk out there that feel the machine, as in the political system – representational democracy, is not broken and therefore “it don’t need fixing”. There are folk out there that don’t feel that man is influencing the climate. Then there are other folk out there, generally men but some women, who feel that the woman’s place is at home, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. This post is really not for them.
There are also folk that feel that the solutions for the future are in technology; I say, yes, to that, but then I feel that biology might have an influence and might even reduce the need for technology.
I have a feeling too. I have no empirical data to back this up. I have a feeling that the world wouldn’t be in such a messed up state if we had more women participating in either politics or debate. The over-weighting given to men for such a large part of recognisable human history has lead to imbalances, latterly, in many things including wars and injustice, and terminally now, in consumption and sustainability. That said, human history stretches back for several millions of years and humankind has managed to survive. So, previously, perhaps, women may have had more influence.
That we are on the brink of more “interesting times” and that the people who have brought us to this situation, with some exceptions (Thatcher and Obama), are, and I generalise, male, white, old, over-weight or even just plain weird such as: (perhaps an ad hominum) comb-licking under-performers like P. Wolfowitz (the ex-Wunderkind of the World Bank).
This post has been filed under the category “Women overcoming wonky thinking” but it is really about how we all might benefit from the influence of women on the world. More women bringing more pragmatism, practicality and positivity to the planet.
There are problems with all forms of democracy, especially representational democracy. Primarily, politicians are there to represent their constituency. Sadly the constituency that politicians represent, other than once an electoral cycle or occasionally in “constituency surgeries”, has morphed from the man or woman on the street to Wall Street or The City. Generally politicians are well meaning, public spirited people, or at least start off like that; it is party politics and the whips that have influenced this, the change in representation. There are other areas for possible change and I shall address one in particular – that of removing politician from politics – in a future post. There are, furthermore, problems with voting, proportional representation, constitutional problems e.g. the 2000 election/coup in the US etc – I do not want to address these here. I want to talk about a favourite subject of mine. I want to talk about women.
I would like to present an idea. The idea I have is for changing, not the style or form of democracy, but the gender imbalance of democracy. That this might, as the idea is developed and debated, require changes in political implementation is not a reason for not addressing the seminal issue. There will, of course, be those that think that we should not be considering such thoughts but, hopefully, these people did not get past the third sentence in the first paragraph.
My idea calls for every parliament, at every level down to the street, to have a 50:50 split between women and men. (Does it not seem strange that this is not already the case?) If there is an excess of men in a given parliament those that got the least votes (or some such filter) should then have to stand down. The priority is always to have gender equilibria at every level. Please don’t limit the parliament to the seating arrangements in “the house” or the boroughs in the land.
Ok, immediately the problems or challenges spring forth and multiply. Please identify and debate these as you think of them. For starters, problem: women have different priorities at different times of life; ok, so don’t just “facilitate” this by providing support, where women want and need it – I don’t have the answers, ask women how to resolve this issue. Ask women to overcome this; they are 50% of the population, give them their due.
Problem: The women that are attracted to politics are the wrong women that you want there (I agree, just the same, wrong type of men that are drawn to politics); ok, so maybe this might be the case initially but I suggest that as the tone of the parliament would change with gender equilibrium so the timbre of the women attracted to it might change.
Problem: There are not enough women inclined to stand for office. Ok, given the changes above this might change. Given a change in political environment women might feel less challenged/thwarted/inhibited. But then also, maybe it might be up to men or women to choose a running-mate and enter parliament as a team. Why bring one side of humanity to the debate – why not bring both, at the same time?
Male domination in politics, male domination in religion, male domination in society, and male domination in the family have lead to the shonky, destructive nature of many aspects of the world; for example, societal imbalance and lack of care, the resource rape, the child abuse, financial imperatives overcoming longer term sense etc. From the foundation up, gender imbalances, at the different levels, are part of the problem. This is a sensitive subject, men feel challenged and speaking for myself, I don’t have any special knowledge of the hows and wheres of redressing this balance. I just have an over-riding feeling that the “WHY” of balancing this imbalance might become part of the global solution – and, furthermore, why not implement this as a pre-condition of, for example, a global parliament?