Let women take a shot at it
Warning: This article contains material that some may construe as sexist. Reader discretion is advised.
As an avid, though amateur, history buff, I’m ready. No, check that. I’ve had it, and I’m more than ready for women to take over running the world. Completely, officially. They can’t possibly foul things any more thoroughly than we men have done for the past several thousand years.
Very long ago, when "women’s lib" was barely a twinkle in Gloria Steinham’s eye, our (male) teacher in a high school social studies class asked if we thought a woman would ever become president. A few girls answered affirmatively, but the majority of the class dismissed the idea, declaring women too emotional and not logical enough to be president. Whether that assessment of women is accurate or not doesn’t matter, because (and with apologies to Commander Spock), logic ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. The social studies class predated "Star Trek", too. After thousands of years of men running kingdoms, governments, businesses, religions and wars, it looks as though our world just might benefit from some good, healthy emotion.
I don’t know, maybe I’m biased because I’ve had the privilege to teach and work alongside intelligent, talented, successful women all of my life – most of whom did not perceive themselves as intelligent, talented and successful as they, in fact, were. More’s the pity. (Why is that, I wonder. Most men I know, including myself, see ourselves as more capable than we really are, and most women see themselves as less so. I don’t get it.) Beyond that, my nuclear family numbers four generations of only children who are all female: my wife’s mother, my wife, our daughter and our granddaughter. All of them only children, all female, all stunningly impressive.
Here’s my plan
Women in the United States weren’t allowed to vote until 1920, less than 100 years ago. As a tangential counterpoint to this, it’s fascinating to note that in 1805 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Sacajawea, who was both a woman and a Native American, was allowed to cast her vote on an important decision, as was Clark’s slave, a black man named York. In nations around the world, New Zealand is regarded as the first nation to grant women the right to vote in 1893.
Put another way, with the exception of a few female monarchs, men have been running the world by themselves from the beginning of time until 1893 – roughly 120 years ago. Centuries, millennia of progress, innovation, invention and achievement. And centuries, millennia of war, corruption, slavery and genocide.
I figure, it’s high time the world gave women a shot at running the place, the whole shebang. Let’s begin with a reasonable trial period – 120 years. For the next 120 years, men don’t get to vote – anywhere in the world. Men are precluded from serving in any elective office in any country. No man can work as the CEO of any corporation, and only women can serve as leaders of any religion. But that ain’t all. Only women can sit on the presidential cabinets or ministries of any country and all male judges must step down and be replaced by women. Furthermore – and this one is going to really rankle – men have to get out of the news media during this same time period. No news anchormen (sorry, John Gray), no TV or radio commentators, no editorial writers. Men may continue to work as reporters, but not as editors. Plus, the rest of us men have to shut the hell up in mixed company.
What men may do
At the risk of over-explaining, let me make clear that men must continue working in most all of the jobs and professions we currently hold – especially in the areas of engineering, mathematics, medicine, physics, construction, pro football, and so on, since we seem to be pretty good at those. But no more leadership roles, uh uh; we had our chance and look what it got us.
Now, I’m not deluding myself with this proposal. I realize that power does corrupt, and women have not been completely immune to the temptations of that seductive aphrodisiac. In this new world order, some women leaders will inevitably succumb to greed, empire-building, superiority and prerogative. But, we can only hope that their number will be a fraction of what it is for men today, and that other women leaders will restrain them more effectively and immediately than men have done throughout history with guys like Genghis Kahn, Napolean, Caesar, Hitler, Hirohito, Stalin, Kim Jong-Il, and the evil flavor of the decade. Why do I hope this? Well, one statistic stands out as persuasive evidence. In the United States, there are more than two million men incarcerated in prisons and jails. By comparison, there are only 200,000 women behind bars. So that may mean the odds are 10 to 1 in favor of women leaders being less corrupt and self-serving than their male counterparts.
Of course, this proposal is ludicrous and unrealistic, but if it weren’t, I bet the world would be a better place. At least it’s fun to imagine "what if…" Hey, it’d be worth the old coed try.
Ed. Lange writes "Guy Stuff" monthly for Capital Region Living. As a playwright, he is currently writing his tenth play. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.