“Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.” Socrates
When it comes to running the world, it’s fair to say that men have been given, to borrow a phrase memorably used by one of our Prime Ministers (prior to his all too brief ousting by a less brittle and needy female colleague), a fair shake of the sauce bottle.
And we’ve shaken that sauce bottle with such a steely-gripped and reckless vigour that the viscous, scarlet gloop has drowned our dinner, flooded the table and is currently spreading its mess all over our best pants.
Enough is enough. It’s as true of patriarchy as it is of any sauce, no matter how piquant and moreish.
We’ve had thousands of years of this testosterone-fuelled fiasco.
There’s a reason they call it “feminine intuition”. It doesn’t come easy to us geezers, obsessed as we are with hard data and subject matter expertise.
Yes, yes, there have been exceptions, the odd queen and empress here, the odd matrilineal system there, and yes, it’s peachy that we now have heads of states such as Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Norway, Chile and the UK, not to mention the IMF and US Federal Reserve, who at least have a clue how to multi-task, but from Wall Street to the United Nations, and overwhelmingly through our emerging economies, the planet’s upper echelons still resemble a dick-swinging boys’ club.
So let’s take a quick look, this International Women’s Day, at why this situation deserves, nay needs, to be turned on its head.
Resilience is one of those buzzwords that gets slung around these days, like mindfulness and empathy, qualities that mark us as evolved human-beings. Arguments might be made for men being as mindful and empathic as women, on an especially evolved day, let’s say, but when it comes to resilience, to sucking it up and toughing it out, we Y chromosome-afflicted aren’t even at the races.
Let’s forget for the moment that, as far as the whole staying alive deal goes, women last four or five years longer, on average, than their brawnier counterparts, impressive as that is, and focus on childbirth.
There is little doubt that, were blokes enduring that gorefest in all of its agony and indignity, fewer babies would be getting born and a hell of a lot more fuss would be made about it when they were.
Surely, resilience is an attribute we should look for in our leaders. Or at least not being sooks who regard an ingrowing toenail as a form of martyrdom.
Then there’s this whole area of unconscious intelligence, which neurologists have been getting themselves into a lather over of late. There’s a reason they call it “feminine intuition”. It doesn’t come easy to us geezers, obsessed as we are with hard data and subject matter expertise.
What’s more, male brains are more compartmentalised than females’, their specific regions kicking in to tackle particular tasks while women’s are more diffused and intricately connected. This supports more “big picture thinking” in women.
And if ever we needed the big picture to be taken in, it’s now, what with that picture being a Hieronymus Bosch of a hellscape. We’ve got climate change, refugee crises, impending food and water shortages, energy quandaries, terrorism and associative kneejerk intolerance. Political turbulence sucking on and compounding rampant inequality.
"...but when it comes to resilience, to sucking it up and toughing it out, we Y chromosome-afflicted aren’t even at the races."
If we were looking for a pithy image of where male dominance has brought us, Monday this week gave us a doozy: portly geek-boy Kim Jong Un guffawing and applauding while four splendidly phallic ballistic missiles shafted the horizon.
It’s a godawful mess, and as far as cleaning this crap up, or working out where to go from here, if we’re to get anywhere nice at all, it’s hard to know where to start.
Let’s begin by admitting that we’ve been backing the wrong gender all along, or at least since those butch Romans subjugated Earth Mother-worshipping pagans, blood-soaked millennia ago.
As a man, I’m willing to admit, we’re all washed up, we’ve run out of ideas, stick a fork in us, we’re done.
It’s high time we back away from the controls altogether, just step right away, because we’re clearly not to be trusted with them, and probably never should have been. In terms of fortitude, vision and wisdom, not to mention intelligence, and not just that emotional kind (check out that academic performance gap, fellas), women have it all wrapped up, so why on earth aren’t we making the most of that?
I could go on. But I’m tired. (Did I mention the superior levels of endurance that women possess?)
Plus this toenail is killing me, I swear.