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Would women make a better world?
While searching for Nirvana on another topic (Libertarianism without the Loonies if you're interested) it was argued persuasively that power is not the problem, it's the men stupid.  Women demonstrably play a much greater role in the care of children, the sick, the school committee, you name it, while men work but do far less by comparison of social value. Agreed.  But the debate is, is the exclusion of women from power, leadership and politics a big factor in the royal mess that is the world in 2010?  Would, in other words, women make a better world?

Yes I say, the gender imbalance in society is a major 'disease' and both sexes are the worse for it.  But no, I say,  I don't necessarily see that women have the greater good of humanity at heart any more than men.  Power corrupts us all equally I believe, and women in power are just as corrupted by it, pursuing their own goals just like men do.

Examples? I have been on charity and school boards, and seen men there for good and men there for the business contacts and cv; but I have also seen women there for the good and women there to get a bigger slice of the pie for their own children.

Condaleeza Rice, Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher?  Making a better world?  And in Ireland we have Mary Harney as Minister for Health - its carnage.
So total equality yes, women in charge, no.  Thats the blue touch paper lighted.  Glad to know what others think.

Some of us reading this by the way. Looks very interesting.  'From a new literary star comes a beautifully crafted story about a group of women in a Colombian village who find their lives changed while their husbands and sons are away fighting a deadly civil war'.

First, you cannot determine anything about how women would run the world by those who have had power in the past, from Queen Elizabeth I to Margaret Thatcher. They were operating in a male-dominated world, and they either played by men's rules or didn't play at all.
Then look around you. Can anyone miss the point that men are far more violent than women? Can anyone miss the point that women do 90% of the care taking? These different tendencies result in or reflect different priorities. Men are looking at their power relative to everyone else and becoming aggressive if not violent to protect and increase that power. Women are more likely to be busying themselves building networks, from family reunions to church socials to book clubs to volunteer organizations to children's play groups. Of course, since women live in patriarchal structures, they learn power politics too and can be as ruthless as the men. But, I contend, competition is not as strong an urge in most of us and not the basis on which we build organizations when we are not forced into it by male structures.

What does this tell us about how each gender would run the world? Well, we know how men would run it. They've been doing so for 5000 years and have made a bloody mess of things--war, rape, social stratification, commercial greed, and the near destruction of the planet. All of these problems emerge from the focus on relative power. I think that a change of focus to building communities, fostering individual growth, and protecting the weak--the very things that women have demonstrated their interest in and talent for-- would be a welcome change.

I'm not talking about women having more power than men. It's not an either/or thing. We need to share power. We need to quit denigrating women and their interests and learn from them.

In response to Paula James
First, I agree totally with most of what you say, and our conclusions seem to be the same - equality, shared responsibility.   Ted Hughes (great poet, bad example in a way - two wives dead from suicide) writes a lot about the universal feminine and masculine being a sort of Yin and Yang - two sides of nature meant to co-exist and enrich each other.  He writes about the discord that has resulted from the over-dominance of the masculine in society, which has not only meant the loss the virtues of the feminine but caused chaos because the masculine is also out of joint.  We are all suffering personally and globally from the imbalance, with too much destructive masculine power, too little nurturing feminine (bit of a crude simplification but you get the idea). 

But in a reversed world would women do well without men - probably not, for the same reasons.  Yes women do most of the caring, but isnt it having your cake and eating it to argue that womens  vices in 'power' (Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher etc) are because they have to play by mens rules, wheras their virtues (doing the caring) are inherent, not forced.  Bit like arguing that the slaves who built the pyramids were naturally diligent and hard working.
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