- Vancouver, British Columbia - In the history of our world, we have witnessed countless wars, extensive death, terrible suffering, and overwhelming poverty. It would seem as though the people running the world are simply incompetent, or worse, they run the world in such a fashion that only suits them and ignores the plight of the rest of us peons who live in this world as well. It has been argued that the reason for this horrific history of the world is the result of men ruling the world throughout history. The thinking goes that if women ruled the world, things would've been much more peaceful, harmonious, and equal. Right.
I can recall far too many occasions in which I have heard some rather pompous woman state how if women like her ran the world, there would be no more world hunger, no war, no poverty, and everyone would just get a long a lot better, since women aren't prone to violence like men, thus women like her, if they ruled the world, would be less likely to resort to violence. I've never been a fan of any discussion or argument that seeks to determine that men or women are somehow superior to the other. Certainly, there are aspects of both sexes that would seem to suggest one possesses a better quality over the other. But when someone tries to argue that women are superior to men, or men are superior to women, it is a good way to encourage me tune them out.
This notion that the world is a violent, dark, and horrific place because men rule it is unequivocally pretentious and foolish, since it is based entirely on a set of generalities that are placed upon men as a sex. For example, the theory goes that men are more prone to aggression and violence as a result of higher levels of testosterone. True enough. However, since it is a generalization, there are very likely to be exceptions.
Me, I am very unlikely to intimidate an ant, since I am not prone to angry outbursts, nor am I likely to shout or scream at anyone. One might say that I must have higher levels of estrogen than most men, but I'd like to believe that that isn't the case. Still, others might say that the world is ruled by men who are aggressive by nature and to rule the world, one must be aggressive. A political career definitely demands certain characteristics to be successful, but in Canadian politics, there are several examples of individuals who hardly appear to be fueled by raw rage and fury, such as Stockwell Day. I could be wrong, but former American President George W. Bush hardly looked like a man of horrific violence within his own personal life.
What I want to show is that this idea that the world is violent because men, who are prone to violence, rule it is moronic, since it is based entirely on a set of stereotypes and generalities about men. If this were an acceptable form of logic, then me, as a male, would be more than justified on making the following assumptions about the world if women ruled it:
The United Nations would be filled with extensive dialogue on a variety of topics, but few pertaining to those of a significant substance. International conflicts might be discussed, but only when ignoring them or engaging in international gossip hadn't been effective in causing the desired change. Furthermore, when one nation would commit genocide against a group within its nation, the international community would likely talk about it and gossip about it to each other, but wouldn't dare actually intervene to stop the genocide. Instead, a policy of shaming the nation by talking behind its back and refusing to be seen with it would be engaged.
Also, in a potential conflict between, say, Poland and Russia, very little would actually be done as far as direct dialogue between the two. Instead, grudges would simply be held for centuries with the only dialogue being exchanged through a messenger. This messenger would meanwhile attempt to appear favourable to both sides of the conflict. In the end, there might be some superficial resolution to the conflict, which in reality wouldn't resolve the conflict, but instead just prolong it by a lack of openness and honesty in conflict resolution. However, in this hypothetical scenario, Poland would never be able to forget how its women were raped by the Russian advance in the Second World War, nor would Russia be able to forget Poland's failure to yield to Russia as the greater power. Why? Because grudges are never forgotten and rather than dealing with the issue upfront and with finality in reconciliation, these two powers would find more satisfaction is simply holding the past against each other and refuse to move on once and for all.
At this point, many women might feel as though this article has become sexist and disrespectful towards women. This has never been my intention, but instead, I hope that I have made it clear how sexist and disrespectful it is for women to make statements about the world simply being the way that it is because it is run by men. These notions, again, are based on stereotypes about men, much like the hypothetical international political scenario that I proposed for how the world would be if ruled by women, according to stereotypes about women and feminine behaviour. I know many women who go against this stereotype and show more maturity than seen in such generalities, just like I know many men who are not prone to violence, aggression, or inflicting pain upon others. Either we accept both as being true assessments about what the world would be like if men or women ruled the world, or we deny both as being valid. The worst form of sexism in this front would be accepting one as true, while denying the other as being true.
The reason why the history of the world is filled with tales of death, violence, wars, and suffering is because the world is ruled by humans. There is something tremendously beautiful, yet also horrific about the human soul. It wields the power to bring both peace, harmony, and love to those around it, while also possessing the ability to inflict pain, trauma, and inequality upon others. If anything, the history of the world is more revealing about humanity than about men or women. The reason why we have wars, violence, poverty, and suffering is not because of any political ideology, religion, or societal system, but instead because of the human condition.