Last Saturday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day, a reminder that women’s inequalities still exists in every corner of the world even though women represent half the earth’s population. This is no less true in the United States where our Constitution and laws are supposed to guaranteed gender equity in pay, treatment, and opportunities. Yet in spite of the fact that more women go to college than men and have superior communication and interpersonal relationship skills they head few corporations and positions of power in government. Of all the high tech companies there are only 6 women CEOs. Women hold far fewer management and technical positions at every level of industry regardless of intelligence and education. Little has been achieved over the last 20 years to change this.
We have yet to elect a woman president while we have twice elected a Black male president which represents only 20% of the population. In the House, there are currently 362 men and 76 women. In the Senate, there are 83 men and only 17 women. Our government is very top heavy in testosterone and grossly deficient in estrogen. Testosterone prepares the hunter and warrior to stalk the kill and confront the enemy. Estrogen on the other hand nurtures peaceful dialogue and conflict resolution. It is no wonder Congress is so confrontational and deadlocked and America so willing to jump into international conflicts with its troops. There is simply too much testosterone.
There is good reason why nature favors a perfect balance of the sexes for the long term survival of the human species. The balance of hormones allows for the nurturing of the young and families while providing food and protection to the community. However we are supposed to be a much higher level civilized society that does not need so much testosterone for hunting and battle. It would seem that in a civilized society women should play an much larger role since communications and interpersonal relationships dominate over the warlike aggressiveness of the hunter and warrior. But the opposite is overwhelmingly true. Aggressiveness and competitiveness, which are the hallmarks of the males of our species, are valued more than communications and interpersonal skills. Though we are a civilized culture we are still warriors in the disguise of corporate executives and political leaders itching for a kill, and therein lies the problem.
One must have that persona of aggressiveness in order to climb up the professional ladder to its highest levels. It is natural that testosterone always want to be at the top. Aggressiveness and competitiveness easily dominate over far more placid communications and interpersonal relationships. Its purpose is to eliminate the competition and lead the pack. Reproduction assures the natural balance of the sexes but in the social context those that have that killer instinct usually end up in leadership roles even though they may be lacking in communications and interpersonal skills.
But good leadership requires good communications skills in order to be effective. And good interpersonal relationships with others can overcome sociological and ideological differences aiding in better understanding and willingness to cooperate. Not all women are high on estrogen and not all men are full of testosterone but as an aggravate women have better social skills and men more aggression and competitiveness. So which sex is higher on the evolutionary ladder? I’m not trying to make the argument that women should rule the world but I do believe that the world would be a much more peaceful places to live and work if there were gender balance in all positions of power and influence.
Standard of living and industrial technology do not define a great civilization. Social communications and harmony do. Having the latest gadgets and technology does not lead to happiness. Having good interpersonal relationships and meaningful dialogues do. We are a social and highly communicative and intelligent animal. This is an essential part of our genetic makeup and what stands us apart from other species. Yet we let the animal in us dominate our social fabric bringing us closer to our fossilized ancestors.
I think it is time to take the next step up in evolution by making better use of our social and communication skills. To do this we need sexual equality in all aspects of life for half our population. Education and intelligence are not roadblocks because more women go to college then men. It is our social attitude towards women for lacking aggressiveness that hinders their upward career mobility. But perhaps that is the very thing we need more of, less aggressiveness and more communications. We need more reconciliation and far less polarization as exemplified in Congress where 50% of our population is represented by only 17% of House seats. We suffer from acutely chronic hormone imbalance.
A harmonious world is far better than a world full of male hormones where conflict is the norm. It’s time for change. We need to take the next step up the evolutionary ladder and get rid of the animal within us. We need far less technology, which brings out the animal within us and will ultimately kill jobs and we as a social animal, and far more interpersonal relationships which is key to a sustainable peace and future.
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