18 January 2012

A premiers' meeting with a significant feminine presence ... finally

The premiers' meeting this week in Victoria had a new look. Normally an assemblage of men in suits, this one had a definite feminine presence with four of the 13 premiers being women. These include host Christy Clark of B.C., Alison Redford of Alberta, Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Eva Ariak of Nunavut. Only four women have held premierships in Canada prior to the current group and now we have four all at once.

We have a powerful need for more women leaders in the modern world. Although human characteristics are distributed among both genders, those that involve caring are, on average, more predominant in women and those that involve aggression are, on average, more predominant in men. Perhaps when we were nomadic hunter-gatherers, male aggression was of evolutionary value, but in the highly complex, high-tech world of today, replete with nuclear weapons and massive assaults on the environment, it is not only redundant but dangerous. If we are to avoid catastrophe, we must have more caring, for ourselves and for our environment, and that means more of the feminine characteristics in leadership, i.e. more women.

Unfortunately politics, created by men for men, is an extremely aggressive business, violent in word and often in deed, unattractive to a feminine sensibility. Even those relatively few women who thrive in politics are often of a masculine nature—a perfect example being Margaret Thatcher who was once aptly referred to as the only man in her cabinet.

A lot can be done to create a more civilized and balanced politics, and one way is to get more women into the game. So I salute our four women premiers, may they herald a much more feminine future.

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