Hanna Rosin’s new book, The End of Men—and the Rise of Women predicts that within a generation women will rule the nation if not the world. (“Why Testosterone is the New Estrogen” excerpted in More, 9/12, pgs.126-7.) She has some impressive statistics to support her view. More women than men are graduating from college; almost half of medical and laws students are women and women occupy 51% of management and professional positions in the country. On an international level, the ratios remain small, though the number of female heads of state have doubled since 2005.
Rosin’s explanation is that women have the natural skills for what the world needs — “horizontal Leadership “ — which is defined as the ability to negotiate, collaborate and show empathy. (Ibid, pg. 126) In all categories associated with leadership, except decisiveness, a Pew Research Center study showed that participants ranked women higher than men with one exception. When these same participants were asked who made better political leaders, only 6 % favored women.
The struggle between our unconscious awareness of women’s potential and centuries of the view that women were flawed — emotional creatures more apt to cry in a crisis than lead — has yet to be resolved in our minds. Still the trend toward women in leadership roles grows.
Many times, I’ve written about the razor’s edge upon which women of power stand. They can either take the country in a new direction, or they can adopt the old paradigm of leadership, behaving as if they were men who wore bras. Shall women perpetuate a world of extreme competition, where only a few can be king of the mountain, or will they create a society that is inclusive? Some women will resist the new paradigm, being comfortable in their place; but others, the majority I suspect, will take up the challenge as they did during the suffragette and women’s liberation movements. I share Rosin’s vision. A new voice is being heard across the land and the singers are sopranos.
(Courtesy of www.indymedia.or.uk)