Checking the headlines, my eyes fell upon an article about President Joe Biden’s delight in ghostbuster burgers. Ghostbusters are toxic towers of meat, cheese, red onion, pickles, and sauce. While some wonder if Biden is too old for a second presidential term, a better question might be, “If he were to win, would his diet kill him before he was sworn in?” Does the First Lady know what her husband packs away for lunch?
The last question isn’t frivolous. Historically, women are family caregivers. Men seem to focus on smashing things, toys, each other, atoms, or entire countries. Their knowledge of diet and health seems minimal. Tucker Carlson, a commentator on Fox News is a prime example. The closest he comes to ruminating about food is to worry if M&M candies are part of an underground feminist political campaign.
“Régime du corps,” or “regimen of the body,” written in the 13th century is a health manual commissioned by a French Countess for her daughters to use in their households. It contained instructions on purging bodily fluids, cupping, and bloodletting. The content also included advice about food, prayer, charms, and how to choose a wetnurse. The book was popular well into the 15th century.
More recently, women have attempted to apply their healing skills to politics. In some male-dominated societies, that effort is fraught with danger. Remember, men in Iran flogged a woman to death for wearing her hajib too loose.
Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders take a hardline as well. They deny women education and make them prisoners in their homes, barring them from performing even charitable work through NGOs. At the moment, these men prefer to see people starve rather than allow them to accept a sack of flour from a woman’s hands.
These men have forgotten how they came into this world—kissing a woman’s vagina as they exited the womb and dragging behind them an umbilical cord engorged with their mother’s digested food, the sustenance that sustained them for 9 months.
Recently, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, surprised the world by announcing she no longer wished to continue as the country’s leader. “I have given my absolute all to being prime minister but it has also taken a lot out of me.”
The cost is understandable. Might Is Right, forms the cornerstone of masculine statesmanship, the opposite of feminine nurture. Arden’s resignation, however, poses an existential question. Does Might is Right advance the species? The record, so far, is one of perpetual war, shattered societies, unpredictable violence, and an exhausted planet.
Some scientists see the futility of of continuing these power struggles. They view our species as the walking dead, unable to accept that Nature has turned its back on us. Others cling to a small hope, though the hands of the Doomsday Clock stand at one minute to midnight.
I see no reason for irrational exuberance. In our final minute, too many continue to struggle for pyrrhic victories, wondering, for example, if tactical nuclear weapons can deliver a strategic advantage. These people never ask how many Chernobyls the planet can tolerate. Doing so would force them to confront their insanity.
Women represent half the human population. Their history is one of healing and giving life to the other half of the population. One would think they had a stake in the fate of their children and their children’s children. Yet, largely, they remain under the thumb of Might Is Right. How to free themselves from that yoke is crucial to saving an inhabitable planet.
Nurture must rule. But how are women to affect that change without invoking fear?
A new paradigm must emerge, or an ancient one revived. The species must come to see the future of war is dead. Our survival depends upon our working together just as it did at the dawn of our time.