Explain how you think our world would be different if it were run by women?  

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is the type of question that has kept many a thinker up at nights for quite a while.  It is hard to answer this question in a definitive manner.  The best we can do is offer up some thoughts as to what elements could be different.  We can even raise more questions, such as are we making the assumption that women have assumed power after a male dominated run at power, or are we going back to a point where only women have ruled?  This might expand our possibilities and intellectual potential even more.

Some thinkers would argue that women in power would be little different than men in power.  Some post modern thinkers believe that power, itself, is the defining characteristic, and whether or man or woman assumes this position of power, the question is not about their gender, but more about how do they view the distribution of power; is it arising from top down, or is it more participatory.  This might have been proven in with our limited history in this domain.  Female leaders such as Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, and Golda Meir have been very similar in both theory and practice as their male counterparts.  A natural inclination is to believe that if women were in power, a greater attention to issues that plague women, which have long been silenced, would be raised to the forefront.  I believe you can find evidence and theories on both sides of this argument.  Others would contend that environmental awareness would receive greater prominence.  Here again, evidence abounds supporting and refuting.

We can presume two things would change, though. The impact on younger girls would be undeniable.  If a girl, growing up in any part of the world, would be able to point to the fact that multiple prominent leaders in her world are women, a reconceptualization of her dreams can transpire.  Finally, I think we can also say that voices of particular gender that has been silenced for some time would be effectively moved from margin to center.

cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several interesting points have been raised above.  I just wanted to add an observation from my years as a teacher.  I taught for some years in a Montessori elementary school (up through grade 6), and a favorite recess activity was building forts in the woods that surrounded the playing field.  Both boys and girls enjoyed building forts, but the characteristics were consistently quite different.

In the boys' forts, the leadership was always hierarchical, usually with military appelations for the leaders.  In addition, the main activity by the boys was to battle other forts.

In the girls' forts, the group was almost always consensual and lacked hierarchy.  In a few cases one girl took more of a leadership role, but rarely was there anyone who "bossed" the other kids in their fort.  Also, the main activity for the girls was to develop an intricate fort with rituals, decoration, etc.

I realize that much of this arises from the socialization each group had received, but I think it does shed some light on what would happen at the adult level if women had the opportunity to structure things.  Women placed into positions in a primarily male hierarchy won't be all that much different than men, because the expectations and rewards are all tied to the hierarchical model.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If women were to take over running the world, one of the drawbacks, it seems to me, is that they either wouldn't have children or their children would suffer from neglect. If women waited to start running the world until they were past child-bearing age, then they wouldn't have acquired much if any experience in management. Perhaps the solution would be to have the men take over child-rearing (if not child-bearing), but I can't see that this role reversal would be any improvement if it became the general order.

If women took over running the world, they would be taking over institutions that have all been created by men. That seems a little weird, doesn't it? How could women do a better job of managing things they didn't create? It would seem potentially disastrous. They might do better by creating new institutions which were feminine to begin with. 

Maybe "running the world" only means running the various branches of the federal, state, and local governments. 

sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I think #6 makes some very good points, I would also argue that because women are - by and large - multi-taskers, there would be a decrease in inventiveness.  Women handle many different tasks well, keeping things balanced and equal.  However, because they are handling many tasks, no one task gets full and undivided attention.  Thus, there is no time to consider new possibilities - no real time to invent, if you will.  I argue that men are better monotaskers, and thus are sometimes better suited to building a single idea from the bottom to the full expansion of its possibilities.  A balanced word, as #3 says, is best - though I would argue our world is not fully and equally balanced right now.

I suggest the book by Charolette Perkins Gilman titled Herland.  It is a little outdated, but it is a look at a fictional society totally run by women.  Very well written!

alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I honestly think if there were more female world leaders there would be more diplomacy.  Women love to talk, compromise, and find a solution to a conflict.  If you have ever observed a women organization you will find that there is much round table discussion, which of course would be very beneficial when world leaders need to come together and discuss solutions to global issues.  Women tend to be very cautious and reflect on major consquences before a decision is made, and many would understand this character trait just by being in a relationship. Women also are natural caregivers, so I can see female leaders wanting to provide more aid to countries in need, and wanting to provide a better healthcare system in their own country.  I actually think the best leadership would be a man and woman running a country together because its a balance, a ying and yang.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Once a leader attains power, the leader's primary objective, it certainly seems, is to retain power for as long as possible. This is human nature, I believe, not a gender-based reaction. As a result, women in power as heads of state, like their male counterparts, would not have a free hand to make drastic changes in their countries without popular consent. To retain power, they would have to work within the framework of their country's government and culture. Change would come slowly, as it usually does absent revolution. Women leaders worldwide might well steer their countries a little more in one direction than another, but not necessarily. Like men, women can be nurturing and empathetic or aggressive and militant or wise or foolish or visionary or short-sighted. In the big political picture, I don't think things would change very much, very quickly.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that our world would be a more peaceful, healthy, and financially responsible place if women were in charge of the governments and businesses. The basis for my assertion (besides the fact that I am a woman) is my observation of the behaviors of women in professional and civic organizations I have belonged to over the years, compared to my observation of the behaviors of men in similar situations. I have never seen a female-run club have financial problems or be unable to put on a successful fundraiser. In the male-run clubs I have participated in, the male leaders delegate to the female members to accomplish these tasks.

timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What makes you think it isn't now?  Don't you remember the famous "The hand the rocks the cradle rules the world"?  We're not talking about business here (although women pretty well run the school system and always have), raising children, giving them values and proper upbringing --- I think this runs the world.

bubuni | Student

I think a proper equilibrium between men & women is required. Men and women both are required. without women as men can't thrive well, similarly women are also incomplete without men, otherwise God won,t create both of them.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Your question assumes that so far the world is being run only my men. I do not believe that that is a correct assumption. The world was run, and is being run, jointly by men and women. In this light your question becomes how our world would be different if it was run only by women to the exclusion.

I believe such a world would be an a very bad shape, almost as bad as a world that is run only my men.

Men and women are equal partners in running the basic unit of our society that is the family. Equal here does not mean identical. Men and women definitely have their different strengths and weaknesses, but together they make a make up for limitations of each other and facilitate effective utilization of each others strengths. This way they make a combination in which one plus one is eleven, and not two.