If women had been presidents/tsars/kaisers instead of men in the late 1800s and early 1900s and run their respective countries, would World War One (and thus World War Two) have ever broken...

If women had been presidents/tsars/kaisers instead of men in the late 1800s and early 1900s and run their respective countries, would World War One (and thus World War Two) have ever broken out?

What do you think?

8 Answers | Add Yours

mimerajver's profile pic

mimerajver | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

We may remember that the world was not always ruled by men, since matriarchal societies preceded patriarchal ones. In those days, and because of what #6 and #7 have so clearly stated, wars were waged with utmost cruelty. 

In later times, Mary Tudor of England, Elizabeth I of England, Mary Queen of Scots, Catherine of Russia, Marie Therese of Austria and Victoria Queen of England and Empress of India among others did not feel particularly soft-hearted when they ordered their armies to march against a real or potential enemy. The devastation of India under Victoria through the East India Company was one of the most shameful blots in the history of England, and led to the death of thousands of native Indians. In retaliation, violent uprisings resulted in the deaths of countless British civilians living in Indian territory. At the time of the revolts in Khartoum, Victoria's administration decided to abandon General Gordon to his fate, a slim reward for such a loyal servant to the crown.

In more recent times, prisoners of Latin American guerrillas have reported that the women involved could be far more ruthless than the men. Perhaps the extra dose of cruelty was due to the fact that these women did not want to be considered "soft" because of their gender. 

The above should suffice to prove that, when women are in power, the idealistic view of "the feminine touch" is utopian. Women will do what they think is right to defend their countries or ideas. While it is true that some would shrink from extreme decisions, the same could be said of some men. If Prime Minister Neville Chamberlaine had not been so hesitant as Hitler overran Europe, perhaps WWII would have cost fewer lives. 

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with post #6. While women do process information and determine responses to situations differently than men, I don't think the differences would have been significant in the face of the conditions and attitudes prevailing at the times that the world wars started. Women leaders would respond to aggression and perceptions of threat to their homelands in the same ways that the actual male leaders did.

 

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

There is no evidence that matriarchal societies are any more peaceful than patriarchs.  It is true that women think differently than men.  There might be some small, subtle changes if women ran the world.  As a whole, I think things would largely stay the same.  World War I and WWII certainly would have still occurred if women were in positions of power.  These events didn't happen just because of one person or one government.  They involved a great many complex details.  I think the expressions if women ran the world has more to do with stereotypes than reality. 

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with the realist position. Leaving aside the issue that there is no evidence that women govern differently than men, World War I was the result of almost half a century of major developments, including the unification of Germany, industrialization, colonial competition, class conflict, and many others. It seems far-fetched to imagine that leaders, simply by virtue of their gender, would have been able to sort their way through all of the complex problems that contributed to the war. I am certain their gender wouldn't have had much of an effect on the crisis that emerged in the wake of Franz Ferdinand's assassination.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Realists (a school of International Relations) would argue that this would make no difference.  They would say that countries have their interests that they must pursue regardless of who is leader of the country.  They might point to Margaret Thatcher, who went to war with Argentina over the Falklands as an example of how this works.

manishamishra's profile pic

manishamishra | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

i think that if women wolud have ran the world at that time then today many of our countries would not have been developing.....because it is belived that  the society is only developed if women's are developed...and thus our world would have experienced many victory for the mankind.................

latennista's profile pic

latennista | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted on

I agree with the realist position. Leaving aside the issue that there is no evidence that women govern differently than men, World War I was the result of almost half a century of major developments, including the unification of Germany, industrialization, colonial competition, class conflict, and many others. It seems far-fetched to imagine that leaders, simply by virtue of their gender, would have been able to sort their way through all of the complex problems that contributed to the war. I am certain their gender wouldn't have had much of an effect on the crisis that emerged in the wake of Franz Ferdinand's assassination.

so when people (esp. women) today say that things would be different if "women ran the world", is that just a display of sexism or is it because we have not yet experienced a world in which women are mostly in charge, and thus assume that it would be different?

latennista's profile pic

latennista | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted on

Realists (a school of International Relations) would argue that this would make no difference.  They would say that countries have their interests that they must pursue regardless of who is leader of the country.  They might point to Margaret Thatcher, who went to war with Argentina over the Falklands as an example of how this works.

and what would YOU personally argue? do you agree with the 'Realists'? do you think there would be any differences? if not, what things do you think would have made a difference?

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