Let’s ask a question. What do Cyrus the Great, Alexander, Ramses II, Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, Ayatollah Khomeini, Mao Zedong, Vlad the Impaler, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Mohammed, and Jesus Christ all have in common?
Besides the fact that thousands, if not millions, died either because of their actions or policies, or as a result of their teachings… they were all men. And I could have made the list longer, a lot longer, but it does bring up another question. With the record that males have compiled while they’ve been in charge of countries, religions, armies, institutions, corporations, and other groups… why do human beings continue to allow men to lead anything?
The simple answer is, of course, that men in general have been and remain larger and physically more powerful, in most instances, than women. Another answer is that studies show that men, either for genetic or cultural reasons, tend to defer to other males who are taller and present an image of greater personal power, often even when it’s obvious that such men are largely lacking in other areas, such as foresight and intelligence.
From historic times onward, and possibly before, men have almost always controlled societies, and in almost all of them used their power to keep women in a secondary position, invariably opposing attempts to give women legal and social status and power equivalent to men. Even today, the vast majority of women across the world are still in a secondary position and a significant percentage are little more than slaves.
All this leads to yet another question. Just how well have men done at ruling and directing societies, governments, and organizations? The “boys” in control over the last century have presided over two world wars, a long-running “cold war,” not to mention more than fifty smaller wars, rebellions, insurrections, and various other lethal conflicts across the globe.
Because so few women anywhere have political and military clout, it’s difficult to make a direct comparison, but, recently, studies have shown that U.S. corporations where women have voice and power close to that of men outperform corporations dominated by men. But it certainly doesn’t seem that this is welcome news to the good old boys in the boardroom. Might it be that, despite their insistence that they’re looking for the best talent, they’re only looking for the best male talent, and performance comes second to maintaining male superiority?
Now… where would I ever come up with such an outrageous idea?