I wonder what would happen if the world finally came to its senses and decided war and power were self-destructive ends. AthenaWhat would it be like if women took leads and created an order of nurturing deeds. Would some women rise up and demand to be heard? Would they bicker and barter for their version of goodness goddesses as the best to be shared? Would we begin to see the comfort of a woman’s touch turn to brawn? Would her womb become the vehicle of a new ruling class, one of strength and control, a new kind of structure for keeping the peace?

What would the future be like if the world were ruled by a virago’s powerful, womanly clutch?

Technorati tags- strong women, women leaders, Athena, woman’s touch

20 thoughts on “Virago

  1. I am inclined to believe it would be a better world as I have a high opinion of women in general, but alas, I fear that any gender bias in those who run the world will cause problems.

    We could really use a world where men and women stand side by side, multiplying their strengths and dividing their weaknesses…and I have a feeling we’ll get closer to that balance as this century progresses. If my estimates are correct, this decade will be the tipping point.

  2. Although you ask what it would be like for women to rule, a virago is usually thought of as a masculine woman. Interesting. I would not wish to be ruled by a masculine woman. I don’t think gender is the issue or answer. I told you a few days ago what I thought the answer was, when I was describing an overheard phone conversation between a friend and his 12 year old son. He called the boy “honey” and instructed him on how to knead the bread before baking it. If all fathers (and mothers) treated their children thus, war would not exist. Humans are angry from lack of love.

  3. My friend Rachel Pollack wrote a book called ‘Unquenchable Fire’ that creates a world ruled by women-story-tellers: what I like best about it is that she doesn’t shy away from the fact that destructive politics creep into every potential utopia… if there is ruling, and humanity… there is corruption, no matter the good intentions, and the question becomes ‘what do we do about it?’

    My theory is that the question has nothing to do with gender identity, and everything to do with relationship to power.

    Nice picture of Athena! Love her.

    Where’s that more-than-kinda-cute Heracles? 🙂

  4. Oh Goody! Ya’ll have set me up perfectly to quote one of my favorite passages from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. He’s writing about the imprisoning effects of conventions, and wanders into relationships.

    “We are only just now beginning to look upon the relation of one individual person to a second individual objectively and without prejudice…

    The girl and he woman, in their new, their own unfolding, will but in passing be imitators of masculine ways, good and bad, and repeaters of masculine professions. After the uncertainly of such transitions it will become apparent that women were only going through the profusion and the vicissitude of those (often ridiculous) disguises in order to cleanse their own most characteristic nature of the distorting influences of the other sex.

    Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully and more confidently, must surely have become fundamentally riper people, more human people, than easygoing man, who is not pulled down below the surface of life by the weight of any fruit of his body, and who, presumptuous and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves.

    This humanity of woman, borne its full time in suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she will have stripped off the conventions of mere femininity in the mutations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching today will be surprised and struck by it. Some day (and for this, particularly in the northern countries, reliable signs are already speaking and shining), some day there will be girls and women whose name will no longer signify merely and opposite of the masculine, but something in itself, something that makes one think, not of any complement and limit, but only of life and existence: the feminine human being.”

  5. I wish I could believe that things would truly be different, but I cannot. Too much time in girl’s locker rooms and junior high school, too much time managing women working and seeing how they change when you add one man to the department has jaded me on the subject. Women can be bullies too. They just do it differently. Both sexes need to get back in touch with their humanity.

  6. Unfortunately i have to agree with ME Strauss. We have actually had womem taking the highest power in several countries in many ears. Elizabeth I, staunch and beloved English Queen, sent many, many men and women to their deaths on the block or burning at the stake. Indira Gandhi slaughtered the Sikhs in a religious/ethnic conflict that wasn’t so far removed from Sadam Hussein’s genocide of the Kurds. And Margaret Thatcher–one of the most calculating and least sympathetic of leaders–and, of course, “Ronnie’s” best political pal.

    I’d like to believe in the wise and sensitive female ruler, too, and I hate having to be a cynic but the world would probably eat her alive if she didn’t also know how to play–and better–the men a the political game and if she didn’t have the cold-blooded determination to strike before she was struck.

  7. I agree with the majority of commenters Garnet. Women and men are both human and thus are capable of great good and great evil. I don’t think it is a question of gender. Humans are human whoever they are and whatever position they hold. Perhaps the only thing that matters is a concern for other humans and even in the best person, that is often bound up with prejudices and personalities.

    The world is not so bad that we cannot live in it, but it will never be so good that we can rejoice in it.

  8. I think the women of the world would do us a great good by beginning their reign by castrating all the power hungry male arsepods. That way the buggars couldn’t pass on their nasty genes and they would all have lovely high voices to sing the the castrati chior.
    Think happy thoughts,

  9. It’s funny. Most of you were almost apologetic for “disagreeing” with me. I simply asked some questions, which actually contained fairly cynical implications. But thank you for thinking me idealistic. It’s nice to know I look so innocent. 😈 Besides, the women you all mentioned, Indira Gandhi, Maggie Thatcher, were emulating the male paradigm. Will it always be that way?

    I was also thinking along the lines of Frank Herbert’s Bene Geserit priestesses, who with powerful voice charms and mind control eventually dominated the universe, with men reduced to sperm generators.

  10. Hmmmm, at this time in my life, being “reduced” to the role of sperm generator doesn’t sound so bad–but I would, of course, be applying for the job serving a male leader, not a woman. 🙂

  11. The debate over the pro’s and cons of matriarchy and patriarchy should not be a debate of women over men.

    Women have masculine qualities, just as men have feminine qualities.

    The debate, the great change that we must embrace, is to open our eyes to this truth, and begin to value both aspects within ourselves.

    When a man learns to embrace his feelings of nurturing compassion, his feminine side, then he gains balance, and is enlightened.

    When a woman embraces her strength and power, she ceases to be a victim and a slave.

    When both men and women honor these respective gifts, it teaches us to honor and respect one another, which of course translates to politics of social reform, in place of ideologies of conquest and dominance.

    Its not about one sex over another folks. Its about the balance of the Yin and Yang. The circle is only complete when both sides operate in balance, and one is not seen as greater than the other.

  12. Kelly- But right now we have a male dominated society and world. And most men, especially in the US, do not embrace their feminie side. The fear of being seen as weak or homosexual, (which is translated as the same), is too much for most men to bear. So we continue blindly down the path of war and dominance. God forbid men might allow themselves to be vulnerable. It’s embedded so deep I don’t think it will change.

  13. You are a man Garnet. Are you a stereotype of control and domanance who does not embrace his feminine side?
    Let’s read your blog and see:

    “I thought how light my soul is, the weight of a butterfly. I usually want to think of myself as a 160 lb., gravity pulled, lump of flesh, weighed down by life. But my butterfly soul has wings of words, which flap against the molecules of indescribable colors and are lifted by the warm, sweet air of my friends’ thoughts.

    An hour later, I’m feeling lighter, and the light outside my window is glowing as if it knows. It’s glowing from within, with me.

    And what seemed like a huge burden was just a little tiny misplaced ounce of perception and assumption of who and how I am.”

    After reading that, I must lovingly disagee. There is hope, and I believe that things will change.

    Change IS the only constant, is it not?


  14. KelBell- I am also gay. Yet even I struggle with allowing myself the luxury of being soft, vulnerable, forgiving, gentle, humble. I DO dominate, compete, challenge, judge. That post you quoted was unusual for me. But thank you for the approval of my feminine explorations! (I mean it. I just hope YOU don’t see that as weak coming from a man….do you??)

  15. LOL
    The funny thing is that as a woman, I too “struggle with allowing myself the luxury of being soft, vulnerable, forgiving, gentle, humble. I DO dominate, compete, challenge, judge.”

    What does that tell ya?


  16. Kelly- It tells me we need to start a revolution! starting with the next post and a nice cup of coffee where we decide what color to paint the new world.

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