Western males can change global mindsets

Feb 10 2013, 00:34 IST
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SummaryWhen we label countries as developed, we first refer to their economic and industrial power.

When we label countries as developed, we first refer to their economic and industrial power. Next, we benchmark the human qualities they command: lower infant mortality, better healthcare, higher survival rate, better education facilities, less unemployment. Developing countries imitate their living comfort too: better infrastructure, transportation, hygienic living amenities, superior science and technology, and structured systems for political, legal, social and industrial rights. In emulating these positives, developing countries willy-nilly follow their gender balance initiatives, which can be quite appalling.

That’s obvious from how women’s suffrage was delayed. Men got voting rights in Greece since 1864 while women voted in parliamentary elections only from 1952. Similarly in Norway, men got voting rights in 1898, women in 1913; in the UK, men in 1918 and women in 1928. In France and Switzerland, men exercised suffrage from 1848, but women from 1944. Other Western women voted only in 1940-’50s; Italy—1945, Belgium—1948, USA—1965. How did men get so empowered?

It all boils down to physique. The genesis of male superiority comes from men’s physical strength. As hunter-gatherers they secured home from animal intruders. As warriors, they’ve fought wars to defend land. Women’s physical frame is crafted to ready the body for procreation. It begins from puberty, the monthly period, conceiving a baby, carrying it for nine months and then menopause sets in. Men just cannot fathom these subtle facets of women, what it ultimately means to take responsibility for continuance of the human race. So the huge gender discrepancy remains.

Men have usurped control to subjugate them with corporeal power since primitive times. Even slaves for physical labour were always men. Women slaves were used elsewhere. Gladiators were never women. When not enough men returned from war, polygamy further thwarted women’s spirit. This physical aspect is evident from the Olympic Games originating 776 BC in Greece. Only men athletes competed in the games. Women entered modern Olympics in the 1900 Paris Games. Women now participate in all Olympic events with the introduction of women’s boxing in 2012.

Their physical protective aspect influenced society that men are super-duper decision makers. So, they grabbed the upper hand in modern society, outnumbering women in all areas of authority. Extreme male empowerment is highly prevalent even in international bodies committed to gender balance. Of the 185 highest-ranking UN diplomats, only seven are women. As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg lamented, “Women are not making it to the top. Of

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