May/June 2006 Editor's Blog
A wonderful organization has recently come onto my radar screen – Gather the Women, an organic matrix of women and women's organizations. It is a new model of collaboration, and in the process of building a global community of women it has attracted an amazing influx of women from around the world who believe that now is the time to activate the power of women's wisdom on a planetary scale.
Their approach is one that should serve as an example to us all. Marilyn Ferguson in her book, Aquarius Now, makes the case that leadership must become a grassroots phenomenon if our societies are to thrive. She talks about “national treasures” living in every nation and neighborhood, who “find their greatest reward in contributing to the society. Some are well known, but millions are quietly going about their heroic tasks perfecting their work, trying to serve more, not less.”
To support the growth of compassionate and collaborative leadership at the grassroots, “6 Women’s Congresses on 6 Continents in 2006” are being organized by the GTW Global Matrix. They will provide a structure for strengthening connections and involvement among the women in those regions. The next Congress in Victoria, BC, June 22-24, 2006, will call for applying the feminine principles to leadership for creating a world culture of peace. (See Community News)
I must admit that I see myself as a humanist, rather than a feminist, but I was really struck by a recent study reported in Scientific American. A group of test subjects was shown an unfair person getting an electric shock. Watching the painful shock triggered the empathy areas in women’s brains; in men, however, they found that the reward centers were activated. Although both sexes reported disliking the unfair person, it was only the men who seemed to find pleasure in retribution.
One doesn’t want to make sweeping generalizations from a single study, but it was certainly suggestive of a fundamental difference between the sexes on the matter of empathy. Clearly a woman’s natural inclination is more oriented toward peacemaking than a man’s, yet how many women are visible as mediators and peacemakers on the national or global stage? I don’t think women feel they need to win to be respected as a woman; they can exhibit compassion and empathy without fear of being looked down on as weak; and they would tend to seek win - win solutions that leave the other side with their dignity.
Throughout history, defense of “national honor” has brought mainly death and suffering to the world. Surely it is time for women of wisdom to come forward and say, “Enough!” Let us come together in our groups, wherever we are, to be affirmed and inspired and, in turn, inspire each other to change the world from the bottom up.
Gather the Women invites us to create a global community of women. If we are not for peace and human dignity, who will be? If not now, then when?