A Modest Proposal for Fixing the World: Let Women Run It

A Modest Proposal for Fixing the World: Let Women Run It October 22, 2013

A Modest Proposal for Fixing the World: Let Women Run It

I take it most people are aware by now that women are morally superior to men. Few would argue that women actually have greater value than men—in some ontological sense (whether in the eyes of God or simply in terms of value to world). However, evidence has been piling up for a very long time that women are simply better human beings than men—overall and in general. Of course, one has to be very careful not to globalize. Some men are better human beings than some women. It’s even possible that “the best human being in the world” is a male person. The point is that, overall and in general, if it were possible to quantify “goodness” in aggregates, the scales would tip in females’ favor. At least that’s what many commentators on social science evidence and common human experience believe.

My thoughts for this blog post were sparked by an article by feminist columnist and speaker Keli Goff, special correspondent to The Root—a daily online news source oriented toward social commentary from a black perspective. Ms. Goff’s column in The Root, syndicated to numerous daily newspapers and other news outlets this month, was entitled “What male-dominated politics gets us” (in the newspaper where I read it). According to Ms. Goff, “According to studies, the leadership traits predominant in female leaders are precisely the types of qualities that prove useful in tense conflicts such as the recent [U.S. Government] shutdown.” She cites a study published “earlier this year” in the Los Angeles Times.

Keli Goff is not the first person to suggest that women are simply better than men at “cooperation, collaboration and consensus-building.” And, of course, these are the crucial practices for making any society run smoothly. Some years ago I was watching the television talk show “The View” (it was the only thing on the TV screen in front of me while I worked out on a treadmill at my gym) and the special guest was Austin, Texas-based columnist Molly Ivans—the outspoken feminist social commentator. She said (paraphrasing) that she had long thought that the world would be a better place if women ran it. She got no disagreement from the talk show’s regular panelists.

Just this week, USAToday published an article entitled “Why Women Make Better Doctors”—reporting on a social scientific study showing that, overall and in general, women make better physicians than men. The crucial qualities and skills that make a person a good physician are precisely those characteristic of women more than men.

When was the last time you read or heard a credible (i.e., something more than mere opinion) report arguing that men are better than women at anything?

Just a few years ago (2011) social commentator Dan Abrams published a book entitled Man Down: Proof beyond a Reasonable Doubt that Women are Better…. The book builds a seeimingly irrefutable case that, overall and in general, women are better at everything (except tasks that require brute physical force) than men.

There’s no point engaging in debate about why women are better than men. They just are. That’s all we need to know—at least for now.

A few years ago I had lengthy talks with a person involved professionally with an NGO relief organization that is among “first responders” to calamities in all parts of the world. This person, who is educated in international development (undergraduate and graduate degrees) and has many years experience working with several international development and relief organizations, informed me that when most NGOs go into an area hit by an earthquake, flood or other natural disaster they always give the food and other life-saving commodities to women only. The reason is that experience demonstrates that women distribute it more fairly than men.

The evidence is in; there’s little rational argument against it. Women are better human beings than men.

We’ve actually known this for a very long time. During Victorian times (eighteenth century especially) in much of the developing world, anyway, the attitude that women were morally superior to men was widely held. The problem for women, and therefore for the world, was that men put them on a pedestal, so to speak, and “protected them” from power. Everyone knows that power corrupts, so men used the excuse that withholding power from women saved them from the corruptions of power. Today, over a century later, we are less likely to think that power corrupts—especially women. The jury may be somewhat still out on that as women still do not have as much power as men. But we have observed women presidents and prime ministers all over the world and, for the most part, they seem to have done a stellar job of leading in politics and government. When was the last time you heard of a female dictator who wasn’t at least a benevolent one?

Given all the evidence available today, and given the mess our world, including the United States, is in, perhaps it is time to flip the tables of power and see what women would do if all the power were in their hands.

Very few feminists even dare to propose what I am about to propose. But I suspect many of them daydream about it. So let me go out on thin ice and, for the sake of at least provoking thought, suggest that we try the most radical social experiment the world has seen in many years: put all the power to shape social policy in women’s hands—for a limited time.

Surely this is the logical “end game” of Keli Goff’s and Molly Ivans’s and many other feminists’ views—and the practical implication and implementation of the numerous social scientific studies now being reported.

I propose (for thought and discussion, at least) that we in the United States (other countries may wish to do this as well but I am not in a position to recommend it to them) engage in a radical new social contract. Put all public leadership in the hands of women for ten years to see what happens. Of course, the details of “how” would have to be worked out carefully, but we have done that before when the need was urgent. (For example, slave emancipation was a radical social experiment and virtually nobody had all the answers to how it would work out—even for emancipated slaves and their families, but it was urgently needed and so we moved ahead with it before we had all the answers.)

Now, the crucial presupposition for getting on board this social experiment will have to be that we, the world and the U.S., are in a mess. Constant involvement in horribly expensive wars, fears of terrorism, a shaky economy, government gridlock, etc., must be seen as together constituting a crisis. At present, given our realities, we seem to have no workable solutions. Things just keep getting worse.

The second presupposition is that it’s at least worth a try to see what women could and would do if given the power to make social policy without the “drag” of male competitiveness, aggressiveness, individualism, desire for domination and control, and lack of compassion. (Which is not to say all males are like that! These are simply the characteristics typical of men, so say their detractors—both male and female.)

The new social contract would require, I suppose, a constitutional amendment with a sunset clause. (We don’t want to experience permanent reverse discrimination or reverse oppression. At some point men need to be able to come back into the public square and have power once again, but only after women show what they can do so that the electorate will be more willing to vote for women and women are more likely to be appointed to top leadership positions in government.) I suggest ten years of women only in political power. Again, of course, the details will have to be worked out, but if we have the will to do it, it can be done.

I suggest this would be good for both women and men. Of course, the result may very well be that men, in order to have power with women afterwards, will have to display more leadership characteristics typical of women to appeal to voters—assuming, of course, that the experiment works and during the decade of women leadership only the U.S. improves significantly. But this will be good for men—to at least balance their natural tendencies with ones more typical of women. Women, of course, may have to also take on some characteristics often associated with men. In order to defend the U.S. from enemies foreign and domestic they may have to use power in ways they wouldn’t normally and naturally want to. They might discover that having all the power is more corrupting than they ever thought. But during the decade men and other women will hold them accountable to performing their leadership roles in the ways people like Ivans, Goff, Abrams and others argue they naturally would and should.

Now, I can think of several objections to my proposal—besides the obvious ones (e.g., that this would be unconstitutional, lead to hordes of resentful men acting out obstructively, etc.). For example, some will no doubt object that the problems we face in U.S. public life is not men in leadership per se but the particular men both women and men have elected to lead us. I suggest we won’t know until we attempt the complete reversal and find out how we all might benefit from women having all the power. It’s worth a try—that’s all I’m sayin’. Our present situation is simply untenable. We must try something else.

Your thoughts? (Keep them civil and respectful, please. I won’t post comments that aren’t civil and respectful or that distort, misrepresent my proposal.)

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  • Since you are suggesting for a limited time, I’d be all for the experiment. My theory would be that in part women are currently the better people on average precisely because they aren’t as corrupted by power. Not entirely – there is something to be said for mothering instincts and the lack of aggression-promoting testosterone. But if power does corrupt regardless of gender, my hypothesis (nothing more than that) is that within 20 years or so, a lot of women would be behaving pretty much like men do now. Would be very interesting to see, though, and even 10 or 20 years of a more peaceful and just world would be completely worth it.

  • Further support for your argument: The latest issue of TIME has an article about how the 20 women Senators are getting more done right now than anyone else in Washington.

  • NorrinRadd

    Aside from the Constitutional issues, the biggest problem with that proposal is it’s pretty much identical to what Ted Turner suggested. I’d rather experiment with giving all leadership power to a giant supercomputer than follow any suggestion from Ted.

  • Oh my word, I am all in favor of this. I have said a thousand times that all you need to do to fix the world, balance the budget, and stop all wars is get women in charge… especially if they raised children and managed a home.

    As soon as someone figures out that it is not a democrat vs republican issue, but is a man vs woman issue, we will be better off. Of course, not that I put all faith in women. Even women are not the solution to all the world’s problems…. but that is getting off into theology.

    • Ed Cook

      I’d suggest that although it’s not a democrat vs republican issue, neither is it a man vs woman issue. It’s a “have” vs “have not” issue. What the “haves” have is money and power, both of which are put to use to further their own interests. Just a thought… -e.

  • gpf

    Tim Wright weighs in with his post today: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/searchingfortomsawyer/2013/10/the-new-gender-math-more-womenless-mena-better-world/ “The New “Gender” Math? More Women+Less Men=A Better World?”

  • Joshua

    I think your proposal is interesting and well thought-out. You’ve clearly put some time and effort crafting it. I also suppose that it is, in your words, “worth a shot.” At the very least (and perhaps at the very most?), it’s worth a try. I don’t see how things in our own country could get much worse in terms of the actual quality of our leaders. I don’t think I’m being controversial by saying that, if our country is doing well, it is in spite of, not because of, strong leadership.

    A couple of objections did come to mind, however; two of which, you mentioned yourself: it would be unconstitutional and their would be certain obstructive backlash as men feel their sex being more and more pushed into irrelevancy. It isn’t only jobs requiring brute strength that has been associated with masculinity – strong leadership is also more associated with masculinity from a historic perspective (whether or not it SHOULD be is not my point – only that it IS).

    In addition to the objections that you yourself raised, I have to disagree with the second part of your statement, when you said: “The second presupposition is that it’s at least worth a try to see what women could and would do if given the power to make social policy without the “drag” of male competitiveness, aggressiveness, individualism, desire for domination and control, and lack of compassion. (Which is not to say all males are like that! These are simply the characteristics typical of men, so say their detractors—both male and female.)”

    In a democracy, the ONLY people who win, male or female, are the most competitive, desiring domination and control. Female leaders like conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, to liberal Americans like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton – they are just as cut-throat as their male counterparts. I’m not insulting them – they have to be to win. That’s just the reality of democracy. Competition is the key. Power DOES corrupt, and whether feminists and political commentators realize this is irrelevant; we, as Christians, believe this as a fundamental point of departure in understanding anthropology, and we need to use our understanding to speak truth to a culture that doesn’t take this seriously, and often doesn’t even realize it. I’d like to believe that women would be different, but even the minority of women we have elected seem to have no real difference in approach to wielding power once they get it.

    Finally, I’m not sure I agree with the implied diagnosis of the problem. You never stated it explicitly, so I don’t know if you’d stand by this (and, it follows, that my point isn’t directly in response to you – I’m just making my own observations here), but it seems that the implied problem is that men are, well, men. The problem with our government isn’t that men dominate and women don’t – the problem is that ignorant, historically and scientifically inept, anti-intellectual men AND WOMEN, who compose a minority of our legislative branch, distract and obstruct the compromising capabilities of the larger congressional body. Let me be clear – the problem is the Tea Party. And of them, they have females that have actual power and, at least, some influence (Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman and Christine O’Donnel are at the top of the list). In fact, some have suggested that the top leadership of the Tea Party is female. Certainly the three women above are some of its most prominent faces. So, I don’t think that the issue here is men, whether that is explicitly stated or simply implied. The issue here is the ignorant. Maybe a more realistic solution (but not by much) would be to have academic litmus tests for voter registration, and a more rigorous academic litmus test for holding public office in any capacity. THAT, I think, would be a step in the right direction.

  • Jakeithus

    I do not have the studies available to me, so I may be horribly mistaken, but I seem to remember from studying politics in university that the women who do end up winning political office often demonstrate the same tendencies as men when it comes to factors such as “competitiveness, aggressiveness, individualism, desire for domination and control, and lack of compassion”. These factors lead many people to be involved in politics to begin with, so I’m not sure your proposal would reduce or eliminate these traits to the degree you predict. My day to day job is working in politics in a jurisdiction where both major party leaders are driven, competitive women, and I don’t think it makes a difference to improving the tone, leadership, and cooperation in the political arena.

    That being said, I’m all for interesting political phenomenon, so in that regard your proposal is a fantastic test that I’m all for. On the other hand, I’m tired of hearing that if only men would “act more like women” everything would be better, as it does a major disservice to men of all sorts.

    • The British psychologist Kevin Dutton believe that the rate of psychopathy has largely increased in the Western world. This shows that there is something wrong with our society.

  • Paul

    Works for me, they could not possibly do worse.

  • Hello Roger; this is a brilliant satyre!

    I recently pointed out on my blog that we have a very similar situation in France concerning anti-white racism. While racism FROM white is (rightly) combated, racism against white people is ignored and explained away.

    Far from serving peace, this situation has created many resentful men who now belong to far right organizations.

    Similarly, ignoring and explaining away discriminations males are victim of naturally create resentful boys who will feel very frustrated against girls.

    I am for true equality.

    But EVERY time I pointed this out to liberals, they answered me: discriminations and injustices towards men are NEGLIGABLE.

    What should we respond to this mantra?

    • Roger Olson

      It’s interesting that you interpret my blog as satire.

      • My English is far from being perfet, could “parody” be a more appropriate word?

        • Roger Olson

          I respect that your English is not perfect and don’t wish to come across as lecturing you about it. But I wouldn’t call what I wrote “parody” because that term normally applies to an ironic distortion of what others have written or said. I don’t know of anyone else who has actually proposed what I proposed, so I don’t think I could be parodying anyone. Theoretically, anyway, what I wrote could be satire. I was just curious why you thought that it was.

          • Because I have read much of your stuff about the problems that boys are facing in the Western world and so I consider it highly likely you are ironic :=)

            Frankly speaking, I am fed up with the liberal dogmas that the oppressors are only whites and males. I think that you can find love, goodness, injustice and evil everywhere.

            Western liberals are just in denial with reality and often end up having ideas which are potentially as harmful as those of conservatives.

            But you did not answer my question and curious about that: how do you react when someone tells you that injustices towards males are Negligable?

            Friendly greetings from Europe.

          • Roger Olson

            Oh, I think I’ve made abundantly clear here that I believe males, especially boys, are suffering serious injustices–mostly of neglect–in our society. But I don’t blame women in general for that. I blame those entertainers, educators, journalists and politicians who misinterpret the women’s movement as requiring neglect of boys and ridiculing of men.

          • Yes, I would not blame women either. It is the Zeitgeist which sucks…
            Der Zeitgeist muss ueberwunden werden (I think you have some German notions :=) )

            2013/10/25 Disqus

      • Including “A Modest Proposal” in your title predisposes those of us who have read Johnathan Swift’s to think it is.

      • Harry T. Conan

        Interesting? You titled your post ‘A Modest Proposal’ calling to mind the great satire by Jonathan Swift. Are you denying that it was intended as satire?

        • Roger Olson

          Are all “modest proposals” satire, then?

      • Dan

        It seems serious (and logically reasoned) enough, but the title does say “A Modest Proposal”…

  • Sam

    You ask, “When was the last time you read or heard a credible (i.e., something more than mere opinion) report arguing that men are better than women at anything?”
    Just the other day from Solomon. But he was bitter right?
    “Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!”

  • Melissa

    This is satire?

  • Tim Reisdorf

    Hi Roger,
    It seems odd that you would propose such a solution. To place individuals in groups, then divide power according to membership in those groups seems like a return to practices and attitudes that we now rightly condemn. An individual should have every opportunity available to them in a free society regardless of their sex, their skin color, their ethnicity, etc.
    According to Paul, Jesus broke down such barriers to make all believers into The Church. It would be disheartening indeed to resurrect them.

    • Roger Olson

      But Tim, when did you start believing that what’s good for the church (or in the church) is good for society in general? That part of your argument seems inconsistent with your opposition to government redistribution of wealth. One could pick up on that part of your argument and respond that since the early church shared all in common so should contemporary governments “spread the wealth around.”

      • Tim Reisdorf

        Hi Roger,
        I’ll address your concerns if you address mine.
        The early Church did not share everything in common. The Acts 4 statement is an obvious overstatement meant to give an impression, not a description. This is evident because a few sentences later, we still find believers that had not yet sold their property to put towards the community. (I know how much you detest literalism when it really ought to be understood as a figure of speech.) But more to your point, there is no sense that anything is demanded of anyone – it is all voluntary! The Ananias/Sapphira judgment did not happen because they did not share everything, the judgment came about because they lied about it. There was trouble in the Corinthian churches because of confusion as to how to handle the disparity of wealth among the members (teased from 1 Cor 11). Paul did not impose economic/Spiritual rules on them. There was no collectivist mandate – the sharing came from generous hearts. When Paul asked for donations for the poor, he asked for funds rather than commanding. Jesus’ rich patrons certainly did not empty their coffers for Jesus’ ministry – how could they continue to support Him?
        A government that tries to “spread the wealth around” may desire a good outcome, but it uses force/theft to make that happen. There is no generosity and no thankfulness when money is taken from one and given to another. There is so much wrong with that model … but you’ve heard it all before. I prefer a government that is minimal and allows individuals to be generous from their own treasures.
        What’s good for the Church is good for society and (while they are in quite different realms) they share common values of individual freedom coupled with responsibility that comes with that freedom. Part of that responsibility is to give proper dignity to each person. To limit a person’s civic opportunities by these arbitrary distinctions. (Felon? Yes, there may be proper limitations there. Irish? I can’t see any good reason for limitations there.)

        • Roger Olson

          But you didn’t answer my questions which were about proper government involvement in limiting and regulating business practices–such as criminalizing using ten year old boys to clean chimneys. Was that a proper government limitation of business? If so (and I’m hoping you think so), where do you draw the line? When and where does government’s right to regulate predatory business practices end? I believe Christian compassion requires that Christians with political power use government to hinder predatory business practices that damage people.

    • jenny

      It is a temporary solution, to show men that they, the men, are not entitled more than women to managed the world. Otherwise, do we think that men would just step aside for a while to allow women to do what men did for ever?

      • Tim Reisdorf

        If opportunities were limited to some and excluded to others in the past (which certainly is true), the the solution is not to have opportunities limited to some and excluded to others. Yours is not even a solution, it is simply a restatement of the same problem.
        You (and Roger) are seeing that the root cause of many of the present problems as relating to male-domination in positions of power. I see the root cause of many of the present problems in the positions of power themselves.

        • Roger Olson

          My proposal suggests that MAYBE if women were given sole leadership to shape public policy “positions of power” would be redefined away from domination toward leadership in collaboration. Well, that’s what some feminists think, anyway. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen.

  • steve rogers

    Roger, I’m going to assume you wrote some of this tongue-in-cheek. However, I have to agree that the current male dominated leadership model is a mess. But, I would suggest that Christlikeness is a better qualifier for leadership than being female. One need only visit a junior high lunch room or social media site to realize that females can be every bit as dominating, spiteful and even cruel as males. I know of no credible study that suggests that women are less susceptible to greed and power craving. Though it may be true that women are less in your face confrontational about how they manifest it. That said, I would be in favor of your proposed experiment because I have come to regard our current male dominated political system to be a deplorable failure.

  • Hillary Clinton agrees with this proposal 100 percent. LOL

    • Roger Olson

      Does she? I didn’t know that. Where has she written that or where did she say that? I’d be interested to know if anyone else has actually gone as far as I have with this proposal. I’ve never read it or heard it. I thought I was being original.

  • Justin Mitchell

    “Today, over a century later, we are less likely to think that power corrupts—especially women.”

    I’m not sure why you would suggest that we are now less likely to think that power corrupts than those in the past. I strongly believe that power, in general, is a potent source of corruption. Power feels good, and people usually want to retain it and keep it going (or get more), and the cost for this usually falls on the shoulders of others.

    Humility is the only antidote to this corruption. It’s the only thing that allows powerful people to still do good and serve others.

  • jenny

    100% agree.

  • Patsy Walker Fine

    I think you’ve missed the point Roger. The problem is the all male control and would also be a problem with all female control. Balance creates health and stability in any micro/macrocosm. Women represent roughly half the population. Therefore, equal representation would resemble a true balance of women and men in representative government, which would allow for the best characteristics of both genders to problem-solve and make decisions based on the highest good for all. Perhaps we should consider creating a system to ensure that that 50% of our leaders are female and 50% are male and that they meet certain standards of mature development. We are naturally evolving to that standard and will eventually get there, but why not, if possible, consider a short-cut given the terrible challenges we face.

    • Roger Olson

      What characteristics do males typically have that contribute to the common good? I haven’t read anyone naming any. Perhaps if you think I’ve missed the point you could fill out your alternative proposal by naming typically male characteristics that are necessary for good leadership. I honestly can’t remember reading or hearing anyone being specific about that. All I ever read is about how women’s characteristics make them better leaders.

      • It’s helpful here to distinguish “masculinity” (a mental construct) from “maleness” (a physical nature), and the same for “femininity” and “femaleness.” What I think we’re actually talking about is “masculine” and “feminine.”

        I don’t think there are any “typically” masculine or feminine characteristics that are necessary for good leadership. There are typically masculine, or typically feminine, characteristics that are helpful for good leadership– but as far as I can see, the necessary qualities for good leadership (intelligence, ability to see the big picture, ability to work with others, ability to set goals and implement them) are all merely human characteristics.

        As for typically masculine characteristics that are helpful in good leadership, I can name several: decisiveness, confidence, physical “presence” (aka charisma), ability to make snap judgments in a crisis. Typically feminine characteristics that are helpful in leadership include: ability to listen, ability to see detail, collaborative skills, diplomacy, and tact.

        Of course, none of these typical characteristics of the constructs “masculine” and “feminine” are actually exclusive to maleness or femaleness.

        • Roger Olson

          The most sane thing I’ve read about the subject in a long time! Thank you.

    • jenny

      For the future, yes, you are right: kind of 50% , 50%.
      But for the transition period, men would be required to step down for a while….and allow women to do what men did for 2,000 years, if we talk since Jesus birth.

  • Ellen Marie Dumer

    Many things I could say as a woman…have to agree that women have had to twist their natural way of being to survive and be heard in what unbelievably still exists, the good ol’ boys network. And when they do, and I did, it just doesn’t work. As for government, stop the popularity contest and start looking out for all Americans as best we can. God Bless America…we wouldn’t be allowed to have this forum in many places!

  • Tricia Emlyn-Williams

    It’s a very interesting proposal, and one that I have certainly thought about a lot. I was once very encouraged to hear a vicar say that he would love to see a world where men did as many things for other people in a month as women do in a day. One of the characteristics of women which I have noticed men do not necessarily have is a level of conscientiousness and willingness to take responsibility – obviously essential qualities for child-rearing. I have found, for example, that if I have to contact a helpline for any reason, a female advisor will see the job through until it is sorted satisfactorily, but men very rarely do.

  • Hanan

    Rather odd though. Whenever I talk to people more on the liberal spectrum, any discussion of how males and females are different often end up with snarky objections and resorting to pulling out the “sexism card.” Yet, the very (preposterous) idea of this article requires there to be a different between the two that is more than just social convention. After all, if there is no inherit difference, why give women the reigns?

    Let’s not mention the hypocrisy of saying women are better. Let’s see men saying that without feminists having a spasm.

    The truth is, I do think woman are better than men…in certain things. Men are better in other things. I have no idea why giving exclusive power to women would make things better.

    • Roger Olson

      I normally don’t publish links here because I don’t have time to check them all out.

    • jenny

      So far we see men dominating the social world….why not try to see what women can do for awhile….In the end, once we learn to cooperate, women and men, together will live in peace. God bless al of us!

  • alma Mercer

    we usto run it , in days of old we were worshipped as Goddesses , and we were the heads of all clan , the wise woman . but its seems as the male principle came forth their has been much trouble in the land , perhaps its time to restore us to our rightful place ? they even tore Mary from her rightful place as head of the church …. shame shame BB

    • Roger Olson

      Are you aware that feminist theologian Rosemary Ruether argues that matriarchy was the original social order but that it (understandably) resulted in male resentment which led to male domination (patriarchy)? In other words, matriarchy has its problems, too. Unless men can somehow be kept subjugated so that their natural, understandable resentment, doesn’t lead to a rebellion against the matriarchy.

      • Mike

        The view that ancient society was run by a matriarchical order is a 70s feminist wish that has been completely discredited by archeologists and historians.

  • Tim

    Don’t forget that it was women who leveled the most carnage during the 20th century. (Abortion) 50,000,000 people.

    • Roger Olson

      Uh, I think men had something to do with that as well.

      • Joe Keysor

        Uh, if women are so morally superior why have they slaughtered millions of children? The question is not “Did men have something to do with it?”

        • Roger Olson

          You’re changing the subject. The subject is women’s leadership abilities.

          • Tim Reisdorf

            But Joe’s point is valid unless you believe that leadership is separable from morality. In the first line in your post, you argue that women are morally superior to men – now you say its not part of your argument?

          • Roger Olson

            By “morally” I meant in terms of leadership integrity and ability. I certainly don’t believe women don’t sin!

          • Joe Keysor

            That “women are morally superior to men” is one of your main points and essential to your argument. After all, if women are morally the same as men, or worse than men, there would be no point in your experiment. That women are not, in fact, morally superior, but have the same sin problem and the same sin nature as men undercuts your entire argument.

          • Roger Olson

            Not necessarily. Many feminists (including Christian ones) argue that women’s “sin problem” is there but different than men’s. Women’s temptation is not so much to dominate others as to allow themselves to be dominated.

    • jenny

      Usually abortion is the easy way out for men…..How many times a man tells the woman, right before making love: “I hope you do not get pregnant…”
      That is already abortion done by the man.
      Or, how many times a man tells the woman: “I told you not to get pregnant,,,,,”
      Let’s remember that the man impregnates the woman…..the woman does not get pregnant by herself.

      • Roger Olson

        Let’s get back to the subject at hand–women’s leadership abilities.

  • MT Pockets

    With Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Bachmann in charge what could go wrong?

  • Sean H.

    Reading Rosemary Radford Ruether just recently, I was struck by her discussion about how Victorian notions of female superiority in morality and spirituality were just as damaging and restrictive as negative stereotypes. I don’t think most wise feminists would think your idea a good one, especially without dismantling the basic structures of domination that give our societies their fundamental shape. From a Christian perspective, women are just as sinful as men.

    Matriarchy is not a solution to the problems of patriarchy. To counter your proposal, I suggest the names of Hillary Clinton, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, and Eva Peron, as well as a host of less widely-known female politicians and leaders. I highly doubt that giving all political power, temporarily or otherwise, over to women would lead to radically different result than what was seen under these particular women.

    • Roger Olson

      Whenever have mentioned them to feminists they have dismissed them as more male-like than truly feminist. In other words, they were women who bought into patriarchy and used it–not something most women would do.

      • Sean H.

        But isn’t that just a “no true Scotsman” response? Is it that women haven’t shown to be better in (high places of) leadership because they were just the “wrong” women, or does it have to do with the corrupting nature of worldly power? Again, from a Christian (and very feminist-sympathetic) perspective, I’d argue that women are just as sinful as men. That historically they haven’t done as much damage as men is more due to their lack of opportunity–because of genuine oppression–and not the absence of proclivity to do so.

        • Roger Olson

          That’s not what I’ve read and heard most feminists saying. In what sense is that a feminist-sympathetic perspective. (In academic circles, anyway, “feminism” means more than just equality between the sexes.)

  • James X-Freeman

    I’m in favor of it, but implementation details would need additional fleshing out before I’d endorse it fully. However, I see a real problem , with the proposed time limit – only 10 years. Are you kidding me? Males have had millennia to wreck the joint (Mother Earth) – giving the females only 10 short years to try and turn a mess that long in the making around is just a set-up for failure. To be even marginally fair, it would require 100 years – because the first 40 or so would largely be just a holding action against the almost guaranteed intransigence and deliberate obstructionism from the generations born before ~1995. They’d all need to either die off or retire and shut up before any real progress could be made.

    • Roger Olson

      Oh, c’mon. That wasn’t the point–to “undo” all the “damage” men have done. It was to give women a chance to show what they can do. Improvement is all the experiment looks for, not utopia. 100 years of women only in power would inevitably lead to male rebellion.

    • jenny

      I think that just doing the clean-up would show that women are capable of doing a good job for the society. And that will be followed by the real changes. In the end, we will learn how to work together, women and men.

  • Larry Hughes

    Lets start with Hilary Clinton.

    • Roger Olson

      But if my proposal is valid, IF she is elected and unsuccessful in improving the condition of our country and the world, detractors of male leadership as inherently bad will just say the men held her back. The only way to really test the thesis is to give women all the power–for a period of time long enough to make a difference.

    • jenny

      To single out one woman , is not the point here.

  • G

    Senators Boxer and Feinstein promise to impeach Bush, Jr., and end funding for the Iraq War but they did not. I know plenty of women in management positions who have not done a thing to make the world and their organizations better, instead they have made it worse.

    • jenny

      We know plenty of men in management positions who made the place worse.

  • silvah

    I truly believe that if women Ruled the World there would be no more wars. And there’d be no fewer, either. Women are human, different but equal, therefore equally vulnerable to the more unfortunate aspects of human nature. As one woman to others – stop flattering our gender at the expense of the other one. It makes for better relationships.if we work together without ‘one-up-woman-ship.’

  • Joe Keysor

    You can’t get the world to follow your experiment, but you can try it in your own home. Put your wife in authority and be in subjection to her, if you haven’t already done so and see how that works out, since she is morally superior to you.

    • Roger Olson

      There’s no doubt in my mind or anyone else’s that she is indeed morally superior to me. And we never make a decision without mutual agreement. There have been many times I wanted to do something but bowed to her better judgment.

  • RustbeltRick

    Our current troubles are based in ideology, not gender, so this is a solution that does nothing to address the root problems of leadership that are plaguing us. (And yes, I realize this proposal is somewhat tongue in cheek). I live in a state that for many years had a female governor, and even though she is from my own party I think she did a profoundly mediocre job. I see some prominent female leaders as great, others as terrible, and a lot of them in the middle. In other words, they’re humans, and flawed. Like men. Electing all women will simply allow us to scapegoat an entire gender once we realize the problems aren’t going away any easier than they did when dudes were in charge.

    • jenny

      I was just wondering if men feel good about not allowing women to have similar opportunities as men have.
      If we just think that no more than 100 years ago, women could hardly have been seen as licensed doctors, lawyers, university professors, CEO, judges, etc.

      • Roger Olson

        I, for one (and I know many other men who believe as I do) that women should have all the opportunities men have–including having to register for the draft.

        • Brittany

          And I, for one, fully support that position. 😉

      • RustbeltRick

        Why would anyone feel good about that? But the question of “should women be allowed to be doctors” is very different from “should women be the only ones in charge”.

  • Marc

    TIME magazine recently published an article called “Women are the only Adults Left” regarding the recent government shutdown and the female senators’ response to the situation. A great read which illustrates the points about female leadership made in this forum.

    • Holy Smokes

      0 of the female Republicans were involved and women only accounted for 6 of the 14 congressmen who were responsible for the continuing resolution. Time was just trying to sell magazines.

  • Marius Lombaard

    roger, what are the sources for asserting that women are morally superior than men? you made some vague references, but i’m now arguing your position against someone else and they keep pressing me for sources, saying that you didn’t really provide any.

    • Roger Olson

      I thought I did. Molly Ivans. Oh, well…very few would say it right out that bluntly. But when they argue, as Kelli Goff did, that our present political mess is due to “male-dominated politics” and goes on to extol women’s virtues the implication is clear. I can think of one influential feminist who had/has no hesitation arguing that women are morally superior to men–Mary Daly. I’m sure she’s not the only one, though.

      • Marius Lombaard

        are there sources other than a feminist? it could be argued that the source is obviously biased.

        are there men who write on the issue who may be considered more objective?

        • Roger Olson

          I don’t know of any, but I am sure there are some. Some have come here in the past and more than suggested that women are superior to men in terms of leadership abilities. I think it’s highly debatable but we’ll never know until we find out by following my modest proposal.

  • Y. A. Warren

    The issue seems to me to be that men and women need to stop dividing themselves into gender-based exclusive teams. we must dispense with the Victorian nonsense that men and women can’t discuss penises and vaginas in mixed company without everyone falling into bed with each other and rutting like dogs.

    Women and men need to stop the stupid competition. Feminists can’t be allowed to male bash simply because they are still resentful of the years of female bashing that they experienced as they gained strength to stand toe-to-toe with men. True leadership in community needs the skills that come naturally to both genders.

    I don’t agree that we need to hand all leadership over to women; I do believe we have to get rid of the dinosaurs in leadership who want to drag the world backward to pre-feminist days. Conception control is not going to go away. This is what has freed women up to sustain their strength in endeavors outside the home. The war is won; we must now heal the wounds the men and women have inflicted on each other.

    The young people of today are pioneers in forging inter-gender friendships that don’t necessarily include sex. Young men now participate as active partners in the birthing of their children. Women are participating with men in many physical pursuits. The parents are sharing equally in the duties and responsibilities of childcare.

    The leadership style of women comes from many years of managing family and community around survival of the next generation. I sincerely believe that the advent of “Mr. Moms” will pay great dividends in the management styles of men. I believe that one reason President Obama has such a dialog-based management style is because of the tremendous influence his mother and grandmother had on him.

    The problem is that democratic politics was never supposed to be a career in itself. The competition for lifetime power is what breeds corruption and partisanship. This won’t change as long as we allow those who make our laws to exempt themselves from following them, just as career preachers who don’t lead by example don’t help mold civility in society or parents who say, “Do as I say, not as I do” bring up moral children.

    I believe it is dangerous to present women as “morally superior” to men. Men enjoy much freedom to act out their animal instincts when we give them such an excuse. I see many men in power corrupted by the greed and status seeking of their wives. There seems to be a conspiracy to pretend that women become virtuous virgins once they bear children. Nothing is further from the truth that I have experienced. Married men simply agree to be the scapegoats, and women conspire to keep their sins secret.

    • Roger Olson

      It’s interesting,though, that here you don’t say anything positive about men–except as they come under the influence of women and are changed by that influence.It still sounds to me like you think women are superior to men in spite of denying it.

      • Y. A. Warren

        It is not the influence of women that I think civilizes men; I think it is learning love and compassion for their children and the children of others, without the intermediary of the mothers.

        What I have written in praise of men is very prominent in both my blogs and all three of my books.

        • Roger Olson

          If you’re the person who yesterday (or the day before) praised Obama but attributed his leadership abilities to the influences of his mother and grandmother, well, my point was–that makes my point. The common perception is that men are only “good” if they are like women.

          • Y. A. Warren

            Not “like” women, but with qualities that, before women’s lib in the U. S., we attempted to attribute only to women. I don’t want to see the pendulum continue swinging from one extreme to another. The more men and women accept and communicate as equals, the more we can be our best, most human selves.

          • Roger Olson

            Um, it seems that many people (I mentioned some in my original post) are still attributing positive qualities to women and only negative ones to men–unless they are “like women” in their qualities and behavior.

          • Y. A. Warren

            This is true, and there are many men who discount the qualities that we attribute only to women. They are all wrong, as men and women are not formed with cookie-cutters or stamping machines.

            Women have been working to be perceived as more “like men” at least since WWII. Their absence from the home is opening opportunities for men to excel at what we used to consider “woman’s work.” This all seems to be leading to some balance in our fragmented society.

          • Roger Olson

            You are more optimistic than I am. My concern is primarily about boys who are being socially engineered to be more like girls–by schools and society in general. Helping them value girls, women and feminine qualities is one thing; treating them as “defective girls” is something else.

          • Y. A. Warren

            I am with you on that. I have a grown son who has a teen son. The feminist movement has gone much too far. They now want to punish men for the way things were, even though they have, in the United States, actually won their war.

            Sadly, my son considers himself “a pussy” whenever he admits to his absolute adulation of the women who help him in his life. The same shame is felt by women who choose to be the moon to their mate’s shining sun.

            It is time that we find a fuel for human behavior more powerful than fear.

          • Ariana DeNardo

            Roger, I appreciate your article. However, I am concerned that the argument’s presuppositions neglect the nature of women’s past oppression. It should be clear to us all, and I’m confident you’d agree, that neither women nor men are better. The fact that we could use some female voices in politics is not because women are ‘better’, but because they bring a different kind of leadership. Both men’s leadership and women’s leadership are equally vital. I sympathize with feminists who make bold claims like “Let women run the world,” because, though I disagree with this call, their female counterparts are descendant of an oppressed group. Women have historically been victims. The reason I so urgently advocate for more women in government is not because I want women to take over, but because the scale is tipped way out of balance. It is great that Obama’s management style was influenced by his mom and grandmother. To be influenced by women is not to threaten all male leadership but merely to include female leadership styles into the current system. I argue that the common perception is not, as you say, that men are only good if they are like women. I understand that you, as a man, may feel threatened and attacked by feminists who point to Obama’s influences as being morally superior, and for feminists like myself, I want to apologize. I hope we can come to a place where we can equalize the number of male and female representatives in government — not because women are better, but because (*shocker*) they’re just as good.

  • Glenn Peoples

    Help me (and perhaps others) out here please Roger – Is this serious or only satirical? Or are you intentionally blurring that line?

    • Roger Olson

      You are perceptive.

  • Mike

    This is a strong point, but only if you are completely ignorant of history and what the reigns of women were actually like.

    Because the reigns of Catherine the Great, Elizabeth of Tudor, Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Isabella of Spain (instigator of the Spanish Inquisition), Theodora of Byzantium, Margaret of Denmark, and Joan of Arc involved no military violence whatsoever.

  • Mike

    The deep irony of this article is that when women actually do achieve power but do not govern according to leftist principles, then they get crucified by liberals as not being an actual female leader.

    Margaret Thatcher is one of the greatest examples of a female holding power in the 20th century, yet I imagine that this author and many of the other people posting here think that she “doesn’t count.”

    Or look at Sarah Palin’s vice presidential candidacy. While I do not think she was fit for the national stage, I find it odd that feminist commentators considered her not to be a real women because she was not beholden to the ideology of third-wave feminism.

    So, in conclusion, if you are a woman, then you must hold on to leftist concepts of what it means to be a woman, or you don’t count as a female holding power. Basically, you aren’t entitled to independent thought.

  • GhostlyFolk

    BTW it was women who lobbied for prohibition in the US, guess what happened ? More organized crime occurred in the US. Are we forgetting the female rulers that staged war against other nations in the past ?

    Having a peaceful world with female leaders is a myth that truly won’t happen cause war occurs whether the leader is male or female.

  • EvilPundit

    I’ve removed my previous comment. The “Modest Proposal” in the title should have tipped me off.

  • JustAGuy

    Anyone who thinks that interpersonal relationships with women are all copasetic and smooth has clearly never witnessed, or been on the receiving end, of the “mean girls” in high school.

  • Chris Thomas

    Reminiscent of The Lysistrata.

  • whatever

    Stunning Roger how many of your readers don’t recognize this as satire.

  • I’m assuming that by the title of this post, I should read this as satire. Am I correct in that assumption? There are several really good points in this. . . makes me wonder. . .

  • gwally

    Roger, after reading your post my 26-year-old daughter was inspired to write her own version: “An Immodest Proposal to Fixing the Church”. Funny how a couple of people took her so seriously, even to the point of accusing her she thinks she’s “equal to men”, can you imagine that??? LOL! http://juniaproject.com/proposal-fixing-church-let-women-run/