Women at the table

Years ago, I wrote a column for the Chapel Hill News called "Dear Women." I also posted it here at BlueNC.

When March was declared Women's History Month by Congress in 1987, our nation created an opportunity to celebrate women's past accomplishments and, perhaps more important, inspire their future. Because if there's any hope for grace in this world, it will surely come through the leadership of women. Men have made messes of so many things -- that is what men do. And this particular man has had enough. So on this first day of Woman's History Month, I have a request for women everywhere. Will you please take over?

As the N&O reports today, it's happening.

Gov. Beverly Perdue and other elected officials will make history at this month's meeting of the North Carolina Council of State. Perdue presides Tuesday over her first council meeting since being elected governor in November. It's also the first meeting in which there's a female majority on the council, comprised of 10 statewide elected officials. Six of the 10 are women following the elections of Beth Wood as state auditor and Janet Cowell as state treasurer.

From the close of my original column:

If you choose to take control -- and it is a choice -- I wish you the best. We have dug a very deep hole and it will be hard to climb out. You may find yourself slipping unaware into our old destructive patterns. You may be tempted to invoke our patriarchal gods. You could be seduced by the dark side of power. Please be careful.


I think female leaders are

I think female leaders are often more dependable, willing to work with one another, honest, and other things that male leaders should be. However, that's not to say there are no such male leaders, they just aren't as plentiful.

I'm not so sure, RK

Personally, I find that men are easier to work with and for - for the same reasons you've listed. Maybe it's a gender thing, maybe it's just personal experience.


There are two areas where social science has zeroed in on gender differences that seem to transcend cultural difference. That is, there are two areas where actual physiology - not socialization - seem to drive behaviors.

1. The ethic of care.
2. Physical aggression.

Oh, for crying out loud

Look...anyone can go to Google and find stuff like this positive and negative. Give us a break.

The truth is, most women do just as good a job both as hourly employees and as salaried employees in the workplace. There are exceptions, of course.

All this "ethic of care" and Physical aggression" stuff is just ludicrous. Yeah, I know, there are so-called "qualified" folks saying this...but, this is not what the real world in the work place tells us. Just because a PHD or some other "notable" says something...it doesn't necessarily make it right.

I just hate it when some dude that has limited experience in the workplace and has sat behind a desk his/her entire life formulating "opinions" tells us what's right/wrong/good/evil.

Not trying to be argumentative....just trying to say that real, first-hand experience trumps "professor know-it-alls"_ every time.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Well, actually, Smitty - no it doesn't

Education is a good thing - even if George Bush and Sarah Palin say otherwise.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Ms. Betsy...not bashing education.

Look, I'm educated. You know that. I am saying that just because some supposedly "educated" person says something, it's not necessarily correct. MANY "educated" people are just that....."educated"...nothing more.

James has stated all kinds of credentials for himself...and I also have a great deal of credentials. Most of mine comes from managing hundreds of people and from my education and from also being just a worker. I am not just some hack here. Say what you want....defend James if you want...there is truth to what I say like it or not.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

There is a method to their madness.

This is what I hate about anti-science Republicans. Is all research absolutely correct? No, but, it does have a method. You set out a sound hypothesis (which is not a guess). You design experiments that will test that hypothesis in a non-biased way. You complete the experiments in a non-biased way. You examine the results and decide if they support your hypothesis or not. That's it. There's no value judgment involved.

So, if some PhD designed a study looking at the difference between men and women when it comes to physical aggression, then it means under the conditions of that study they found "XXXXXX". This is MUCH more informative than gut feeling or what you "know" from working a job for 20 years.

I once had an experiment that proved this to me. I was pretty sure of what the results would be for the experiment. The data involved counting a bunch of green cells and seeing if they also had the color red in them. I went through and did a quick visual count just glancing around the plate and YEP, my results were what I wanted. However, I had worked out BEFORE the experiment how I would actually count the cells in a non-biased way. It was time consuming and laborious, but I did it anyways and lo and behold I was WRONG! I had subconsciously been cherry-picking the cases that fit my pre-conceived notions; but, when I did the study scientifically I found a completely different answer.

This is why science matters. And, I'm not talking about pseudoscience that you see posted up on some guy's website. I'm talking about peer-reviewed science, where they make sure you did the research in a logical, non-biased way and that the results support your conclusions.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Cry out loud yourself

My wife is one of the world's leading scholars in gender studies around adolescent sexuality. For my part, I've run a couple of companies over the past 30 years, with tremendous performance in managing talent and diversity. Today I work with executives around the world to help them plan for the reality of the 21st century workforce.

Intellectualism isn't a bad thing, Smitty. It's not the only thing, for sure. But it's not a bad thing.


PS You can't be argumentative and then say you're tot trying to be argumentative. Well, I guess you can, but I ain't buying it.

I'm glad I can still get a response

Look....I can have an opinion and not be argumentative. I laud you, James for ALL of that you've just told us. It's admirable. My wife is just an hourly worker at P&G and knows what I'm saying is correct. No, she's not an intellectual or a world reknown person...she's just someone that has had experiences as I have had and know things from that perspective.

Not trying to piss you off, James. Just trying to tell ya that different people with different perspectives can't just be discounted because someone with a differing opinion has supposed "better" credentials.

Guess I'm back to being the "bash Smitty" you've grown to know and love.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

No bashing. I just don't understand your point

Are you saying that there aren't real gender differences when it comes to "care" and "aggression"? That's the only point I was making. I could have linked to hundreds of academic sites that report on the issues, but I just grabbed two that were handy. This isn't about credentials ... and I shouldn't have thrown my wife's research into the discussion.

It's about the issues of caring and aggression. It's about the fact that women are different from men in both of those areas ... in every part of the planet ... in every culture. You can debate it based on personal experience (as can I) ... but the vast majority of research says those two differences are real.

My point is simple: If they ARE real, then women will mostly likely handle their responsibilities differently than men will. I'm hoping they do a better job, that's all.

All is well. I didn't mean to be Mr. Grump.

Okay...me too

I do get a little "mean" on some subjects at times. This is one of them. I just hate it when someone goes to "google" and uses that to argue something that should be argued on a personal level.

I love ya, James. Please don't get me wrong here. I also respect Ms. Betsy..but I know that if I "attack" you, she'll be there front and center to defend ya. Nothing wrong with that.


The best thinking is independent thinking.

Give me a break, Smitty.

I don't see anyone had bashed you. I think you enjoy feeling persecuted. Is that true?

"bashed".....wrong word

Sorry, wrong choice of words. I do that a lot.

However, you knew what I meant.

And, if the truth were known, I'd bet if you read the thread, you agreed with some of what I said.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I think given enough time and

I think given enough time and a large enough increase in numbers that the ladies can do just as good a job screwing things up as us guys have done.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

We'll see.

Here's an idea:

Maybe we're moving into a new era of global something or other in which women move to the forefront in new arenas. That would be very cool. It might need to last a few hundred years, or maybe a thousand, who knows, before the effect of their presence took hold.

I wish I knew more about ancient matriarchal cultures ... I think that's the right term. Maybe they're just as screwed up as any other.

Then, of course there's this which is myth..

The Amazons (in Greek, Ἀμαζόνες) are a nation of all-female warriors in Classical and Greek mythology, who were possibly historical. Some believe that these feisty women were simply myth. Herodotus placed them in a region bordering Scythia in Sarmatia. Notable queens of the Amazons are Penthesilea, who participated in the Trojan War, and her sister Hippolyta, whose magical girdle was the object of one of the labours of Hercules. Amazonian raiders were often depicted in battle with Greek warriors in amazonomachies in classical art.

Any Greek historians in the house?

THAT is a good point.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
-John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902)

I think given enough time we will find the same is true of powerful women.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.