Last call for Womankind


I wonder if in ancient times – Egypt, Rome, the Ottoman Empire, even our cave dwelling ancestors – females ever talked among themselves about the need for women to exert their influence more powerfully on the dynamics and fate of their worlds, as men clubbed each other to death, went off on crusades, or just generally raped and pillaged and plundered.

In our current lifetimes, for a long time we have heard that we are entering the age of feminine energy. I have heard it said in many communities and many countries, by men as well as women.

When does this age actually begin?

Female energy (not exclusive to women, by any means) values relationships over status, practices empathy, is collaborative rather than competitive, rarely resorts to violence, and nurtures life. Male energy (not exclusive to men, by any means) values status, thrives on competition, frequently defaults to violence.

How do we think this transformation will happen, that one day the men who control all recognized means of power will spontaneously take a break from greed and war and drilling oil wells in the ocean and paying off politicians to avoid laws for safety to say, hey ladies, we recognize that we’ve screwed the pooch here, can you take over, please? Or god forbid, we NEED you to help us think this through?

Or will women one day spontaneously know the right approach, the way to exert influence, without even having to talk about it beforehand?

We are more than half the world. Yet we sit back and watch the horror that unfolds every day around us. “The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”

I have the most extraordinary, inspiring, strong and loving women friends. Each one of them is powerful in her own right. Where are the women of BP? Of North Korea? Who are the mothers of terrorists, or the wives or the sisters? Each one of us influences the men in our lives.

We have power. Can we prove that the world can be led by those who do not kill and destroy to keep their power?  Force is not our style, and it is futile anyway. (Even after ten years of boxing, the most I could hope for in a fight is the shock of a right hook, then running like hell.)

Without force: Can we topple governments? Can we step in to lead if we do? Can we compel corporations to change? Can we solve the population problem? Global warming?

We are the shoppers. We influence over 70% of all buying decisions. Why don’t we use our spending power to communicate that we will not stand for the destruction of the planet or the injustice with which humans treat each other?

Woody Allen called us the “Juicy Gender”.  Juice is energy. Let’s use it now.

Let’s make a list of the forces we want to support and those we don’t. Let’s be an army of intention and love.

I want us to take on the real, daunting challenges we face. I do not want to do something “instead of”, or “separate from”. We are not “other”, we are part of the same system as all life.

How long will we sit and wait and watch?

Years ago I saw a woman with a button that for me, had just the right amount of truth and humor. It said “Uppity Women Unite”. Amen sister.


4 Responses to “Last call for Womankind”

  1. 1 elizabethtr

    Amen Sister to this!! Let’s step up, speak and be heard!! I promise once we start speaking – we will be heard!! And we will make a difference…..the world has seen nothing yet!! I recommend to all – the movie 12 Stones by Heifer International…
    Let’s Unite Sisters!
    Love, Betsy

  2. “…will women one day spontaneously know the right approach, the way to exert influence, without even having to talk about it beforehand?”

    History may make it appear as though that happened (that it spontaneously bubble up, with no plan), but I’m with you, Cheryl – let’s talk about it, remind one another of our collective power and make it happen now. And, there are lots of men who have tapped their “female energy” – but they don’t have to call it that! – who’d like to join in, I’m sure.

    I like the idea of becoming an army of intention, based on the “love economy” concept that Hazel Henderson speaks of. (Here’s a good link about that: ). When we do that – our environmental and social responsibilities are automatically included, with a purpose of: “preserving relationships between and among people and the natural world.”

    There was a great comparison of NY state politicians and Barbados politicians/citizenry on This American Life yesterday (about “social contracts: ), and two things really resonated with me about Barbados successful ways of getting things done: 1) that, ’tis true (!), the politicians and citizens TRUSTED that they were all interested in the good of the people, and 2) that “self-sacrifice was contagious.” Imagine that!

    An army of intention will surely involve self-sacrifice, but we will all be in it together. Listen to that TAL podcast if you want some inspiration!

  3. Cheryl,

    Beautifully written.

    But can we list offending parties that our army of love and intention will combat without adding our own injury? Should we? I admit to holding close to my heart a list of bad guys, but this has more to do with my unwillingness to see good than there being none. In fact, some bad guys didn’t seen quite so bad once I was given an opportunity to understand them.

    Besides, those who appear evil (the carpet industry) can make profound shifts (Interface), while others who appear pure silently kill a loved one’s spirit and are never held accountable. What determines whether a force is good or bad? Haven’t we all felt unjustly accused, believed that others simply didn’t see the whole picture?

    Is a willingness to shift toward the light at the core of good and evil? Don’t we commend those who rectify wrong doings? Don’t we hold our strongest criticism for those who won’t change no matter how often they injure anyone who comes near?

    Judgements of good and bad are difficult to make. But what we find offensive is quite easy. Withholding judgement, waiting to see how the offending force connects and responds to life, how it evolves over time, how our perceptions change, may be our greatest expression of love.

    Perhaps, then, the height of love is total forgiveness and a lack of judgement.

    But can we influence and alter the course of destructive forces by lifting them from their ruts with high-minded ideals? Is love really the answer?

    No answers. Simply thoughts.

  4. 4 rita

    what will it take for this to happen then? how can women, from all backgrounds, all ages, all countries..unite to show this change that we all know will make the difference? yes, the internet is a powerful tool and has the ability to transform and reach the corners of the globe. but there is so much saturated information on the web- that even with social networking, a movement of passionate leaders can easily be overseen, covered- up, thrown into the grey-zone.

    big thinking is needed. let’s see what will unfold with time.

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