By Estelle Sobel Erasmus of Musings on Motherhood and Midlife
As I pray for Boston, Cambridge, and my friend who left violence in South Africa to find violence in her peaceful neighborhood in Watertown. MA I’m struck by one important thread in all this.
The violence and terrorism was perpetuated by men. Always the men.
We didn’t hear that women were behind 9/11, Newtown, Waco, Oklahoma City. It was men; always the men.
Don’t get me wrong. I love men, married a great, highly protective one, have steadfast, loyal male friends and a wonderful, supportive father. I support the idea of the man as the archetypal hunter gatherer, even as the warrior (as long as its in a protective, not destructive manner).
Men have been there for me as mentors, bosses and yes, helpers always.
Once a man stayed with me at a deserted train station until the next one came. He had a daughter, he told me and hoped someone would do the same for her in a similar situation. A man also picked me up off the floor when I fell nearly on the tracks, years ago, while rushing to catch a subway. He was a six-foot four tall African-American man, and while I was lying there in shock he gently asked me if I was ok (I nodded), placed me on my feet, then gathered up the entire contents that had fallen out of my purse, put it in my bag, and sent me on my way. Another man, a hispanic, called me on the phone to tell me that he had found my pocketbook which unknowingly to me had bounced off the car seat and into the parking lot when I threw it down, after a night out. He was moving that day, but held the move off so that I could get my bag, which he brought right to my car. I could go on, and on and on. So there are good men…lots of them of every race, creed and color.
But, and this is a big but….the question must be asked. Why is it the men? Lone shooters? Men. Mentally deranged mass murderers. Men. Terrorists. Men.
Women may become violent with others and paramours (Jodi Arias comes to mind), and certainly there are women terrorists, but in general, and statistics will support this, women don’t make plans to violently take out a town and bring a nation to its knees.
So… Again I ask, why is it the men?
I would love to know some answers, because the only answer I can come up with is that as a society we are way off-balanced. There is too much testosterone and not enough estrogen, particularly when it comes to government and power, and the emphasis on true caregiving.
I do think, even in these perilous times, that we can rebalance the energy of this world that most of us want to survive and thrive in. We can raise our children’s consciousness early by focusing on the importance of them being strong, caring people. We can put the emphasis on character and critical thinking in our schools, and not just on meeting the numbers.
We can stop associating violence with power. Don’t tell or show your children it’s fine to take a water pistol and go boom boom; don’t glorify guns. Don’t glorify action heroes. Don’t buy toys that look like guns for your child to use to feel a false sense of power.
We can raise girls who will lean in early (before they get to corporate america) and have a voice, as I wrote in my post Make Little Girls’ Voices Carry. The stronger the girls, the stronger the women, the stronger the women who will lead. The more power women have the more influence we have to change the world…and yes, to influence men… and each other… the quicker the shift in consciousness that will lead to balance will happen.
Ultimately, I believe that more women in positions of power and authority will result in less wide-scale suffering.
Where do you stand on the ills facing our society today? What can we do now to rebalance our world situation, where it’s mostly the men who commit horrendous acts of violence and wide-scale terrorism?