I sometimes wish I could ignore stupidity, corruption, and the various and insidious old boy networks that are everywhere I look. I try to ignore them, I really do, but politics is everywhere. And most often, or so it seems to me, the politically motivated are stupid, corrupt and play favors with abandon.
I do not think that women are any more inclined to saintly behavior than men, but when women comprise a critical mass of any governing or managing body, behavior changes. Critical mass theory exists beyond political interpretations. It just helps to describe how people behave in groups.
You can see it in Rwanda where consciously constructed unity among women helped rebuild and begin to heal the country across political divides reinforced by torture, horror, and loss experienced during and after the genocide.
Agnès Mukabaranga, a founding member of the FFRP who is still serving in the Senate, has described how redefining themselves as women first gave them greater strength in an otherwise weak position.
This is as technical as I am going to get. Behavior changes, statistically, in groups dependent upon the composition of those groups.
Promising items from a moral menu does not mean the items can be made, let alone served up in a palatable fashion. This is why blue-collar folks often vote against their own interests. It is easier to believe an overall political party pitch that aligns with how you would like things to be than to do the research to understand who has purchased the loyalty of specific politicians, political action committees, and government access.
I have been extremely upset by a couple of things I have heard said, by women, in the last few weeks. I recently told a woman that I didn’t like the person who owned a certain well-known hosting company. After I explained why I just couldn’t channel any of my funds to this guy for anything, she said, “Oh I can’t pay attention to that sort of thing or I wouldn’t be able to buy anything.” She’s right though; consistency, especially in triple bottom line matters, is difficult. But I cannot understand, no matter how hard I try, why a bit of effort made within the realm of political economy is so distasteful to so many women and blue collar workers.
The other disturbing interaction happened when I previously had gotten fed up to the gills with stupidity and politics and people supporting companies that outsource everything and will not pay their employees a living wage or provide full-time employment so the taxpayer picks up the check for fail-safes when basic needs cannot be met. I said that I see no reason for me to be providing corporate welfare so corporations can rake in obscene amounts of profit which then does not circulate back into the economy but rather is squirreled away offshore and out of the country only to then have to pick up the bills for basic health and welfare of these same companies employees. In response to this a friend from childhood informed me that no one can find a job where she lives, and everyone shops at Wal-Mart because people can no longer afford the gas to drive to the next biggest town where there are stores other than Wal-Mart. The lack of understanding here was sad, but not unexpected, but what was said next was horrifying. It was that she would much rather, and that we should, pay for sterilization of the stupid, loud-mouthed people screaming about needing their money now, with which she had interacted with in a combined social service waiting area. I was horrified to hear such vile ideas from someone with whomI grew up.
These extremes of wealthy and erudite women who lack the time and inclination to allow their pocketbooks to speak and rural, blue-collar/high-school educated women who do not have the money or inclination to allow their pocketbooks to speak are extremely disturbing in their similarity.
What will it take for women to wake up and take an interest in the politics of the nation and our political economy? Do we have to return, as parts of the country already have, to the days of having our daughters and sisters die with blood pouring from between their legs in back alleys from the lack of access to full reproductive care? Do we allow the people who are to represent and act on our behalf in Washington, D.C. to tank our economy and the world’s, and create a global depression, because they will not put their political parties and political campaigns long enough to do the people’s work? Do we allow media to coordinate their coverage of the story of the day and allow this coverage to be made up of mimeographed talking points that slither from the mouths of agreed upon spokespersons pledged to loyalty by their corporate masters?
If we don’t stop this crap right now, there is no one to blame but ourselves. Surely we are not going to allow ourselves to walk any further along the path to bloody revolution between warring factions.
I can’t bring myself to write about apps for Halloween, or recipes for fall, like a good little Stepford blogger. How can we act? What will it take to get you to act? What should I do?
Wilber, R. 2011. Lessons from Rwanda: How Women Transform Governance. Solutions. Vol 2, No. 2. pp. – –