First published on Wednesday, 1 June 2016 in Gender Dynamics©.
by Dr Pauline Crawford
CHANGING THE PLAYING FIELD
Are we misled by a lack of common sense?
As I watch the morning news on television, what I see is a world falling further into chaos with each passing day. It causes me to reflect on the basic nature of men and women and the hope that something intrinsic and infinitely perfect will produce future generations of happy well-adjusted males and females who are truly counterparts. Still, my experience has been that men and women grow more contentious and antagonistic every day.
Today’s technology and the increasing exposure to global commerce can be very enabling. This digital equity – for lack of a better term – makes it possible for virtually everybody to access the global marketplace, regardless of ethnicity, culture or gender type. One would think that this, in and of itself, changes the playing field. Interestingly – and in my opinion – it does. One can actually see that the playing field has been changing all along. It’s kind of like when we were all kids … you could play your games in the house, in the garden, in the street or on a local playing field. The playing fields of our memories and those that exist today have changed right along with us.
Now let me ask you a question: are we all the same? In obvious ways, no we are not all the same. In other ways, however, we are. One of the key components we are apparently born with – and studies bear me out on this – is our innate desire to achieve. Animals do not necessarily have this particular desire. Animals eat, sleep, hunt, procreate and die. We, on the other hand, have an inborn instinct to achieve, and when that desire goes unfulfilled, frustration and depression set in. This, in turn, can lead the male ego to engender anger, dissatisfaction and violence. These are all consequences of male depression. The sad reality is, if the male ego is blunted, females will, all too often, bear the brunt of the situation by being subjugated and disallowed the opportunity to explore their potential beyond the domestic setting to which they are consigned.
In our current and supposedly liberated and connected, world where globalization and social media often brings us news faster than we can cope with it, there are, in my considered opinion, too many women stuck in places and thrust into situations where men simply fail to value the resource that women are. Such situations will and do occur at home, in relationships, in a team environment and at work. The impact is always negative and always inhibitive.
Okay, so let’s say that we can accept the fact that the playing field – any playing field – is adequate for the larger purposes of our discourse on commerce and the myriad inequities and inequalities exposed therein. Let’s also agree not to pursue the argument that we need a level playing field or a better playing field or a new playing field. Consensus here is key to moving on to the more important issues. What – I’m sure some of you are thinking – is more important than a level playing field? How about … changing the rules of the game?
Stay tuned for Part 2!