Women Are Awesome!

<October 2008>

It’s my birthday (the day I am posting this, I mean), & I’ve decided this is as good a day as any to celebrate women. I’ve long thought we are pretty awesome characters. I have more to say about this (& will!) but for here & now, I’m focusing on our qualities as leaders. (I wrote most of this last October, btw…)

I find women (most women; there are exceptions to every rule, hmm?) easy to deal with. Most of us are quite direct & straightforward, not terribly interested in hierarchy, or in being “high on our horses.”

My involvement in food-buying cooperatives (which spans at least 15 years now) has really illustrated this clearly. They work so smoothly, I suspect, because the women involved demonstrate what I’ve come to see as a female style of leadership that really works.

No-one is “the boss.” There are lots of tasks to do & everyone is prepared to share in all of them. No-one is “above” doing any task & no-one has to go around being bossy & imperious & telling everyone else what to do. Nor does anyone have to make a big deal about taking credit for things.

There is always a coordinator (it’s always been a woman, so far), & all of them have grasped quite clearly that her/their job is to coordinate, not issue lots of bossy directives.

When a complication arises (these are inevitable, not to mention frequent!), no one lords it over anyone else – everyone just dives in with her problem-solving energy & before you can say “Jack Robinson,” the challenge has been met & resolved.

So…no hierarchy...no bossiness...no B.S....no-one shirking...no-one acting superior. Lots of cooperation, positive energy, a “can do” spirit – & everyone willing to do the work until the job is done.

Conversation is key. Talking. Directness, also.

Women are talkers.

See a problem? Name it. No long conversation necessary. Within a moment or two, with several good minds “on" it, things are quickly sorted out.

Now, are women capable of being petty, malicious, gossipy, underhanded & mean?

Sure! I just don’t hang around with women like that. They don’t hang around me long, because it’s quite clear I have no tolerance level for that kind of nonsense.

I loved the way my daughter & I handled a potentially messy situation on the phone the day I wrote most of this little essay. It was two months before Christmas, & although I really hadn’t given it much thought, I was hoping I’d see my girls here at my house at Christmas.

My daughter told me she wouldn’t be able to trek up to where I live, since she would only be getting two days off – & I immediately got feeling sorry for myself…but we kept on talking. Suddenly BOOM, a great inspiration came to me about a different way we could be together, & I said it out loud as soon as it hit me. And yes! It was a great idea. We can (& did!) spend Christmas together, in a different way & place than ever before. And there were several “up” sides to it.

I was so grateful my daughter brought this up early – instead of springing it on me at the last minute, when finding a creative alternative plan would have been impossible – & conflict & stress pretty much unavoidable.

Conversation is magic.

This is what women understand & a lot of men don’t seem to have been quite able to grasp (again, there are exceptions to every rule!).

Keeping the communication lines flowing cuts off a zillion problems at the pass (“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the old saying goes, hmm?).

Women are cooperative, collaborative, great conversationalists & very seldom stuffy. Non-hierarchical, flexible, & open to creative, unusual solutions, & also to input from a wide diversity of sources (such as even small children, who can be wonderfully creative & smart & very much worth listening to!).

Women are natural leaders, if you ask me. Leaders – not dictators. Problem-solvers, multi-taskers, & natural nurturers.

All of which is why I’ve been saying for years now that women are the best.


p.s. And I highly recommend Marianne Williamson’s book A Woman’s Worth. Very empowering!!

p.p.s. 'Quote of the day'  used with this post: “If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of [hu]mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never seen.” Matthew Arnold

Another great one:

“THE WORLD NEEDS a new weapon: the estrogen bomb. Imagine: you drop it on an area of violent conflict, and men throw down their guns, hug each other, apologize and say it was all their fault, and then start to clean up the mess.” – from the UTNE Reader -- Original from THE GUERRILLA GIRLS, activist artists