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Do women and men have different styles of activism, leadership, organizing?

Do you observe that young women and men have different syles of leadership, organizing, priorities? Could you ask this question of your acquaintances? I divided my global youth book into two books, one about youth culture and one about activism. Thanks, Gayle gkimball at csuchico.edu


Here’s the first response from a young woman:

Christina (age 18) Trinidad and Tobago:

Well I believe that women are generally more organized than men and have a more perfectionist attitude
They know what they want the out come to be and they know the way to get there
Whereas a man may know what he wants too but will more likely take the go with the flow approach
He may quicker delegate duties than a woman which in some ways can be considered better or more advantageous Leadership styles I think depending more own personality than gender”

Some believe that women are more likely to be peacemakers than men. The Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Haskin said she would use her feminine qualities of “strength and gentleness” to heal her country’s divisions. The president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye campaigned saying she “would govern like a mother dedicated to her family. To make you happy is reason I do politics.” (Both these leaders were preceded by powerful male relatives, the former her brother and the latter her father.) However, North Korean leaders blamed Park for increasing tensions on the peninsula with her “venomous swish of skirt,” a Korean term used to describe controlling women.

Gloria Steinem explained, “Women are not more than men, but we don’t have our masculinity to prove—so we are and will be good peacemakers,” as they have been in Ireland and Liberia. However, a review of psychological studies of men and women in the US concluded that gender differences are small.[i] Women may be more aggressive than men when they think they’re anonymous. In a survey of support of military force in recent US conflicts, 51% of men and 43% of women supported the use of force, only 8% difference.

Ecofeminist Vandana Shiva argues that capitalist patriarchy has constricted women and that “we need another worldview that happens to be more alive in the sustaining and caring culture of womankind.”[ii] The Dalai Lama stated that the world’s future is in the hands of Western women because “females have more sensitivity for others’ pain and suffering,” implying that women with economic resources have the motivation and power to improve the human condition.

A Foreign Policy magazine survey of 43 international women politicians reported that 84% believe that having more female leaders would alter their government’s policies and 65% believe they would bring more peace.[iii] In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker argues for increasing equality for women because of what he calls “feminization” and “the feminine style” of leadership results in less violence.[iv] He states, “Traditional war is a man’s game: tribal women never band together to raid neighboring villages.” Examples of women’s groups that work for peace are Code Pink, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Nigeria’s Niger Delta’s Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Center (www.kebethachewomen.org).

[i] Rosa Brooks, “Women Are from Mars Too,” Foreign Policy, August 9, 2013.


[ii] Rob Sidon, “Vandana Shiva: Ecofeminism and the Sanctity of Seed,” Common Ground Magazine, October 2012, p. 48.

[iii] Margaret Slattery, “The FP Survey: Women in Politics,” Foreign Policy, May 2012. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/the_fp_survey_women_in_politics

[iv] Steven Pinker. The Better Angels of Our Nature. Viking Adult, 2011.


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