If Women Ran the World

Menstuff® looks at related stories and information of what it really might be like if women ran the world. It isn't a particularly different picture. Editor: There is no question in my mind that women have been abused by the patriarchy. And, there is no question in my mind that men have been abused by the patriarchy and the matriarchy. Therefore, we bring you the following

"If women ran the country, it would be different." In what way?
Women in Combat


"If women ran the country, it would be different?"

The answer is yes. But in what way? Do we have wars because men are in power? Or is it power, regardless of the sex? Let women's history be our guide. (The photo above has in inset of "one of the ever popular FARC-ettes" in Columbia and in the top photo, behind the man in the front row, is another FARC-ette with an automatic weapon that she looks very comfortable with.)

Women have run many countries and taken them to war. Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir and Indira Gandhi, to name some recent ones. How about Cleopatra?  Since women weren't allowed to rule in her day, she was forced to marry two of her brothers (in succession) to provide a male figurehead. But she wasn't much of a big sister anyway. She went to war against one brother and had another executed. Then how about Isabella who created a country called Spain. She threatened her brother Enrique, who was king at the time, with war. When he died, she promptly had herself declared Queen of Castille but Enrigue's daughter put up a ferocious fight. After years of civil war, Isabella finally gained the crown. The story goes on, but it is said that when Isabella's troops went to battle, she was usually right alongside, decked out in armor, mounted on her horse, and urging the soldiers on. Of course, while she wasn't the leader of the country, another women went to war to liberate France, something countless male soldiers, infantrymen and kings had found impossible. Joan of Arc. The sagas of Scandinavia's greatest Viking's are filled with the stories of women who loved a good adventure as much as their male counterparts. During the tenth century, Alfhild, daughter of a Norse Viking king, fought in Viking battles dressed in male warrior clothing. And the Red Maiden, Old Red, was the leader of the most brutal attacks on Ireland during the tenth century. There's Lakshmi Bai the Rani of Jhansi who emerged as one of India's greatest warriors and is now revered as one of the most valiant military leaders of the famous Great Rebellion. Under the brutal laws of warfare that governed the plains during the 1880s, no warriors were more feared and respected than the Apaches. Lozen was one of the bravest Apache warriors, and she was one of two messengers sent by Geronimo to negotiate his final surrender. But fighting women were not exclusive to the Apaches. The Cherokees legendary Ehyophsta, Yellow Haired Woman fought fearlessly against the Shoshonis. In the 1600s, the Eastern-coast Wampanoag tribe boasted of the fearless Wetamoo, Squaw Sachem, who led her people in may battles against the British colonialists. There were "Lady" pirates. Two in particular were two of the toughest pirates to ever sail the seas Anne Bonny (the daughter of a prominent attorney) and Mary Read. In Japan, there were eight different women emperors before 770 AD Samurais set the standard for the noble warrior class. To make the grade as a samurai, you had to be strong, disciplined and fearless, but you didn't have to be a man. Itagaki around 1200 AD lead her outnumbered troops (3 to 1) into her last battle, riding gallantly into the battle without a hint of surrender. She died like a true samurai warrior, with her sword drawn and her honor intact. And Japan had its share of famous female swordswomen, Itagaki, Hatsu-jo, Miyagino and Tora Gozen, to name a few, avengers whose paths you just didn't want to cross. The only female emperor to ever rule China, Wu Zhao, was the kind of woman you also didn't cross. Having made empress by her thirty-first birthday, if anyone got in her way, she simply orchestrated one of her famous "disappearances" which covered pretty much everyone from household help to family members. Finally, in 660, her husband was struck with polio and in moment, Wu Zhao put herself into the imperial chair and went head to head with Korea. Ordering an invasion by sea, she soon annexed the place to China. There was Myra Belle Shirley, who earned renown as a thief and rustler in Texas and Oklahoma in the late 1800s. And she didn't balk at an occasional murder. Or Calamity Jane, a savvy gambler and an ace with a rifle who was all woman and would shoot the hat off any man who said otherwise. Or, in Mexico, where women fought along side the men, Among the Mexican revolutionaries, the fighting Soldaderas were everywhere - battling at the front lines, making speeches from the podiums, and writing the manifestos that would lead to a new future. Dolores Jimenez y Muro, was named a brigadier general by Zapata and was one of the key contributors to the framework of the new constitution in 1917. She still had a price on hear head when she was nearly seventy years old. During World War II, the squadrons of Soviet female pilots turned out to be some of the most heroic and skilled fighters in the country's arsenal. Lily Litvak was the most legendary and was famous for her dogfighting skills. Every German fighter pilot wanted to be the one to kill her. In her final battle, it took eight German planes to take down the greatest lady pilot ever. Or two women pilots that took on forty-two German fighter planes on a bombing mission. The dogfight that ensued has become Russian military legend. Even the U.S. reluctantly had woman pilots during World War II. The fearless flying WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots), 1074 to be exact. And, though women demonstrated the same endurance as men, learned just as quickly, had similar safety records, completed the same rigorous training as male pilots, and devoted years of their lives to the WASP program, the US government refused to grant them military status Did you know any of this? It not, it just may be the Matrix Syndrome. Part of this is to say that man can be violent. So can women. Man can be warriors. So can women. Women can raise children. So can men. Women feel. So do men (and to ask them "What are you feeling" is not allowing them to feel, but requiring them to think.) What I want to see, in my lifetime, is that men have the same opportunities in this country that women have. And women have the same opportunities that men have. And to stop creating and supporting an educational system that separates them. Allow women to fight for their country, if they want to. Allow men to adopt children, if they want to. Allow women to compete in sports without setting up obstacles (the NCCA requires a smaller basketball for women than men - which almost guarantees women who have always used the smaller basketball won't be able to compete against men). "The Flea" was a runback specialist for the Kansas City Chiefs and had many runbacks for touchdowns. He weighed 156 pounds. Allow men to wear skirts, if they want to. (I dare you to make fun of a Scot or Greek or Turk or Hawaiian about his skirt to his face.) Allow my grand daughter to win the superbowl, if she can and wants to, or be a stay at home mom, if she wants to, or be a combat fighter pilot if she can and she wants to, or complete in the Master from only one tee, if she can and she wants to, or to be a world class ice skater wearing pants if she can and she wants to or do whatever her skills allow her do without any exclusionary rules. Let's open things up. Everybody gets the same rules. Let the games/life begin.

Well, enough. The information about women warriors came from a fascinating book to share with your daughter, no matter what her age. It was written by women and edited by Pam Nelson called Cool Women. Click here and Buy This Book! if you'd like to get your own copy.

How much that you hear out there do you take for granted as being true because "they said so". Years ago I saw a bumper sticker that read "Question Authority." Of course. And, I added, "And Question Those Who Question Authority." Who says anyone knows the truth, or tells the truth. This isn't about passing on stupid emails that you haven't verified, but you could consider that. What this is about is thinking for yourself, finding your owns truths, questioning everyone, including yourself. "Why do I keep doing that?" And stop doing it, or believing it, and passing whatever "it" is on. Otherwise, it's The MS, business as usual, full steam ahead. Staying numb.


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Butt-Kickin' Babes of the Golden Era

Check out these inspiring sheroes of the past. Girls Rule!

The Amazon Whisperer (1200 BC)

Lysippe (Lie-SIP-ee) was an Amazon queen and successful general who founded a great city when she settled her people near the Black Sea. She established the policies that Amazons lived by. Like many Amazons, she was killed in battle. Here name means "She Who Lets Loose the Horses."

Don't Mock Me (431 BC)

Eumache (you-MOCK-ee) was an Amazon who fought in the Attic War, a battle between Athens and Sparta in 421-431 B.C. When she ran out of arrows, she kept fighting with a stone. Her name means "Good Fighter."

Before Disney (589-618 AD)

Mulan was the daughter of a Chinese nobleman. When her father was an old man, he was called to war, but Mulan knew that he would never survive. Her brother was too young to fight, so she disguised herself as a man and went to war in their place.

The World's Worst Shaving Cut (1185 AD)

Japanese heroine Hangaku was known for her strength and accuracy with the bow and arrow. During an uprising against the central government, she held off the enemy from a storehouse rooftop. She was captured after being wounded in both legs by spears and arrows. Later she defended a castle with only 3,000 soldiers when the enemy unmbered 10,000. She was defeated and killed, but her name is remembered to this day.

Source: Miranda Dooley, New Moon, 9-10/01. Reprinted with permission, from New Moon: The Magazine For Girls and Their Dreams; Copyright New Moon Publishing, Duluth, MN. Subscriptions $29./6 issues. 800.381.4743 or www.newmoon.org.

If Women Ran the World - The Mother of Ethnic Cleansing

The television news showed a jovial former president of Bosnia when she arrived in a fancy BMW to turn herself in to face charges of crimes against humanity. The Thursday San Franciso Examiner awarded the War Crime story of genocide less than 10" on page 7. The San Francisco Chronicle gave no space to the story. I wonder if that's how they would have covered the story if the President had been a man. A top-ranking politician in the wartime Bosnian Serb power structure, Biljana Plavsic was a close associate of Radovan Karadzic - the tribunal's most wanted suspect from the Bosnian war. She succeeded him as president after the 1995 Dayton peace accord. As the first woman taken into custody at the tribunal, the hardline nationalist is charged with every crime in its statute: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Plavsic joined Karadzic in rejecting the idea of a multiethnic Bosnia, fueling the 1992-1995 conflict. Throughout the war, Plavsic backed Serb purges of other ethnic groups, was seen visiting troops at the front, and became know as the Mother of Ethnic Cleansing.

Internet Used Against Men

America On Line (AOL) has started a Men's Only Channel as a counterpart to the long established AOL Women's Channel. This seems to have infuriated some feminists who are inundating the chat room and board with anything and everything to keep men from discussing men's issues. The Moderators seem to be bending the rules for these women. A double standard, because men's postings would be removed from AOL Women for far less. It is suggested that, if you are an AOL subscriber, check it out. If you agree, complain to the Moderators. If and when that doesn't work, call their toll free 888.265.8003 and/or e-mail the CEO at SteveCase@aol.com with your complaints. Also, report obvious attacks or harassment. It has been reported that this has also happened in the Men's Issues section on CompuServe. (Editor: We have received no reports of a similar organized attack by men on the women's boards.) "If women ran the world."


Misleading Reports - "Lesbians Increase Violence Against Men in San Francisco"

We received a "press release" in the mail from an anonymous source. It talked about

"bomb threats...sprayed in front of several male and mixed venues in San Francisco by a lesbian hate group. As late as November, 1999, the bomb threats showed lighted bombs ready to explode and 'Lesbian Avengers' as the source. These bomb threats and other lesbian graffiti appeared in front of Starbucks (formerly Pasqua) on 18th near Castro Street, the restored and historic Castro Theater, and other locations popular with males. 'Dyke space' graffiti also were sprayed in several locations."

They gave four sources of information and to date we have been able to talk to three of the sources and the only verification we have been able to make is that there is a group called Lesbian Avengers in San Francisco, they do spray graffiti, and that their logo includes a bomb. There is no substantiation for other claims that they made any bomb threats, nor called for "death to maleness" or urged the "castration of all males" as the release goes on to say, either through graffiti or their speeches at the "Dyke March" in June of 1999. It went on to say that reports had been released by a San Francisco commission stating that "1 out of 3 lesbians have been sexually assaulted by another woman."  That cannot be substantiate either. Furthermore, we can't find any resource that can substantiate an advertising campaign to reach out to "women raped by other women." We can substantiate a campaign, run in early 1999 to all women, including lesbians, that support services were available for those who are victims of domestic violence. The press release went on to claim, without support, that the "Dirty Dyke" group and NOW members who support and organize the parade regularly spray graffiti on "male turf".

The release also made a claim that "The FBI made no comment about investigating "female supremacist" groups."  Why would they? That isn't their charter under the law. The release claimed that "the parade carries signs urging death to maleness and hate speech against men."  We have ordered a video of last year's parade to see for ourselves. We have confirmed that it is scheduled to aired on KQED-TV, San Francisco in late June, 2000.

While we know that many women and men carry the same cultural traits that cause them to lean toward hate, violence and revenge, and we have confirmed some of the information about the Lesbian Avengers, as stated above, this kind of unsubstantiated information that many women and men's groups knowingly release to elicit public support, is wrong. We hold up the Lesbian Avengers as an example of what some women do, and we hold up the same for the person who mailed us this release. Until the information can be substantiated, it remains that unidentified person's opinion. The reason we have it here is so that other's who may see this and have seen the other, or heard rumors, would have a better position in which to make a decision or take their own personal action.

If Women Ran the World

The cover of Time magazine above answers this question pretty well. It shows our Secretary of State on a cell phone pushing for victory in Kosovo. I believe that women would also do what is necessary to preserve life as we know it. Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir and Indira Gandhi are equally good examples. The question is not whether women or men would be better at running a country, but how power is utilized. And, it seems when placed in positions of power, bad women and bad men do similar things. Also, good women and good men do basically the same thing. They do what is necessary. (See "Madeleine Albright on Power (and men)" in the August, 99 issue of More.) Also see "Women: You Can Handle It!")

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...power is something of which I am convinced there is no innocence this side of the womb. - Nadine Gordimer

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