posted on May, 18 2009 @ 12:26 PM
Many people believe humankind is on the threshold of a shift in consciousness. I am curious about now this might work. One assertion is that women
will move into leadership roles and that will change everything. At the moment though women in leadership roles pretty much do things the way men set
them up, so I would like to explore this question at a more personal level in hopes of figuring out if this could work for society at large.
How do women approach things differently than men?
Here's an example from my life. I have belonged to women's book discussion group for 30+ years. It started out to be a neighborhood group and over
the years people have moved to different areas and now it's a city-wide group. A few founding members remain but most of us joined within the first
few years and stayed on. I think the history and structure of the group provides some insight into the way women do things.
We have no discussion leader, we have no set schedule, we have no rules. Our number has ranged from 7 to about 11 members. More than that, we've
found, and not everybody gets to participate. We do have customs, one of them being that a new member must be invited by a current member, and it is
generally discussed with the membership first. Do we have "room" for a new person? I think she would fit in because of ..... If we agree that it's
time to add someone, the person is invited. We have found that people will generally fit or not fit in, depending on whether they actually like to
read. Having different opinions isn't the issue but over the years we've had a few people who simply didn't like to read but wanted to come for the
socializing. That is irritating because not having read the book, she is still apt to voice opinions and ask questions for which the answers would be
obvious if the book had been read. Nobody asks them to leave but after a few months they stop coming and eventually tell the person who invited them
that they don't have time or some other perfectly acceptable reason.
The closest we ever came to asking a person to leave the group was someone who was so unhappy with her job that she complained a lot and it brought us
down. I think there might have been a private conversation with her about not talking about her work problems so much at the meeting. The thing is,
some years many people were unhappy about many things in their lives. These things wove in and out of the book discussions. At times the book got
short shrift, and since most people had spent many hours reading it we decided on discussing it for at least one hour before moving on to other
Like I said, there is no designated discussion leader. Sometimes someone will bring questions from Amazon or from the back of the book. Usually though
something comes up and we go from there. It's not intended to be a college course though sometimes it gets pretty deep. A couple of people tend to
dominate when it comes to choosing books to read next. We now have a policy that whomever's house the meeting is at chooses the next book. One year
we planned the whole year in advance, book by book. It turned out to be disastrous discussion-wise so we've never done that again. Now we might
tentatively schedule certain books for the future but always subject to what interests us when the time comes.
We take turns meeting at each person's home, meetings approximately one month apart. We agree on the next month's meeting date depending on what's
going on in people's schedules. We do meet at the same time in the evening, except for the once a year potluck that starts earlier. We do plan the
potluck menu a little more carefully after the time that two people brought salad and eight people brought dessert!
I once told a male friend about this group and he said that men would never be comfortable in such a situation. Men want a leader, a schedule, rules,
even a pecking order if possible. We operate happily with a consensus approach. Lots of problems have cropped up over the years but we'd figure out a
way to deal with them one at a time, and we are still meeting 33 years later!
I'd love to hear other examples of how men and women do things differently, at the personal level. Men's way is running us into the ground. Do we
just need to let different men run things or do we need to rethink our basic approach?
[edit on 18-5-2009 by earlywatcher]