I’m rewatching the docuseries, WW2 in Color on Netflix, and it’s amazing to see, time and time again in history, the tragedy of patriarchy unfolding to such a degree. In my studies with my degree in history and work as a history teacher in the past, (and of course my avid attention to documentaries) I see it over and over. Think about it: it’s always men leaders leading these pissing contests and unchecked anger to push other men (and sometimes women too) to fight to the agonizing and devastating death. It’s the hidden truth right under our nose. And the additional not so secret truth is that men lose out on this battle too: duh. Patriarchy is harmful to men too.
And PLEASE do not misunderstand me. This is not to say that “men are the enemy” quite the opposite. it is to state that men (and women) can do better and deserve better.
I find it important to state the obvious fact, because it is often overlooked, that it is one gendered pattern of people doing these acts. Why? And how can we fix it? I think we are doomed to repeat mistakes if we don’t point out the obvious that here is this general pattern: and so what can we do to ensure that men leaders do not unleash their anger and power on others and each other in these types of ways?
We often get so used to the adage “people are violent.” Well, no, generally speaking, men are violent. (And again, not all men are violent. But certainly don’t say “people are violent” because it isn’t women waging war, or terrorist acts, or being mass shooters or murdering etc. It doesn’t mean women are better, it just means women are not the ones who are waging wars and pushing other women to slaughter each other over their emotions.)
What if we did things differently and balanced out the power between the genders? I don’t think we need the pendulum to swing completely in the other direction of all female power: it should be balanced, something we really haven’t seen much of at all in history. (And of course taking into account as well that gender is a spectrum and not in fact a binary.) What if we, in practice and in our actions and diplomacy, raised up the qualities that are supposedly feminine? Like empathy, patience, listening and understanding? Nurturing our people and environment etc etc.? Oh but then that would be too “sissy.” Much cooler to let the world burn. And much more “practical” to continue to do the same thing over and over-Of waging war and sending men to battle… after all, if we engaged in real practical and empathetic diplomacy, as the one unified human race we actually are, we wouldn’t have entertaining movies and documentaries about wars. Boo hoo.
Call me crazy but there is a better world awaiting us. And we can do it if we break old habits. I don’t have all the answers, I wish I did. But I do believe that creating a world with more balance is a start: less domination of one gender, or of one people, over another and more balance. Empowering women to have more practical, peaceful power. People in general are not all violent: People in general, men, women, children etc., are intelligent and capable of a better world than blowing each other to smithereens.