Does anyone have statistics?

In a comment to my post below, Burningbird takes issue with my assertion that woman have always stood for peace. I am interested in finding links to information to support her assertion that “Women leaders have started wars as much as men have. And have been pretty nasty at times.” I don’t doubt that there have been women heads of countries who invaded other nations for reasons of power and wealth. But how many men compared to how many women? Can anyone point me to that kind of info?
Now, I’m a diehard Xena fan. I watch Alias. I love kickass women. I fully understand the dark side of the female psyche. I’ve taken that distrubing journey into mine. Why do you think my site is named after Kali?
I’ll have to find the time to research this, but it seems to me that in the course of human history, men have been the major aggressors in the major murderous wars for power. I’m thinking of the Crusades, for obvious one.
I’m suggesting that, perhaps, female heads of state in history have been able to rise to power because they opted to buy into the aggressive mode of the existing male-dominated power structure. So, it would stand to reason that they also would not hesitate to invade any less then men who have also risen to those positions (through the same methods and values). But just how many women are we talking about?
If one looks at the causes that women, in general, espouse throughout the world (in numbers greater than those of men) they are causes that advocate for taking care of living things in their various forms. (I don’t want to get into an argument about what’s a “living thing,” so don’t bother leaving a comment about that issue.)
More women than men are teachers, nurses, caregivers. I’m sure that there are statistics about that. It’s not that we are not capable of physically torturing and maiming, but that seems to be generally not our style. It is not that we are incapable of killing. It’s that when, push comes to shove, that’s an extreme more women than men, from what I see of history, go to great lengths to avoid.
There are men with “caregiving” rather than “aggressive” natures, and these are the ones who tend to become my friends. But, in my 63 years of meeting and interacting with men, I have found that these nurturers are far in the minority of men. On the other hand, I have always known plenty of women like that. Could my experiences as an active woman be all that off?

8 thoughts on “Does anyone have statistics?

  1. C’mon, Kalilily, this is the same old “women are/men are” rhetoric that drives all of us crazy when it’s used to shove women into corners.
    We don’t get to co-opt it when the trait in question happens to be something we want to be associated with. Not cricket.
    I kinda expect more from you than that; you’re a smart lady.

  2. Well, from what I’ve read, more women seem to have physical brains that demonstrate more connectivity between hemispheres, and they demonstrate different modes of thinking through and solving problems (researach by Carol Gilligan et al). Whether you look at the world’s mythology or at empirical research about the way (in general) males and females learn, problem solve, respond to threat etc. etc., there are some very important differences. Some of these differences are imposed by nature and some by nurture. (But some are definitely nature; we are, after all, evolved from lower forms of life.) The human goal, I believe, should be a balance of yin and yang, but I don’t see many humans aspiring to that.
    And maybe we should be using “that rhetoric” to draw men out of the corners that many of them have gotten themselves into. And rather than allowing men to use “that rhetoric” to force us women into corners, I believe we should use it to embrace everything else.

  3. It’s also possible that in order to attain any position of power or leadership, one needs to possess a certain mindset, regardless of gender. For instance, it’s hard for me to give a rat’s ass about how many women CEOs there are in America if in order to become CEOs in America they need to act like all the dipshit male CEOs in America.
    The contexts of power hold more sway than the tendencies of gender.

  4. Yeah, but the fact remains, most CEOs are male. There must be some reason that most CEOs are male. And most military leaders are male. Let me put it this way: I believe that the more evolved human beings work to transform their excess of destructive, aggressive, manipulative tendencies into more creative, affirming, nurturing efforts. The human beings who are the national and international leaders and CEOs (almost all of whom are male)obviously have not chosen to do so. Therefore, the more evolved individuals of both genders are creative, affirming, and nurturing; they prefer to solve problems through negotiation and give and take. Sure there are plenty of women who are not so highly evolved either, but that’s not the point. The point is that most of the people in charge are male, and they are mostly the males who are destructive, aggressive, and manipulative.
    I have worked with and for female CEOs who insist on another method of achieving and managing power, and these are based on collaboration, nurturing and gently honesty. There are other ways to lead and manage that are very different from the current male-dominated model. Power is not the problem; the problem is whether that power is used as a weapon or a plowshare.

  5. Elaine, are you going through “the change”?
    (get it? That’s another example of women are emotionally driven in their actions and men ar aggressively motivated. It’s the old estrogen vs. Testosterone argument. I think both genders have more layers than that in determining what they “stand for.”

  6. Been there, done that. The “change” has taken all my hormones away, so I can’t fault them for my point of view.
    Of course human beings are complex. But look at history as it documents the actions of men and the actions of women as they reflect manifestations of physical violence, aggression, extreme competitiveness. I think the men win in that category.
    History, literature, mythology etc. also documents problem tendencies in women (need to please others, emotional outbursts, over-protectedness, vanity etc. etc.), but these are not actions that tend to initiate wars and mass murder. Extreme manifestations of our biological natures pose problems for all humans, but the male version is a killer.
    Fifty years from now, look back and see if things are any better — if men are still in charge and charging at others aggressively, if women are still defering to what men seem to want them to be.
    How much better the world — how much better relationships — would be if each gender worked at eliminating those extreme tendencies that we’ve carried along in our genes and hormones from our more primitive ancestors?

  7. Elaine, this had to do with something Tara Sue said, and the thread at my site started at Backtrack shows other entries at from Jonathon’s site.
    I don’t believe there has been a statistical count of wars started by women over men, other than that history has shown female leaders fighting in addition to men.
    I also believe that most wars are started from cold, compassionless greed and ambition rather than hot emotion. The hunt for power isn’t exclusive to the male gender.

  8. Thanks for the links. I think I remember the thread, but I need to go back and read the thoughts shared.
    It’s interesting that I saw “Chicago” last night — the women in prison were there because of violence they committed that was triggered by “hot emotion,” and that does seem to be why women murder (and it’s usually just one or two individuals that they off). The kind of “compassionless greed and ambition” that leads to more rampant killings is usually what motivates men and their warring.
    There are such obvious differences in some motivations and behavior of the genders. Acknowledging those differences (and the problems their extreme manifestions bring about), it seems to me, would be a valuable thing to do for each gender. Not doing so only seems to ensure that the problems continue.

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