The United States like most countries was built on a system of patriarchy. The definition of patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership.
From 1776 when the US was founded until 1920, women did not have the right to vote. In 1923 an amendment called The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first proposed to change the United States Constitution to guarantee equal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. This proposed amendment did not pass out of Congress until 1972.
The ERA requires 38 states to ratify it before changes can be made to the US constitution. There was a 7-year deadline to get it completed. In 1979 the deadline was extended for three additional years, but on June 30, 1982 the new deadline, the amendment failed three states short of ratification.
Since July 14, 1982, before every session of Congress, the amendment is reintroduced. In 2017, Nevada was the first state in 40 years to ratify the ERA and in May of 2018, Illinois became the 37th state to pass the amendment. It failed by one vote in Virginia February of this year.
Until 1974 single women were routinely denied credit in their own name. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed, which made it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against applicants based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status.
It wasn’t until 1979 that NASA allowed women to apply to train as astronauts. Sally Ride was the first female astronaut to enter space in 1983. And not until 2013 when Joint Chiefs of Staff lifted the ban could women serve in combat.
Research has shown that women in developing countries are found to be more astute and responsible business entrepreneurs than the men in their communities. These women after becoming successful will often bring along other women as employees or someone to franchise their business with. Often an entire town will benefit from one small business started by one determined woman.
At the crucifixion of Christ, it was women who demonstrated courage and boldness. When the disciples ran and hid in an attic, the women followed the soldiers to see where the body of Jesus was taken to. They went home and began preparing spices and ointments to anoint His body.
Even though the tomb was sealed, and a soldier was posted in front of the grave, the women were determined despite the potential danger and unknown obstacles before them, to get to Jesus and perform the final ritual of anointing His body. Because they hadn’t let fear paralyze them, these women were the first to tell the Resurrection story.
In the age of technology and the invention of MRI, DTI and Pet Scans, institutions like MTI and Harvard are able to do in-depth research on the brains of living people. One of their major discoveries is that men and women brains differ in astounding ways. The main difference comes down to the left and right hemispheres of the brain and the difference in how male and female use those hemispheres.
Noted British psychiatrists and brain scientist, Iain McGilchrist said that although the hemispheres look the same to the naked eye, they are different both physically and functionally.
Physically, the right hemisphere is longer, wider and heavier. It has more neurons and connective processors, which allows it to make links more quickly between bits of data or information.
The left hemisphere linking is primarily within the hemisphere from front to back, while the right hemisphere provides stronger links between the hemispheres.
Functionally, the left hemisphere is the detail side of the brain that is characterized by narrowly focused attention. It gives priority to local communication. In contrast, the right hemisphere brings in the broad context, the global picture, or whatever is needed for flexibility of thought.
The left hemisphere of the brain is generally used when we need formulas for making things. The right hemisphere integrates large quantities of data and is constantly searching for patterns of things within their context.
The left hemisphere has an affinity for what is mechanical, and its main concern is usefulness. The right hemisphere affinity is for whatever is organic, and its major principled concern is social, which gives us the ability to empathize.
Researchers at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine scanned the brains of 400 men and 500 women and found pronounced differences. In the male brain, the neural connectivity moves from front to back within each hemisphere; while in the female brain there was more neural connectivity between the hemispheres. The nerve fibers that link the two hemispheres are thicker in female brains.
The researchers also found that with more links between the hemispheres, women tend to be more adapt at communicating, analyzing and bringing more intuition to their task. Women brains are physiologically predisposed to group problem solving. Men tend to be better at learning and completing a single task at a time. In general women are more inclusive thinkers than men.
Because the male brain is physiologically construed to think more linear, and the female brain more contextually or bilaterally, more value has been attached to the way the male brains function. To a linear thinker, contextual thinking hasn’t always been perceived as thinking, even though, in reality it is a more complex way of thinking. During what is known as the “Enlightenment Period,” from 1685-1815, the intellectuals of that day surmised that right-brain thinking was not considered thinking at all.
I always believed that women had the capacity to see the bigger picture better than men. Now there is scientific proof to back up my theory. We can look at Speaker Nancy Pelosi in contrast with Senator Mitch McConnell and clearly see the difference in their leadership skills.
As we prepare to embark on the upcoming election season, I have two pieces of advice, vote, and vote for a woman! If we are ever going to experience the change we desire locally or nationally, I believe that it is going to be done with women leading the charge.