Recently a well known, loved and respected, author tweeted
And the response was one that rocketed humanity into a new heights of wtf.
how did we get here….
There once was a time when things were what they were. It is what is. Accept it. Move on.
Men are the Bosses. Well. White ones. And Money means Power. And power means owning people deemed beneath the Boss.
So we said…what if. What if, you know, maybe, All Men were equal. And slavery is abolished. And, maybe…maybe we could vote on things and maybe even vote for Leaders…
And some rather brilliant people took a stand against the What Is. Because what was, was against Human Rights. And humanity had lost the way, appallingly.
As we shifted to a new What is, more what if’s arose. What if, just a thought, what if women had the vote….
And what if women were equal to men?
And this is where we lost track a bit. We meant well, but I think we asked the wrong question, and whilst it seemed reasonable and a great many necessary shifts occurred…maybe it wasn’t in quite the right direction. And now we are at a place that seems confused and lost. Indeed, we may be at many different places, calling out to each other. Wanting unity and community, but scattered and isolated, we are unable to connect.
The question of equality means we had to ignore a rather contentious (as it turns out) point. That of the biological (what is) differences between males and females…or more specifically Men and Women. For it is the reproductive biology we ignored. And we assumed that it was the male biology that was the baseline, the default. The Standard. The goal, even.
This inconvenient reality was addressed by more equalising approaches focused on this male-default. Out sourcing care, replacing biological imperatives with technological ‘alternatives’. And increasingly doing so.
We have reached an interesting point with the technologies. The Right to have children, means that IVF and surrogacy is on the increase, these expensive, stressful and often exploitative technologies mean instead of a what is acceptance and redirecting of care towards community, we have a what if promise of overcoming biological restrictions and achieving ultimate goals. Technologies are also being developed to bypass the whole inconvenient biological process. The Brave New World has gone from sci fi, to what if. And it is a what if where the conversation is about rights. And women are at risk of disappearing.
This equalising focus has lead us along a technological pathway, where our biology is reconstruct-able and re-definable.
And in becoming re-definable, we may have hit the peak in our trajectory…what is is a challenge. There is no acceptance. Anything but what is.
There is no embracing it. and no celebrating it. (read also The Five Stages of Being)
This technological path instead has taken us towards a fearful state of being. We fear the restrictions of our biology, we fear the judgement, the inhibitors. And we do not want to shift towards natural, because natural means going back to the inequality of women and men. It means acknowledging that men and women are different. The tech path is much easier then the path towards acknowledgment.
So how about this for a what if.
What if, instead of aiming for equality, we acknowledged our differences, and the barriers and tried to move towards are more just society.
One where choices are available, but there is not a hierarchy of choice. One where we embrace our biology and acknowledge its importance in our humanity, our well being and our planets well being.
Where a Universal Basic Wage acknowledges that care work should not put someone in poverty, or that volunteering within the community is valued. Where dignity is not linked to paid work, and even those unemployed have opportunity. Where creating art, building your own business or supporting others is possible without compromise.
This is a system where autonomy and community matter. Not image and self promotion.
For this, we need to look beyond rights.
Beyond rights we find responsibly and accountability.
Let’s use a recent example. Australian PM, Scott Morrison had a ‘right’ to a holiday. He also had a responsibility. As PM, he was responsible to lead Australia in a time of increasing crisis. He ignored his responsibility (nil-response) and divertingly suggested his children’s right to a holiday trumped all. When he finally did return he seemed genuinely confused and did not seem to understand his responsibilities. What followed was accountability. He is accountable for inaction; he must respond to questions of why he did not meet with fire chiefs, why he did not set in place a response for this predicted event, why he turned down help, why he insists on coal and Adani, what he understands to be empathy…
In a world that has lost track, A Boss seems to be valued. In a democracy, as Australia is, many a Boss has been voted in. The grandeur of a Boss, the arrogant confidence…and possibly the white maleness..seems to reassure the masses that all is well.
And yet, across the ditch from Oz, in New Zealand, we see a Leader. Who happens to be female. Compassionate. Empathetic. A listener. A doer. She sees the People. All of them.
Boss (all about rights, no responsibility, and shirked accountability through what if…fear generating and attention diverting)
Leader (balancing rights, responsibility and accountability).
Sometimes what ifs lead to good change. Currently the world of what if’s are all about avoiding responsibility and accountability.
This is not ok.
It is up to us to Be the Leaders.
Be calm. Measured. Listen. And VOTE accordingly. Hold these Bosses to account.
Use your economic clout. Buy local, buy less, grow more, move more (walk, ride where you can), use public transport.
You have power. It is measured in your understanding, your knowledge, your kindness. Real power lies in your ability to choose love.
Change will come. But we must accept our responsibility and see our accountability.
We are all accountable.