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Can Western Women Really Save The World?

Written by: Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


During the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2010, former Irish president and peace activist Mary Robinson moderated a presentation titled: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue: Connecting for Peace. The presentation featured four Peace Prize Laureates: the Dalai Lama (who won in 1989), Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams, founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement and winners of the Nobel in 1976; and anti-landmine crusader Jody Williams, an American peace prize winner in 1997.

During the presentation, the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying: “The world will be saved by the Western Woman” He also stated: “Some people may call me a feminist... But we need more effort to promote basic human values — human compassion and human affection. And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others' pain and suffering.”

There has been a lot of speculation about what he actually meant when he said “the world will be saved by the Western Woman,” but I believe he meant that women from developed countries like North America had access to resources that women in undeveloped countries didn’t have and therefore would be able to impact the world on a larger scale.

Although that was a pretty provocative statement, I believe his second comment actually holds the key to saving the world. “But we need more effort to promote basic human values — human compassion, human affection. And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others' pain and suffering.”

It is my belief that promoting human compassion and human affection is what it will take to heal the world, and it is up to all of us, not just women, to do this.

In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the Declaration of Independence as the framework for writing what she titled a “Declaration of Sentiments. Historians consider this to be the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement. In her Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton carefully enumerated areas of life where women were treated unjustly.

Stanton said, “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.

To prove this, let these facts be submitted to a candid world.” Then she shared these specifics:

  • Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law

  • Women were not allowed to vote

  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation

  • Married women had no property rights

  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity

  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women

  • Women had to pay property taxes, although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes

  • Most occupations were closed to women, and when women did work, they were paid only a fraction of what men earned

  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law

  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students

  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church

  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect and were made totally dependent on men

This document set in motion a series of events that has led to the advancement of women around the globe. Unfortunately, women have not yet reached full equality with men, but based on the trajectory we’re on as a society, I remain hopeful. As I witness the number of women of all ethnicities who are now running Fortune 500 companies, I am filled with optimism. As I see the female engineers, construction supervisors, brain surgeons, judges, attorneys, astrophysicists, movie directors, and even the vice president of the United States of America, how can I not be optimistic? Who could have imagined just 50 years ago these things were even possible?

As I look at the fact there are more women in the workforce than men here in America now, and more women are graduating from college than men, what this tells me is the roles of masculinity are changing rapidly, and it is imperative that men embrace these changing roles. As a nation, we must stop having us against them, men versus women, conversation and begin the conversation of how we can work together to heal our nation and our world.

This can be extremely difficult because the current masculine paradigm has been around for hundreds of years, and generally speaking, men have an extremely difficult time letting go of old ways of being and relating to men. In the old paradigm, men have been conditioned to believe they are not supposed to feel. They are conditioned to believe feelings are for women and they generally avoid being in touch with their emotions because they are afraid of being labeled as weak. Unfortunately, this is what drives most negative male behavior. When men suppress, repress, and deny their feelings, it leads to all sorts of destructive behaviors like domestic violence, addictions, and self-destruction. This is why the Dalai Lama’s comment appears to be true. “And in that respect, females have more sensitivity for others' pain and suffering.” The truth is, women are not inherently more sensitive to other's pain, they are simply conditioned to be in touch with their feelings, and they have always had the freedom to express those feelings without repercussions. On the other hand, men are conditioned not to express their feelings, and therefore, they lose the ability to express compassion and empathy, which causes them to lose their sensitivity.

In the new paradigm, men learn that it is okay for them to be in touch with their feelings, and it does not make them less of a man in doing so. They also learn to be allied with women, and they choose to treat women as equals. When the majority of men embrace this new paradigm, you will begin to see the eradication of the majority of social ills affecting our planet. This will not occur through politics, legislation, or even religion. It will only occur when we have a new conversation with men to help them create a new paradigm of masculinity on the planet.

So, in answer to the question I posed at the beginning, Can Western Women Save The World? the answer is yes, but only if they choose to do it with men.

We’re all in this together, and therefore, we must work together to heal the world.

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Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Coach Michael Taylor is an irrepressible optimist with a passion for the impossible. He is president and CEO of Creation Publishing Group and is the author of 10 books designed to empower men and women to live extraordinary lives. He is the host of 3 podcasts (A New Conversation With Men, Don't Believe The Hype, and Shatter The Stereotypes) and hosts 3 television channels on the Roku network.

He was featured in the bestselling book Motivational Speakers America with legendary speakers Les Brown and Brian Tracy. He has won numerous awards for his dynamic speaking style and says being on stage speaking lights him up and ignites his soul.

When he isn't speaking or writing books, you'll find him hanging out with the love of his life Bedra, who he has been blissfully married for 19 years. His hobbies include going to the movies, listening to old-school 70's and 80's soul music, and reading Calvin & Hobbs comics.



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