I have often been told that if women ran the world, it would be a more peaceful and better-run place. There certainly seem to be differences between women and men. Besides the obvious physical differences, there are differences in style. Women often seem to have a politer and more self-effacing way of conducting matters when they are in charge.
On the other hand, history seems to show examples of rather blustery and blood-thirsty females, such as Catharine the Great of Russia and Elizabeth I of England. In Africa, there were for a while a fairly fierce tribe of female warriors, the “Dahomey Amazons.” .
More recently one can find examples of dominating female leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin, and violent women such as Belle Guinness and Aileen Carol Wuornos. Gunness was a female serial killer who lived in La Porte, Indiana. (My mother grew up in that area and told me about Belle when I was a child.) Wuornos was a prostitute who was eventually executed for killing seven men.
However, as a generalization, in my experience female leaders more typically have a quieter and less blatant way of exercising power than men. I have had some good female supervisors and some bad ones; in general the less obviously domineering style applied to the full range. In my last job I was severely harassed by two female supervisors; the methods they used were quiet, polite, and sly.
Transition Whidbey is certainly not a violent or domineering organization. (In fact, it tends to go too far in the other direction.) It’s hard to say who “started” the transition towns movement, but women became important initiators and instigators from an early stage. At Transition Whidbey, women pretty much “run” the organization (or dis-organization as it may more properly be described). Which leads us to the next aspect of Transition Whidbey I will examine.