Stephen Kahn

Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

If women ran the world …

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

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.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

While not exhaustive, the following web site provides a good taste of women gone bad over the centuries. http://listverse.com/2007/09/09/top-10-most-evil-women/

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.

 

If women ran the world …

In Hard to tell on April 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

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.

While not exhaustive, the following web site provides a good taste of women gone bad over the centuries.

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.

Pieces of Dove

In Humor on February 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

In the last episode, I described how a small hawk penetrated the netting defenses of our chicken run and attacked my wife’s favorite hen, Big Mama, leaving a bald patch on the hen’s back.

We now have attached mylar streamers to the top netting. The streamers spin and vibrate in the wind. They now communicate to chicken hawks one of the following two messages:

1. If you approach this chicken run, you will have a psychedelic experience like none before in your hippy hawk life. (Whidbey Island has many aging hippies living here; I presume many avian predators are also counterculture members.)

2. This way to the chicken nuggets meal. There is one McDonald’s Restaurant on Whidbey Island, but it is up north by the naval base in Oak Harbor. It is at least a two hour drive by automobile. I am not sure how long it takes to fly there, but for a small hawk, it would be a long trip, and I am not sure they would serve a hawk at the fly-by window. Also the Navy jets flying over the city might pose a hazard for a visiting chicken hawk.

My wife believes our three hens are now more cautious than before the attack, thus going into their “freeze” stance more often, and spending more time lurking in the ferns. I don’t argue with her observations. That is how I stay married for 46 years.

Anyway, besides the chicken run, we have in our yard a bird feeder, frequented by chickadees, juncos, pine siskins, sparrows, woodpeckers, and other seasonal and yearly avian visitors to our woods. A couple of days ago, I got home from the gym and my wife said, “The hawk was here again. This time there was a great commotion at the bird feeder. There are a lot of feathers on the ground under the feeder. I don’t know if it caught anything, but I think it went after one of the doves.”

Besides the other birds I listed, doves frequently browse on the ground under the feeder. Once again, I have two thoughts about the messages we provide to the hawk:

1. As there is no netting or other obstacles around our bird feeder, you will find that we make dining much more convenient. There is also a Burger King in Oak Harbor. Their mottoes are “Have It Your Way,” and “Buy One, Get One Free.” At the bird feeder the mottoes are “Catch it Your Way,” and “Catch One, Come Back for Another at Any Time.”

2. Doves are a traditional symbol of peace. Unfortunately, chicken hawks are not very politically correct, and probably prefer pieces of dove.