Stephen Kahn

Posts Tagged ‘Transition Towns’

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.

 

Advertisements

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.

Sensitive post

In Hard to tell on March 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

One of the common characteristics of Transition Whidbey (and Transition Towns in general) is a concern about “sensitivities (more commonly known as “allergies”). Many of the people who come to meetings, and quite a few who don’t come to meetings because they say something at the meeting place, no matter how carefully chosen, “triggers” their sensitivity, whether it’s a scent, or a food substance, or a dust, or whatever) talk about how they suffer from their sensitivities.

As with everything else, this issue is a complicated mash-up of truth, confusion, injustice, and blackmail. Many people do indeed have sensitivities, some of can be detected and confirmed by “objective” means, and some of which cannot. The issue of sensitivities also provides a splendid scope for liars, scoundrels, and manipulative martyrs.

When I was a child, I often had allergy attacks. I thought they were the result of pollen (which they surely were). As my family always had cats, I did not realize my attacks were also the result of allergies to cat dander. When I first started going with my wife, she sarcastically suggested that my allergies were psychosomatic.

All my life I had eaten seafood. At the age of forty or so, halibut started to make me throw up. After some cautious experiments, I determined that I can steal eat cod and salmon (and mother other fish). I avoid halibut now, just to be on the safe side (and I am sure, must to the relief of a few fish).

Now that we are in our sixties, my allergies to pollen and cats have diminished (though not disappeared entirely). My wife has developed allergies to cats and pollen, so she has switched her pet affection to chickens. I avoid suggesting that her sensitivities are psychosomatic, as I know which side of the bread my marriage is buttered. I have also developed something of an allergy to Transition Towns, so I have stopped attending their meetings.