The Return of the Woman


Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton (Photo credit: daveblume)

The most powerful country finally has a viable woman presidential candidate. Although there will be other boundaries for the “weaker” sex of humankind to break through, this is a significant one. If Hillary were to win the nomination and then the presidency, it would be for the first time in the history of humankind that a woman would be elected to wield ultimate power; instead of inheriting it.

Humankind has been teetering at the edge of this cliff for decades now. It is fitting that we try to understand what this means to humankind in general.

When in doubt I have always looked at the animal kingdom for answers. The animal kingdom is a very good reflection of the natural order of things.

So it was but natural that I looked to the animal kingdom for an answer to the eternal question – Why are we here?

The answer was so simple that I had to look again. The reason for existence was very straightforward – procreation, continuation of the species. The more I thought about it, the more obvious and clear the answer was. Everything we do has been towards this single aim. Beginning with the basic act of copulation to complex discoveries and inventions, humankind has been making sure that the next generation of humans had a chance to bring forth one more generation.

The differentiation in roles of the members of the opposite sex is quite clear in the animal kingdom, but they break down when we try and apply it to humans. Among humans, the dividing line between roles played by each sex is increasingly getting blurred. More and more women step out of their traditional role of homemakers to become the primary breadwinners, while many men are looking at the option to stay back and play the homemaker as a viable one.

(I must clarify here that the use of the word back in the previous statement is not an indication in any way that staying home is akin to being left behind.)

The pressures that such a change brings to a relationship will be studied for years and yet we may never have a final answer. The reason for this is that humans today are able to explore the other side of their sexuality – Women can explore their masculine side, while men can explore their feminine side. Some individuals find it easier than others to connect to the other side of their personality.

Traditionally the woman stayed home and cared for the children and home, while the man ventured out and brought home food, provided security and took on the social responsibilities of living in a society. Society was built around the woman who was the most important member in the equation, as she was the one who could bear and suckle a young one.

Men and the rest of the family (including non-childbearing women) formed the support structure to allow the woman to bear and rear the next generation. The elder women took control of the household, while the men provided food and shelter.

Somewhere along the way, this very comfortable arrangement morphed and the male became physically stronger and also made the rules that society was governed by. Unfortunately, this took away from the woman her central role in the future of humankind.

So will Hillary being elected change the course of humankind?

That is a question only time can answer. Going by past examples we don’t have much to hope on. Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto all turned out to be wolves in sheep clothing. Instead of having tenures marked with tenderness, all these women sought to prove that they could be more male than the men around them.

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