Many thanks to best-selling author of my favorite leadership book, Just Listen, and Business Women Rising's "Resident Big Brother", Mark Goulston, MD, for allowing us to re-post this wonderful blog, below. Very insightful! Deb Boelkes, CEO.
I think I have been coming close to a last straw for some time, but I think this picture taken after the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who defied the Taliban and then was gunned down by them may have been it.
The world doesn’t need a revolution, it needs more evolution. And the only ones capable of evolving to a place of caring collaboration are women. Men are just too competitive, need to win (sometimes at all costs), unable to stand losing and too easily and readily seduced by power, personal ego and greed.
Don’t get me wrong, women are not perfect. Far from it. In fact when I ask the women I speak to at women’s conferences about that, the majority will tell me that, “the best women are better than the best men in the world, but the worst women are worse than the worst men” (because of what those women will do to other other women). But my focus here in not on the worst women, but on the best ones and what they can bring to the world or more importantly bring the world to, that men — at least the modern version — do not seem capable of.
Why is it that women are more capable of we, while men seem to be too stuck in me?
Oxytocin vs. Adrenaline, Estrogen vs. Testosterone
Oxytocin is the hormone that underlies bonding and connecting. It is what helps a mother to bond and be patient with a colicky baby instead of throwing it out the window. Adrenaline is about winning and power. An adrenaline rush brings with it a surge of power and that may explain why so many men are “adrenaline junkies.” And once they are hooked on it men will do some pretty crazy stuff to ward of an adrenaline crash. As such women’s identities seem to be more defined by bonding and connecting, while men’s seem to be more about winning and being powerful.
Estrogen is about building as in a nest or a home. Testosterone is about aggression and may have its species useful place when protecting that home, but can also be about aggression just for the sake of aggression. Here once again, women’s identities seem to be more about building communities and creating connections between the people in them; men about being aggressive grabbing for something.
The Corpus Callosum – the “missing” link in men
It is nearly common knowledge that we have a left/rational brain and a right/emotional brain. Connecting the two is a fiber connection called the corpus callosum. That network is thicker in women than it is in men. What that means is that women’s left and right brains are more in connection and each can mitigate the effects of the other than is the case in men.
Although men tend to think of women as more emotional, because of the lesser connection between the left and right brain the intensity of either men’s emotions and men’s logic seems to be greater than women’s. That may explain how men can become so “coldly” and mechanically logical and/or behaviorally explosive when their emotions are triggered. This may also explain that although women may yell and scream more than men, men resort to violence and cause wars more often than women. It is also why preschools do their best to fight the uphill battle of teaching boys to “use their words” instead of pushing and punching.
Tragedy in the Making
One of the most tragic things I find about the current state of male dominance in the world is that I believe women were put on earth to bring out the best — and to soften the beast — in men. What seems to be happening, at least in Western countries, is that men are bringing out the worst in women. The biggest casualty is that tenderness, warmth, patience and being loving has dropped out of the fabric of many relationships as has the relating. And the kindness of men is a very distant second to the warmth of women.
I am guessing that this blog will not be welcomed by men and if I am willing to make the above assertions I know I am inviting the ire and scorn of many of my gender. I am okay with that. But if you must retaliate, please “use your words!”
Heartfelt Best Wishes,
Mark Goulston, MD
About the Author:
Mark Goulston, M.D. is the Resident Big Brother for Business Women Rising. His principal focus is empowering women to succeed in male dominated companies, organizations and industries and to reach the upper echelons in them. Mark is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Heartfelt Leadership and he the best selling author of Just Listen and Get Out of Your Own Way at Work. Mark blogs for the Huffington Post, Fast Company and Psychology Today and he serves on the Board of Advisors to American Womens Veterans.