A constitutional amendment idea... that might give a Republican a heart attack. You know you want to read it!
There is one great imbalance in our world, which, if re-balanced would lead to the righting of all other wrongs...that imbalance is patriarchy. Now, don't get all offended at the word, it’s just a word. Patriarchy is when men hold the decision making power. And, well… truth be told, they simply tend towards hierarchical structures of organizing. This is basically a system which concentrates power into the hands of a few, mostly male humans. This is not necessarily bad; however, it’s not always good either. Matriarchy is when women have more decision making power. Unlike their counterparts, they tend towards a non-hierarchical structure. This style of organizing is more like a network of roots, wherein power and responsibility are distributed among many people, rather than concentrated in a few. This is not always good, some situations call for hierarchy.
I would challenge each person to consider, that if both forms of organizing are effective... then, shouldn't we utilize both? Certainly, we have systems in our society that would run more effectively if power were not concentrated in the hands of a few. Consider the state of our corporate, government, and even the justice system. Do they not operate in a hierarchical manner? Are these not also the most corrupted systems we have in our society today? One can’t help but wonder if the male dominated hierarchical structure of their power is exactly what caused them to become so utterly corrupted. And, how would these systems change if they were structured in a more symbiotic manner, where power was widely dispersed?
To get a sense of what this power disbursement might look like in general, we need only look to our own past. For, there have been times when the proper conditions allowed the growth of elements which countered these hierarchical forces in society. The proper conditions… could be summarized as a more equal distribution of power and money to the people. The elements birthed from this seeding of power were; unions that served to keep corporations in check; a robust middle class/economy, that took root to keep government responsive to the needs of the people; an effective social safety net which empowered impoverished and aging people to thrive; a huge increase in access to education combined with a healthy job market, which became an economic tide which lifted most American boats.
These institutions and ways of organizing invested resources and power back into the populace… and, it worked. When power is accessed by the masses, they will have the luxury of coming together to make their own society better. They have the collective will to demand efficiency and change; they have the political and financial power to ensure the voice of the People is heard. And, if need be, they have the confidence and life sustaining resources to stand up to tyranny by risking stability, for liberty. Many people dare not speak this truth, that we the people are what run this system. But, we all know that each of our participation in this way of living collectively makes the wheels of commerce and government turn. More like amble forward these days, but that just bolsters my point. Our slow rambling pace is a result of the vast wealth that has already been extracted from the populace. That loss of resources then prevents many people from participating and thus slowing down the commerce wheel. But, in reality we hold the power. In our current economic and government system we are the customers, we are the workers, we are the tax payers, we are the voters, we fill elected offices, we are collectively the land owners… and, we have the power to bring the whole damn societal matrix to a screeching halt, simply by refusing to participate.
That is the truth. We… are the how and the why of commerce. Corporations and government exist in our society to cater to our needs, not the other way around. Yet, they have tricked us into seeing a different reality. They tell us they make the laws, then do so without regard for the constitution, and top it off by allowing their own agents to violate those laws with impunity. They waste our tax dollars on war making, while cutting the safety net, infrastructure, and education. They bind us in contracts and restrict our access to resources, while selling sacred Native land in violation of treaties, to foreign corporations for extraction. Corporations conspire to buy up our government officials, and craft legislation which further tilts our unfair system in their favor. We are allowing this to happen. Not as individuals per se, but as a collective people we are funding, endorsing, and turning a blind eye to these actions. Americans have allowed themselves to become divided, in a million different ways. We must realize it is these very divisions which disconnect us from the collective power of we the People, that we will find safety in numbers… or rather, we will find our power in numbers.
To apply the same idea of even distribution of power, specifically to who is making all the decisions in this country, it's clear we need more equal representation of the sexes... in all positions of power. This brings us back to the concept of matriarchy as an organizational strategy. I would like to impart this tidbit of historical knowledge. The U.S. Constitution is in great part based on the Iroquois Great Law of Peace; however, the role of women in the power structure was removed by the colonial framers. It’s no wonder, when you find that the position women held basically had the deciding say on most matters, and in those days women were but chattel to colonial men, and thus undeserving of any power. But, in these modern days of corruption, greed, and desperation… it might be time to reconsider the colonial framer’s omission. At the very least, we should reexamine the death grip patriarchy and hierarchy seems to have within all power structures of our society. This is not about dividing men and women. It’s not even about riding the pendulum swing of power, to suggest women should rule over men. No, this is about finding the balance where men and women share power EQUALLY. When we are able to manifest this space, we the people will finally reach our true potential as a nation… and, as a united People.
Anyone can wax poetic about the problems we face, myself included, but these days I make an effort to include a solution with my lament. My suggestion that we embrace matriarchal ways of organizing our collective power and will is a bit broad and slightly intangible. So, I also suggest we pass a constitutional amendment requiring half of all government positions be held by women. This step seems like the most efficient way to shift a great deal of power in this country to the ladies as quickly as possible (best to treat it like a band aid). By mandating through an amendment, we ensure a quick implementation, avoid lengthy debate on the merits of womanhood, and enshrine a more true form of equality into our foundation as a collective.
Women are half the population, and we deserve half of the decision making power in this country. I believe, that by shifting the balance of power at the governmental level, we can best correct the perception in this country that women are less capable, less trustworthy, and less deserving of such power and prestige. In nearly all facets of life anything a man can do, a lady can also do… period. We may need to build a pulley system to lift something heavy, or gather a bunch of friends to help us with a physically demanding task. But, it is that we finish the task, not how we do it, which determines our success.
I know this solution would, as Thom Hartman put it on his radio show when I suggested it, “Blow Republican’s minds”. But, I challenge anyone out there in internet land to give me a compelling argument as to why ladies should not hold an equal number of powerful positions in this country by structural mandate. I do not mean an argument as to why they do not historically, but rather, why in 2015 we as a supposedly free and liberty minded nation, have not fully restored equal individual sovereignty to the women of America?
This is a much longer blog than intended, but I have one final point to make. In law, and in the structure of our government, at no time have women or people of color been granted full access to the People class described in the constitution. They have only ever reached American citizen class status, which in law requires one be a Person. I know, you’re thinking… but, I am a person! However in legal language, a Person in someone acting in the capacity of corporation… so, are you living your day to day life as a corporate entity? Probably not, furthermore one cannot be a Person and a People at the same time in our law structure, which means you probably want to be considered a People in law right?
Well, the good news is that if you’re white Christian and male you can claim that People class. The bad news is if you are any other type of human, then you were never granted access to the People class of the constitution, and therefore cannot claim its protections. I don’t want to go too far down a legal rabbit hole (I am known to stumble into them quite frequently) but, this legal jaunt was to show how even at the core of our justice system, women, or people of color for that matter, have never attained a fully equal status to white men. This, in my mind, is the most compelling reason to consider a constitutional amendment for equal female representation. *Cites (mostly from Blacks law Dictionary) available upon request.