After surviving a near-death cerebral aneurysm at age 14, followed by three major abdominal surgeries before 21, most of my life decisions, career included, have been guided by two principal purposes. One is to constructively rock the boat. Two is to help others live happy, healthy and meaningful lives. Writing my first book, Passion at Work, published 12 years ago, enabled me to realize, codify and pointedly fulfill these purposes.
I had been looking for a way, in the time of my life, to dramatically scale my efforts. About five years ago I realized the BIG problem, and the BEST solution I can muster. While running People functions at internet firms, I started to write.
The BIG Problem
The problem is testosterone. We all have it in us, though men have 8 to 9 times as much as women, and can produce 20 times what women generate in a day. Testosterone manifests itself in many ways: from physical size, muscle mass and sex drive, to traits such as control, aggression, competition, self-interest, criminality/acts of immorality, and irrational financial decision-making.
These factors combined would seem to be at the root of the patriarchal playground in which most of the world has been forced to play throughout history. They are behind war, rape, domestic violence, terrorism, climate disruption, weapons of mass destruction, corruption, inequality, and injustice. They have fueled religions, political systems, governance and jurisprudence (and lack thereof), “free market” capitalism, the media, and could explain why the top ten richest heads of state (all male) are worth as estimated $193 billion, between $21 and $32 trillion are evading taxation in off-shore accounts, while 1.1 billion humans subsist on less than $2/day.
It is also why, per a Goldman Sachs market research report, men tend to spend their money on items for their personal consumption––“alcohol, cigarettes, high-status consumer goods and “female companionship””––while women allocate to household and specifically child-related expenditures: food, education, healthcare, clothing and personal care products.
I will argue testosterone was behind the 2007 banking crisis that almost toppled the global financial system; if you haven’t seen “The Big Short” give it a whirl with your testosterone radar on. The current GOP presidential candidate––and party platform––are also shining icons of this hormone’s expressions. Aggression, control, competing without morals, irrational financial decision-making.
Any system created by men, if left unfettered and to its own devices, will inevitably destroy itself due to its intrinsic testosterone-based nature.
Which brings me to my main hypothesis: any system created by men, if left unfettered and to its own devices, will inevitably destroy itself due to its intrinsic testosterone-based nature.
The BEST Solution
For our species and planet to survive us, we must get more progressive women into positions of power, wherever power resides. ASAP. Globally. We must play the Woman’s Card with gusto, multi-colored spotlights, and Lady Gaga riffs in the background. I believe women’s biochemistry is much better suited to the leadership demands of the 21st century, and the stakes are huge. Planet before profits. Nurture not nuke. Educate versus eradicate. Collaborate and compromise not dogmatically compete. Follow the rules not finagle ways around them. Use human lenses to view others rather than those that stereotype as objects.
This is my calling, and I am sticking to it. I will be making posts based on this theme and I look forward to your commentary and feedback. While my enlightenment began in college and has continued since, being a man, I can be clueless at times.
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Previously Publsihed on Huffington Post
Photo Credit: Pixabay