When Women Rule

By Peg Ludtke

“What can we do about…?” or “How might we..? When women gather with purpose, they ask a lot of open-ended questions; they want as many options on the table as possible. Do men do this? I know this will sound sexist, but somehow I am having a hard time imagining the same amount of inquiry in a room full of men.

On Monday I attended an informational meeting about Political Advocacy sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Women’s Alliance. Chris Conry from Take Action MN was the presenter and wisely reading his audience, asked the 20+ women in the room if they had any questions. He also asked us to brainstorm at our tables and share our ideas, another activity, I would propose, most women do with ease.

I have only been connected to the SCVWA for a couple of weeks now, but it’s reinforced a lot of what makes women in general better suited to lead fairly and democratically. Again I am showing my bias, but isn’t that what we need ASAP to counter the oligarchy we’ve experienced since November?

I am hopeful because the gathering of women with purpose continues to surge. Take SCVWA as an example. Thanks to social media, the number of women in this alliance stands at 563 and continues to grow. Another quality that seems to go along with women gathered for action and cause is that the net is generally flung wide and anyone who shows interest can join. There was a woman at our table on Monday who wasn’t familiar yet with SCVWA. She asked how she might get involved. Immediately one of the founders, also at the table, gave out her name and said, “Find me on facebook, and I will friend you and get you in.”

No doubt this inclusive, if- it -matters- to- you- come -join -us mindset had a lot to do with the unprecedented mass that participated in the Women’s Marches around the country and world. January 21st is still filling our sails with what is really possible if we tap into our feminine abilities to include, ask questions,  and organize.

The Facebook page for the Alliance is impressive. Posts on events, information about what is going on in government, ways to get involved, shared insights are added several times daily. It appears like the women who have stepped up to organize this rather large group take it very seriously. Another purposeful woman quality seems to be a tendency to lead through networking and providing information.

As the group learned from Chris how the legislative calendar works and when and how to intercept and influence bills being submitted at the Capitol, I recognized one more valuable attribute that many women have, and that is the ability to see the big picture. We brainstormed a list of factors that caused the wide divide in government (ideology, partisanship, Donald Trump, city vs.country mindset) It was clear to all of us in the room as we viewed the big picture, that what is needed is collaboration and understanding of the other side; we have to reach across our great divide and humanely, respectfully get to know the other side and from this broader knowledge, negotiate. Women can so do this; at least the ones that are gathering everywhere these days who do so because they care about saving our planet and our democracy.

Just what would our government look like if women ruled using the traits that come naturally to them? What if we questioned and brainstormed until all the ideas were on the table? Then what if we organized our ideas, and at the same time networked and made sure everyone was able to share and stayed informed? What if we made the first gesture towards the opposition and suggested collaborating? Can you picture just how womanly possible it could be?  Now let’s get back at it.

But first let’s celebrate the past two years of forming, storming, norming and performing. See you on May 17th!!


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