There’s a reason why society expected women to stay at home, raise the children and care for the family and why it expected men to go into the workforce in leadership as breadwinners. I believe it’s because we know how to raise good, productive, responsible people. I believe it’s because we are able to do damage control while understanding mistakes. I believe it’s because we are able to manage in the midst of chaos without power tripping. We are able to lead with the intention of teaching. But it’s unfortunate men have not only tried to lead us to believe, but have also lead themselves to believe that women are caretakers and that men are leaders when in reality, they’re one in the same.
It may have been rooted in society’s ignorant need to brainwash women into specific roles but we were not raised on competition, on toxic masculinity and on ego. Rather, we were raised (and it’s innately in us) to nurture, care, and teach. These are some of the basic characteristics that qualify a person as a good leader. In fact, Facebook COO and Leanin.org founder, Sheryl Sandberg, and psychologist, and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Adam Grant, told the New York Times that “Start-ups led by women are more likely to succeed; innovative firms with more women in top management are more profitable; and companies with more gender diversity have more revenue, customers, market share, and profits.” In 2017, former president Barack Obama said it best: “the importance of more focus on putting women in power, because men seem to be having some problems these days.” And that’s the reality of it. Men are failing at leading us in business, the arts, athletics, and even religion. There are basic things you don’t do- as a leader, as a human- and some men keep violating the rights of many- leading to downfalls of corporations, organizations, and structures.
During WWII, both men and women had very clear roles. The men joined the military, and the women stayed at home. However, this does not define what each gender was specifically made for. Women have an innate ability to be nurturing, catering and building to strong bonds and relationships. Because of this, we also have a high level of emotional intelligence, allowing us to be empathetic and understanding others’ needs. Excluding women from levels of leadership has proven to lead us to moments of shame and disappointment as a society. Too many men are messing up in ways they shouldn’t – in ways, women aren’t.
In recent months and years, we have seen multiple men in leadership positions fail not only their communities but humanity overall. The most recent is the ruling by a grand jury that more than 300 Catholic priests molested more than 1,000 children for decades. For decades. This means that men were raping little boys and girls in the name of God, and were protected by the Catholic church for years. Men protecting men. In January, a judge sentenced Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the USA Gymnastics and a sports medicine physician at Michigan State University, for the sexual abuse of over 300 women. A year ago, allegations accusing movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, of sexual misconduct surfaced. Women in Hollywood spoke up against Weinstein, stating that he would use his position of power to get away with unwanted sexual conduct in exchange for helping their careers. Last month Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, called the Thai cave rescue diver, Vernon Unsworth, a “pedo” (pedophile) for no reason at all on Twitter. He eventually deleted the posts. Beforehand, Musk had flown to Thailand and offered to provide a submarine to help rescue 12 boys and their coach who were stuck in a flooded cave, but his help was declined by leaders of the operation. Many are accusing Musk’s offer to help a
PR stunt than an actual gesture of concern. His unfounded and insensitive comments against Unsworth seem to support those opinions. Amongst many more allegations against men in leadership roles, one that hits close to our Latinx home is the scandal surrounding the non-profit organization Undocumedia. Co-Founder, Ivan Ceja, is currently facing accusations (from numerous women) that he made unwanted advances toward female colleagues in professional settings. He has also been accused of racism by members of other organizations. Since his statement apologizing to those involved, Ivan Ceja has disappeared from social media and has been silent.
Then there’s Trump’s horrific rap sheet that only seems to get longer while possibly facing criminal charges.
The mistakes made by hundreds if not thousands of men cause a terrifying and unstable environment for their teams, colleagues, organizations, and society. Not only are they setting a tone for what actions- by the men admiring them- can be tolerable, but they are minimizing the rights to safety for women and children. I can’t call what the issue with some of the men truly is. But I do see a lack of empathy, intelligence, unity, and compassion. In fact, in nature, when a female leads, she tends to lead with the understanding that the betterment of the whole is the betterment of the individual. Primatologist and ethologist, Frans de Waal, who has studied animals, particularly chimpanzees, has noticed that “if there is disharmony, such as tensions among males, females are often the first to suffer because males redirect their tensions to them” meaning that they, more than anyone, understand the importance of working for the team. Essentially, group instability is the last thing females need so as leaders they aim to reach a goal that is healthy and progressive for a team as opposed to just herself.
It’s time we ask ourselves two things: Besides being driven by ego and toxic masculinity, what is causing men to behave in barbaric ways? And, also maybe it’s time for women to take over in places where men were once leading? Because what’s been happening, is not working. If men are failing, it’s because women may be needed. For the sake of progress.