I took my two young girls to the playground this Sunday. I notice right away how kids play quite differently. I think it certainly makes a statement about how they see their parent handle situations.
My girls pretty much went straight for the merry-go-round and stayed on it the entire time. At first they were on it with two boys slightly older than them.
The boys very gentlemanly, offered to push and asked the girls along the way how fast they should go. When it reach the proper speed they jumped on and went for a ride.
When the boys became tired they left and a group of girls about 8 years old came along. They began to push as fast as they could and my oldest daughter asked them to go slower. One of the girl said. “Let’s vote. Should we go faster or slow down?”. One at a time the four girls said, “Faster”. Then the leader
said, “Sorry you’ve been out voted. Either we go faster or you need to get off.”
My daughters stayed. But when my oldest daughter complained again the girls stopped and they left, leaving my daughters to themselves.
I wondered how all of this would have been handled by boys. I imagine if a young boy complain to older boys they would have deferred to the oldest, toughest or loudest boy. And he would have said the boy need to be strong and handle the speed like a man and if the young boy couldn’t handle it they probably would make fun of him. I could be wrong about the mocking but I don’t see boys taking a vote.
All in all it’s more common for women even at 8 to ask what others think. I’m not sure if that is insecurity, looking for approval or if they really want to include others in the decision process. I think a phrase girls use more often than boys is, “What do you think?”. It gets others involved and polls their opinion. This may be a way for them to build friendship or fend off embarrassment later for making a “bad choice”. Girls doing want to take it like a man. Instead they figure out what other think first and then decide how they want to make their decision.
I can see this as an important aspect of leadership. In many cases of our political system a man went full steam ahead, maybe into a war or political partnership that he likely knew was wrong because he wanted to be tough and not ask what ours though of his decision. In a man’s eyes asking for others opinions is like asking for help and it may appear like he is weak. In the woman’s world asking what other’s think is a nurturing way to include everyone in the conversation. She is praised for doing her research and siding with the majority.
I think if we are to move forward as a country we need great leadership and we need to do our research. I don’t know if the American public is educated enough to make foreign policy decisions but I do know that we seem to have more common sense than a lot of people running this country.
If we can look and ask why are we doing the things we are doing? Who benefits the most from our actions? Would we act the same way if other countries were doing this to us? I think we would come back with some surprising answers about whether fighting a war is more important than educating our children. I know lets take a vote.