Releasing the Culture of Mutuality from Obscurity Peter C. Newton-Evans
The Problem <ul><li>For centuries, the world has been dominated by a culture of contest. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to sur...
References Used <ul><li>Boulding, Elise: “Cultures of Peace – The Hidden Side of History.&quot; Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Uni...
The Proposal <ul><li>All humans are born with the potential for all human qualities, both adversarial and mutualistic. Whi...
Created equal; trained differently <ul><li>“ As history has evolved in the past ten to fifteen thousand years, men have co...
From function to attribute <ul><li>Fellman : “Historically, women as well as men operate in both adversary and mutuality m...
Differentiated Qualities Mercy, compassion, generosity Justice, rigidity, greediness Softness, sensitivity, expressing  fe...
Not Essentialist <ul><li>Essentialism : Gender-differentiated attributes have biological causes are part of the “essence” ...
Two cultures in two spheres <ul><li>Ontological Definition : All men are like this; all women like that. </li></ul><ul><li...
Male Domination <ul><li>“ In our economy, our political institutions, our judicial systems, our educational systems and so...
Male superiority <ul><li>“ Simply put, the flip side of a culture that privileges adversarial qualities and power struggle...
The roots of “ machismo ” <ul><li>Assumption : Men are inherently superior to women. </li></ul><ul><li>Complication : Cert...
The Bahá’í Vision <ul><li>“ The world of humanity has two wings - one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are...
6. The crisis and the opportunity <ul><li>“ It is my claim that these qualities, allocated to women historically yet avail...
Clarifications <ul><li>This does not mean that the “male” culture and attributes are inherently “bad,” or that the “female...
Institutionalization <ul><li>Symbiotic relationship heightens productivity of entire system. </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction...
Women and Peace <ul><li>‘ Abdu’l-Bahá : “ War and its ravages have blighted the world; the education of woman will be a mi...
Priority Education for Women <ul><li>“… woman must be given the privilege of equal education with man and full right to hi...
Recapitulation <ul><li>All humans are born with the potential for all human qualities, both adversarial and mutualistic. W...
Unity in Diversity <ul><li>Boulding : “Will men and women become more alike? More likely, they will become more different,...
The World of the Future <ul><li>“ The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reaso...
<ul><li>“ Rest ye assured! Ere long the days shall come when the men addressing the women, shall say:  </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Thank you www.cultureofpeace.peternewton.biz
 
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Releasing Culture of Mutuality from Obscurity

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There are significant sources of often-invisible referents of a cultura of peace that coexist alongside, below the surface, or sometimes against the current of the predominant culture of adversarialism. A classical example is the so-called ‘private sphere’, traditionally managed by women, which is characterized by cooperation, conciliation, preservation, kindness, and compassion. It coexists with the ‘public sphere’, conventionally dominated by men, with its patterns of competition, conflict, conquest, aggression, and insensitiveness. The public sphere tends to be the most visible and outspoken, but it is the private sphere that has enabled humankind to survive the damage it has caused.

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Releasing Culture of Mutuality from Obscurity

  1. 1. Releasing the Culture of Mutuality from Obscurity Peter C. Newton-Evans
  2. 2. The Problem <ul><li>For centuries, the world has been dominated by a culture of contest. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to survive, we urgently need to develop a culture of mutuality. </li></ul><ul><li>However, adversarialism is widely considered intrinsic to our human nature. </li></ul><ul><li>There appear to be few modern examples of societies based on mutuality. </li></ul><ul><li>Lacking such referents, it will be very hard to build a culture of mutuality . </li></ul>
  3. 3. References Used <ul><li>Boulding, Elise: “Cultures of Peace – The Hidden Side of History.&quot; Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Fellman, Gordon: “Rambo and the Dalai Lama – The Compulsion to Win and its Threat to Human Survival.&quot; Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1998. </li></ul><ul><li>Karlberg, Michael: “Beyond the Culture of Contest – From Adversarialism to Mutualism in an Age of Interdependence.&quot; Oxford: George Ronald Publisher, 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Universal House of Justice, “Women – a Compilation.” Haifa: Bahá’í World Center Research Department, 1986 . </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Abdu’l-Bahá, “Women – a Compilation.” Haifa: Baha'i World Center Research Department, 1986. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Proposal <ul><li>All humans are born with the potential for all human qualities, both adversarial and mutualistic. Which are more developed depends on education and training. </li></ul><ul><li>The functions historically assigned to men (public) and women (private) lead to greater development adversarial attributes in men and mutualism in women. </li></ul><ul><li>Over time, these gender differences were considered sexually determined. They were increasingly reproduced, deepened and polarized through socialization. </li></ul><ul><li>There evolved a masculine culture of adversarialism, very visibly in the public sphere; and a feminine culture of mutuality, rather hidden in the private sphere. </li></ul><ul><li>The culture of adversarialism became dominant and deemed superior to that of mutuality, essential to all societies and even expressive of true “human nature.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Now the culture of adversarialism is threatening our existence. That of mutuality is a hidden resource waiting to be brought from the private to the public arena. </li></ul><ul><li>More women need to enter the public sphere and more men to develop the attributes of mutuality, to transform our institutions according to this new culture . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Created equal; trained differently <ul><li>“ As history has evolved in the past ten to fifteen thousand years, men have come to dominate women, nature and other men. It appears that this was not always the case. Qualities that are part of all humans came to be allocated according to gender: men became external, strong, hard, determined, aggressive, public, competitive, warlike, dominative. Women became internal, weak, soft, hesitant, passive, private, cooperative, peaceful, submissive… more than men caring about caring, nurturing, and emotional honesty; respecting vulnerability, hurt, and emotional complexity; loving new life and seeing it through from fragile infancy to competent adulthood...” (Fellman, p. 14 ) </li></ul>
  6. 6. From function to attribute <ul><li>Fellman : “Historically, women as well as men operate in both adversary and mutuality modes, but friendship, nurturance, and compassion are more central to most females’ training in most societies than to that of most males. Mutuality qualities are especially in evidence in family life, friendship, and love – the so-called private sphere. It follows that until women enter the adversarialism of public life, they may be more familiar with mutuality than are men ordinarily.&quot; (p. 26) </li></ul><ul><li>Fellman : “The empathic approach is in conventional terms “feminine,” while [contest] is in conventional terms “masculine.&quot; In truth, of course, many men are empathic and many women are not. The conventional terms are useful, though, in recognizing how members of each gender have in general been socialized to think of themselves as innately one thing rather than another. If all human qualities belong to all people, then members of neither gender need feel either more entitled to one set of behaviors than another or less. (p. 148 ) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Differentiated Qualities Mercy, compassion, generosity Justice, rigidity, greediness Softness, sensitivity, expressing feelings Hardness, insensitivity, repressing feelings Intuitive thought, creativity, emotions prevail, understanding the whole Logical, linear thought, analysis, the intellect prevails, knowing data Consolidation, preservation and cultivation of what is conquered Invasion, conquest, domination of new territories Reflexive, tender, moral strength, words predominant Impulsive, aggressive, brute force, weapons predominant Harmony, conciliation, collaboration Conflict, confrontation, competition Classical Feminine Classical Masculine
  8. 8. Not Essentialist <ul><li>Essentialism : Gender-differentiated attributes have biological causes are part of the “essence” of being male or female, and are therefore immutable. </li></ul><ul><li>Boulding : “My argument is not an essentialist one... It is, rather, that women’s knowledge and experience worlds have equipped them to function creatively as problem solvers and peacemakers in ways that men have not been equipped by their knowledge and experience worlds. This, obviously, can change. More sharing of experience worlds between women and men will be an important next step in human development.” (p. 109 ) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Two cultures in two spheres <ul><li>Ontological Definition : All men are like this; all women like that. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Description : The masculine culture is inclined in one direction and the feminine culture in another. </li></ul><ul><li>All cultures have a full range of characteristics, with the clearest exceptions at the extremes. </li></ul><ul><li>Example : In a culture of punctuality, someone is always late; and in a culture of unpunctuality, there is always someone who arrives on time. </li></ul><ul><li>Fellman : “This division of character and personality was never complete. History reveals strong, dominative women and weak, passive men, as well as the opposites, but the opposites have for a very long time defined what is proper for each gender in all but a handful of indigenous, pre-modern cultures...” (p. 14 ) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Male Domination <ul><li>“ In our economy, our political institutions, our judicial systems, our educational systems and so forth, systems of reward tend to privilege traditionally ‘masculine’ adversarial traits over traditionally ‘feminine’ traits such as caring and cooperation. Given the historical association of aggression and competition with masculinity, these systems of reward often serve as systems of male privilege... As long as aggression and competition are rewarded, males are often advantaged and females are often disadvantaged... Male expressions of aggression and competition are rewarded in many situations because they tend to be viewed as natural and appropriate. In contrast, female expressions of aggression and competition are often not rewarded in the same situations because they tend to be viewed as unnatural and inappropriate. These double standards reinforce inherited structures of male domination.” (Karlberg, pp. 85-86 ) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Male superiority <ul><li>“ Simply put, the flip side of a culture that privileges adversarial qualities and power struggles is a culture that devalues mutualistic qualities and relations. Within a culture of contest, the nurturing relations and qualities that are requisites of effective parenthood, education and various caring professions tend to be devalued across the board. The cooperative and reciprocal relations that are requisites of mutual accomplishment and collective capacity also tend to be devalued. And finally, the peaceful relations that are requisites of community and security also tend to be devalued. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Devaluing these relations and qualities has dual consequences. On the one hand, by delegating most of the roles requiring these qualities to women, women are discriminated against through their association with these devalued roles. On the other hand, the devaluation of these qualities simultaneously creates a disincentive for men to develop them and, as a consequence, the half of the population that still largely holds the reins of public affairs brings a deficit of nurturing, caring and cooperative skills to their positions of power in society.” (Karlberg, pp. 86-87 ) </li></ul>
  12. 12. The roots of “ machismo ” <ul><li>Assumption : Men are inherently superior to women. </li></ul><ul><li>Complication : Certain women are considered superior to certain men. </li></ul><ul><li>Solution : We pursue the following sequence of arguments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each human being has all qualities of character, in potential. Different roles and functions are assigned to both sexes, which favor the development of different qualities of character. These are polarized into male and female, strengthened through socialization, and congeal as a masculine and feminine culture. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion : Machismo is based on believing the “male” qualities and culture to be superior to the “female” qualities and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Test : A man who develops the “female” qualities and culture is frowned upon, while a woman who develops the “male” qualities and culture is applauded. </li></ul><ul><li>Karlberg : “Beyond the relative disadvantages that women have historically experienced…, many feminists also express concern regarding the domination of masculine qualities (as opposed to male persons) over feminine qualities (as opposed to female persons), regardless of whether these qualities are displayed by women or men.” (p. 86 ) </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Bahá’í Vision <ul><li>“ The world of humanity has two wings - one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be .” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Just as physical accomplishment is complete with two hands, so man and woman, the two parts of the social body, must be perfect. It is not natural that either should remain undeveloped; and until both are perfected, the happiness of the human world will not be realized .&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>“ As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs .” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá ) </li></ul>
  14. 14. 6. The crisis and the opportunity <ul><li>“ It is my claim that these qualities, allocated to women historically yet available to all people and the proper birthright of everyone, will either make it fully into the mainstream consciousness and behavior, or we will die of our shortsighted-ness and confusion... Limiting compassion and caring to nursery and household is no longer tenable. These qualities will become public virtues, or we will die before our time... Compulsive adversary behavior has brought us to the brink of destruction. At the same time, a greater expression of mutuality… can not only save us but can bring us to farm more gratified states than most people have known in the last several millennia.” (Fellman, p. 14) </li></ul><ul><li>“ To pose empathy as an emergent political category necessary… for species survival is to suggest an opening of both male behavior and political theory to qualities and processes that had by sleight of definition been denied them by being labeled feminine. Here is an example of how binary thinking deprives people of access to what is part of the human heritage.” (Fellman, p. 148 ) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Clarifications <ul><li>This does not mean that the “male” culture and attributes are inherently “bad,” or that the “female” qualities and culture are inherently “good.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The “male” attributes were necessary during an earlier stage in human development. Our age demands qualities that for historical reasons are more highly developed in the “feminine” culture. </li></ul><ul><li>By consolidating her presence in the “public sphere,” women should not lose her distinctive qualities to become an “honorary man”: a person of female sex who thinks and acts according to the masculine culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Neither is it enough to recognize and accept these qualities as positive. They need to be institutionalized – given flesh as social structures of our organized existence . </li></ul>
  16. 16. Institutionalization <ul><li>Symbiotic relationship heightens productivity of entire system. </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of ecosystems to extract their wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>Unity in diversity promotes mutual collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>Social divisions due to class, race, nation, creed... </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment of the masses ensures good governance. </li></ul><ul><li>Power struggle in government produces political stagnation. </li></ul><ul><li>Economic cooperation improves distribution and deepens stability. </li></ul><ul><li>Economic competition concen-trates wealth and amplifies volatility. </li></ul>Cooperation Conflict
  17. 17. Women and Peace <ul><li>‘ Abdu’l-Bahá : “ War and its ravages have blighted the world; the education of woman will be a mighty step toward its abolition and ending, for she will use her whole influence against war. Woman rears the child and educates the youth to maturity. She will refuse to give her sons for sacrifice upon the field of battle. In truth, she will be the greatest factor in establishing universal peace and international arbitration. Assuredly, woman will abolish warfare among mankind . ” </li></ul><ul><li>Boulding : “The stereotypical view of peace as women’s business and, therefore, not important in real-life public affairs hides from view the extraordinary creativity women have shown through time in creating not only public spaces for peaceful interaction in the midst of violence but also new ways of thinking and acting. Precisely because women are marginal to public decision making in the existing social order, they are freer to develop new approaches. They have few vested interests to protect.” (p. 107) </li></ul><ul><li>Aung San Suu Kyi : “For millennia women have dedicated themselves almost exclusively to the task of nurturing, protecting and caring for the young and the old, striving for the conditions of peace that favor life as a whole. It is time to apply in the arena of the world the wisdom and experience [that women have gained].” (quoted by Fellman, p. 14 ) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Priority Education for Women <ul><li>“… woman must be given the privilege of equal education with man and full right to his prerogatives. That is to say, there must be no difference in the education of male and female in order that womankind may develop equal capacity and importance with man in the social and economic equation. Then the world will attain unity and harmony. In past ages humanity has been defective and inefficient because it has been incomplete. ” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Furthermore, the education of woman is more necessary and important than that of man, for woman is the trainer of the child from its infancy. If she be defective and imperfect herself, the child will necessarily be deficient; therefore, imperfection of woman implies a condition of imperfection in all mankind, for it is the mother who rears, nurtures and guides the growth of the child… The mothers are the first educators of mankind; if they be imperfect, alas for the condition and future of the race.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá) </li></ul><ul><li>”… when it is not possible to educate all one’s children, daughters receive preference over sons, as mothers are the first educators of the next generation. (Universal House of Justice ) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Recapitulation <ul><li>All humans are born with the potential for all human qualities, both adversarial and mutualistic. Which are more developed depends on education and training. </li></ul><ul><li>The functions historically assigned to men (public) and women (private) lead to greater development adversarial attributes in men and mutualism in women. </li></ul><ul><li>Over time, these gender differences were considered sexually determined. They were increasingly reproduced, deepened and polarized through socialization. </li></ul><ul><li>There evolved a masculine culture of adversarialism, very visibly in the public sphere; and a feminine culture of mutuality, rather hidden in the private sphere. </li></ul><ul><li>The culture of adversarialism became dominant and deemed superior to that of mutuality, essential to all societies and even expressive of true “human nature.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Now the culture of adversarialism is threatening our existence. That of mutuality is a hidden resource waiting to be brought from the private to the public arena. </li></ul><ul><li>More women need to enter the public sphere and more men to develop the attributes of mutuality, to transform our institutions according to this new culture . </li></ul>
  20. 20. Unity in Diversity <ul><li>Boulding : “Will men and women become more alike? More likely, they will become more different, because with shared parenting, a fuller individuation of each personality will be possible. Whatever biological potentialities are present in individuals will have freer play with the fuller maturity that comes from sharing nurturance and service roles between men and women. The link between gender and occupationally defined social roles will have been broken.” (pp. 132-3) </li></ul><ul><li>Universal House of Justice : “ Equality between men and women does not, indeed physiologically it cannot, mean identity of functions. In some things women excel men, for others men are better fitted than women, while in very many things the difference of sex is of no effect at all. The differences of function are most apparent in family life . ” </li></ul>
  21. 21. The World of the Future <ul><li>“ The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting; force is losing its dominance, and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hence the new age will be an age less masculine and more permeated with the feminine ideals, or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced.” ('Abdu'l-Bahá ) </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>“ Rest ye assured! Ere long the days shall come when the men addressing the women, shall say: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Blessed are ye! Blessed are ye! Verily ye are worthy of every gift. Verily ye deserve to adorn your heads with the crown of everlasting glory, because in sciences and arts, in virtues and perfections ye shall become equal to man, and as regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy ye are superior’. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá ) </li></ul></ul>Blessed are ye!
  23. 23. Thank you www.cultureofpeace.peternewton.biz

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