Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

WHICH PLANET ARE YOU FROM?

               There’s been an effort in the last few decades to explain conflict in relationships by stereotyping men and women in gender roles. One popular stereotype is that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and therefore speak different languages and experience the world in different ways. To attempt to explain why we have conflicts by blaming gender differences is a gross simplification. The reason is much deeper. Any solution for conflict in relationships must include a radical shift in thinking about gender and individuals in society as a whole. I propose a new, dynamic solution based on matriarchal principles that would change the focus from ‘how we are different’ to ‘how we can cooperate’ and solve many issues facing “our” planet and us.

                Modern society bases its beliefs about individuals from a patriarchal frame of mind. The belief that “I am different from you” can be a competitive notion, based on stereotypes along gender, racial/ethnic and national lines, all with competitive prejudices. We train our children from infancy based upon gender. Girls get pink accessories; boys get blue. Girls get dolls and dresses; boys get footballs and guns. These subtle yet powerful messages become planted in the subconscious minds of children, places them in limiting boxes and shape their beliefs, determining how they will eventually think and behave. Exceptions aside, these lines limit our children in thinking about their world.

               Imagine the potential of a genderless society, at least from a societal standpoint. I propose children be raised with any clothes and toys that appeals to them and makes them happy, and that their talents and abilities be supported and nurtured. Exercise and education would be geared towards team building and the satisfaction of conquering obstacles, not each other. We have to start at the most basic prejudice in our society, addressing a common practice where people are labeled and categorized. One example of this is a wide spread belief that women should not be in the military or active combat. The irony of this prejudice is not that we are protecting women, but that since women probably would find a way to avoid fighting in the first place, the military would cease to exist if women ran it.

               I strongly believe that women have a natural maternal instinct that protects and nurtures life and does not seek to end it. However, as a male, I too have an instinct to protect life and not end it. Imagine a world where the peoples of warring countries had a common goal, like making the Middle East the Garden of Eden again. Imagine the impact on the environment if people started cooperating and shared resources and technology, to enable everyone to live a better life instead of destroying our world for individual profit.

              We have to start cooperating and stop competing with each other. It is the patriarchal model that has created the world we live in today. Competition is based on comparison, and comparison is a useless exercise. There will always be someone better or and worse than the one comparing. What we’re lacking as a culture and a society is a model of cooperation based on matriarchal principals of communication, cooperation and nurturing.

              A shift to a matriarchal society may be the only answer for world peace and prosperity. And, as women continue to become more influential in world business and politics they have a perfect platform to change the world. Men, bless their hearts, have been trained for thousands of years to compete and kill. The role of mother and nurturer has always fallen on women. It’s time for women to start to speak up and stand up to men to change the way this world works. Women do not have to confront men; rather they need to show men how to cooperate instead of competing. If a discussion becomes an argument, cooperation has been lost. We must end this notion that “behind every great man is a great woman.” Every woman must stand beside men and everyone one else if we are to eliminate war, hatred, famine, disease and prejudice.

              Imagine a world where corporations and nations freely share their resources with each other. And a world where our children are nurtured and encouraged to develop their skills, rather than memorize useless facts and take standardized tests. It’s not important who was the “first” of the class. What is important is helping that “last” person be happy. Darwinism doesn’t work with humans. It’s not survival of the fittest. It’s for the survival of everyone that we must shift our focus to endure. Don’t buy into the patriarchal system of competition–it hasn’t worked. Imagine a world where we all behave like we’re from the same planet– nurturing one another, while sharing, and cooperating to save it.