I just went to Itsez, and I thought they had a good post to commemorate Judith Rossner, the best-selling author who just passed away. In the post, they reflected on women who make bad choices in relationships for one reason or another and the effect those decisions had on their lives (which Rossner wrote about effectively).
As I read the post, it occurred to me that there is something missing from the entire dialogue about and circumstances pertaining to the war in Iraq that would make a world of difference, and that is (with the recent praiseworthy exception of Cindy Sheehan) a woman’s perspective. I’m wondering primarily about how all of this would have played out if the leaders of our country were women who were mothers, or married to service people, or even dating or engaged to them.
(OK, two caveats here: First, the people behind the Iraq quagmire haven’t been playing straight with us from the beginning, and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about men or women, though I wouldn’t be talking about women by default because, to my knowledge, a group of women has never been given the opportunity to run a country in the history of civilization; Second, I’m deliberately excluding Condolezza Rice from this because, as far as I’m concerned despite her comely appearance, she is, to quote MP and actress Glenda Jackson talking about Margaret Thatcher, “a man in a frock”.)
I somehow have a very hard time believing that, even if given the opportunity, a woman leader could screw up things in as monumental a fashion as our male leaders have to this point (and being a man, it doesn’t make me happy to say that).
I don’t know if Bush or Rummy have paternal instincts in their bodies. Cheney has something like that for his lesbian daughter, which is the ONLY redeeming quality he has as far as I’m concerned. However, in the cases of these three nut jobs, anything resembling that instinct that they would wish to project upon the sons and daughters of either our serving forces or victims of our occupation is clearly nowhere to be found.
I believe that, if it were truly necessary for us to wage this war (and of course, I don’t believe it is necessary, making it all the more tragic), a woman would wage it as ferociously as a man, though that woman leader would be heaped upon with abuse because she may be more judicious about finally deciding to wage it than a man would. I think she would take more considerations to heart than a man, generally speaking, and I say that with admiration. I also think she would be more inclined to seek a peaceful end as soon as possible, though in their duplicity, other unscrupulous leaders would try to use that to their advantage.
Still, though, I wish more “motherly judgment,” if you will, had been taken into consideration before we charged headlong into this disaster. The war in Iraq is awful in many respects, and one of them is that it casts a light on male wrong-headedness, impudence and recklessness. And unfortunately, I have to cast this generic blame over my own gender, since this is our show entirely.
Finally, for a mother’s perspective on this (whose son is in the service, by the way), here is a link to the most recent column from Kate Fratti of the Bucks County Courier Times.