Each day I feel there are new conversations and opinion pieces that tackle the idea of feminism and what it means to have an inclusive society. I have good friends that do great work in this arena advocating for the inclusion of women and their perspectives in a myriad of fields that currently do not include much diversity. I applaud and support those efforts but I do believe we need to shift the conversation in a different direction. Instead of seeking out representation based on gender we need to focus on representation based on values. The idea of promoting feminine values, among them empathy, collaboration, and sharing, in order to create better institutions is critical to move the world forward to a more inclusive and just future.
When I was a kid my mother had an old saying “Your color isn’t always your kind”. What this simply means is that just because someone looks like you doesn’t mean they are like you. These flimsy shells of different colored skin and boy or girl parts that we obsess about only tell part of the story. They are easy identifiers that we all use to assign group identify and superficial behavioral traits. We must go deeper and establish a link to our values. The beliefs that we hold dear and align ourselves with carry more weight than almost anything else we encounter. It is increasingly important to find, connect and share with those who embody the same values. In the case of feminine values, the challenge is if we triumph only gender we assume that biological similarity will equate to shared perspective. This is not always the case.
The recent work by author/consultant John Gerzema “The Athena Doctrine” researches these values from a global perspective. He interviews men and women who subscribe to feminine values to build coalition and drive change. The work of Leonard Schlain examines our philosophical and cultural history and relationship with femininity in his seminal work The Alphabet Versus the Goddess. Both authors frame their work from a values based construct rather than a gender based construct.
During our upcoming Influencer Conference NYC, we will be discussing feminine values in a conversation titled Embrace the X: How Feminine Values Will Save The World. We invite you to join us in this discussion by registering for Influencer Conference NYC this coming Nov 6th – Nov 8th.