Or more like who should run the world.
I recently came across an article about a woman who I considered to be a fascinating example of the way women seem to ‘rule from the shadows.’
For this woman, she actually literally did rule from behind a curtain. The article was about Empress Dowager Cixi of 19th century China. The article discusses how she ruled China from the background for her young son and revolutionised and modernised the whole country.
Cixi was originally one of the Emperor’s lowest-ranking concubines (or prostitutes) but critically, she was the only one who bore him a son. When he died, she decided to get rid of the male regents (people who would tell her son how to rule China) so she may rule giving advice to her son instead. Cixi had to give her instructions literally from behind a curtain as it was forbidden to have face to face contact with the men working for her.
Cixi brought in electricity, modern mining, the railways, telegrams, diplomacy and a modern education system that still exists today. She also banned the practice of foot-binding, one of China’s most cruel and famous practices.
These articles, one that speak of powerful women who ruled entire countries more or less alone, are ones that modern society neglect to advocate. We do not teach our girls about Queen Victoria or Elizabeth the First, but about Henry the Eighth and his six wives because it is a novelty story. We seldom learn of Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and when we do, we hardly learn enough of them.
It is for reasons such as this that I refuse to give up on protesting against male dominated governments. Women have proven time and time again essential to the development of our modern world and yet still we are barred from making the most of what we helped to create. Women are rulers and soldiers and they are powerful. There is no way to deny this. You may say, but look how little women are in power now, and to that I say, it is only because women continue to be oppressed.
In truth, I think the world is just afraid that if women were allowed to access the innate ruling ability they have, a lot of men would be out of a job.