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So many of these are started by
women, and especially women
over age 40.
Randy: Can you give exam-
ples from your own experience
of some women who are rising
and what they've done?
Jean: There is an aboriginal
woman in Australia who is an el-
der of her clan and only 37 years
old. She has worked intensely,
learning all kinds of new skills
to take on the government. For
example, the houses that were
being built for her people were
horrible shanties. She took on
the government to build houses
with care and with real craft,
and train members of her clan
so they could live very different
kinds of lives.
Then there is Loretta Afraid
Of Bear-Cook, who is an elder
of the Oglala Lakota Nation on
the Pine Ridge Reservation. She
is fighting bureaucracy, and at
the same time, creating not only
better living structures, better
health, and better nutrition for
her people, but also taking on
initiatives that most of us would
just pale at.
At the very highest level in
this country, people like Hillary
Clinton are taking on impos-
sible odds and situations, and
profoundly making a difference.
I used to know her pretty well.
She is quite fearless in ways that
some other political types just
are not.
Randy: What are some chal-
lenges women are facing right
Jean: The challenges women
are facing have to do with "the
changing of the guard." We are
living in the most unique time in
human history. What we do will
profoundly make a difference
as to whether we grow or die.
We are finding ourselves in the
midst of the most massive shift
of perspective that humankind
has ever known.
Naturally, this is the "sunset
effect" of the old order, the old
forces, the old traditions, the
old fears, the old ways of being.
The old order is trying to keep
us down, keep us back. But we
can't go back.
The new values that are try-
ing to arise are essentially wom-
en's values -- holistic, syncratic,
relationship and process-orient-
ed, organic and spiritual. These
values are rising within us. Wo-
men's values, women's genius,
women's gifts (and a lot of very
good men, too) -- we are the
pilgrims and the parents of this
new, emerging world. The old
formulas and stopgap solutions
will not do.
We are moving from a patriar-
chy -- not to a matriarchy, that's
not about to happen -- but to a
much more partnership-oriented
society. This shift will probably
require a lesser population be-
cause the world is not supporting
all 7 billion people very well.
Men in government and the
private sectors have been the
authorities in determining how
the world works, but women
are still the majority of people
on this planet. An exception are
places like China where females
are killed at birth.
Women have been excluded,
and now it's time to focus on the
roles that women should play in
this new world design. We are
in the time of new world design
and the reinvention of societies.
It is a developmental process.
I believe this is the biggest
shift in human history. The big-
gest shift in the last 5000 years
is women coming into partner-
ship with men in the whole do-
main of human affairs. And this
shift is absolutely indispensable
if we seek a future that is differ-
ent than the past.
Randy: What would a part-
nership society look like in its
most ideal form?
Jean: Philosophically... a so-
ciety in which the emphasis is
on process rather than on prod-
uct -- on making things cohere,
relate, and grow. It would mean
having a department of conse-
quences, as in "if you do this,
then that, that, and that will fol-
Relationships between peo-
ple and things becomes much
more important than the final
outcome. There is no final out-
come; things are always ongo-
ing. The world within, the sub-
jective world, becomes as im-
portant as the world without.
These are some of the psycho-
logical factors that certainly
would shift.
Another aspect of this would
also be the movement toward
a different kind of mind where
the Mother Mind would be hon-
ored as much as the Father Mind.
It is the joining together of the
geographies of mind and body
(Continued on page 12)
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