A friend recently revived the old saw that, if women were in power, we would have fewer wars.
Let’s take a look. For we have had enough women in power, here and there, that a statistical sample is probably possible.
Let’s check that record:
Margaret Thatcher – war with Argentina.
Indira Gandhi – war with Pakistan.
Mrs. Bandaranaike – civil war.
Golda Meir – war with Egypt and Syria.
Catherine the Great – war with the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania, Sweden; not to mention deposing her husband.
Queen Anne – “Queen Anne’s War,” against France and Spain.
Queen Elizabeth I – war with Spain, Ireland, annexation of Scotland.
Queen Mary – war with France, religious persecutions-“Bloody Mary.”
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – not significantly involved in war—albeit insurrections in the southern Philippines, which had seemed to be resolved under Ramos, continue. Deposed predecessor.
Let’s keep going, shall we?
Cleopatra — civil war with Rome.
Tzu-Hsi, dowager empress of China – war with Japan, civil war.
Zenobia – war with Rome.
Christina of Sweden – no wars while ruling Sweden. On the other hand, she did try later to seize power in both Naples and Poland.
Maria Theresa of Austria – War of the Austrian Succession, Seven Years’ War with Prussia.
Empress Irene of Byzantium – war with the Franks, Slavs, Arabs. Deposed and blinded her own son.
Catherine de Medici – French Wars of Religion.
It seems to me there’s a pattern forming here.
I submit that any similar random list of men in power would look at least somewhat more peaceful. Women seem, if anything, by nature more partisan, less inclined to compromise, than men. This may come from a biological tendency of animal mothers to fiercely defend children.
This may, indeed, be why it is in most parts of the world considered wisest to leave political power to the men. Men, being the ones obliged to go out and get killed in a war, are probably naturally less inclined to start one.