Not so long ago, the idea that women might rule the world seemed slightly ridiculous - like something out of science fiction. But in an essay to mark International Women's Day, political analyst and former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers argues it's now a topic that can be seriously discussed.
Women clearly lacked the intellectual capacity and emotional fortitude to make the difficult decisions that leadership required. It wasn't bias, it was biology - it was just the way women were made.
So what's changed? A lot. As a huge and growing body of research and experience makes clear, empowering women makes things better. Not perfect. But better.
Business is more profitable. Governments are more representative. Families are stronger, and communities are healthier. There is less violence - and more peace, stability and sustainability.
Why? Well, it starts with the simple fact that women often experience life differently. And that experience affects the way we see problems - and think about solutions.
"I think it's fair to say that women are a little more collaborative in their approach overall, and a little less driven to conflict as opposed to driven to working out problems," says Janet Napolitano, the US Secretary of Homeland Security.
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, says that women also bring an inter-generational perspective to their work. "We need to take decisions now that will make for a safer world for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and I think women are more likely to do that when they come into positions of leadership."
Acknowledging that men and women bring different qualities and different skills to public life is critical. For too long, women were expected to think like men and act like men if they wanted to succeed.
This final paragraph sums up the situation perfectly for me. Why can't we have the best of both?
In the wake of the horse meat scandal Tesco took out full page ads in national newspapers to show their contrition for the errors. Some of what they wrote had a slightly poetic quality as if the use of literary presentation would somehow gives some level of gravitas to what they are saying. Some examples below:-
What burgers have taught us
Open about what we do.
And if you're not happy, tell us.
This is it.
We are changing.
It starts with us
Look at the way we do things.
Made us realise that we need to do our bit
To change the way our food industry works
A spokesman from Tesco's denied that it was in any way deliberate! Enough said.
It may have been an accident
that in their contriteness
they wrote apologies poetically
for their equine incorrectness.
Perhaps a marketing specialist
showing a modicum of wit
could have claimed literary genius
and made the most of it.
Let’s hope they learn their lesson
and laud the hapless advertiser
so next time they are sorry
the verse will be from a writer!
©David L Atkinson March 2013