"Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it" - George Santayana
Ant people river through a concrete cadaver. To listen to and observe a panel of perfection and ideals.
Forgetting the sizzle of summer outside, we walk up steps into a world reeking of regret. Were it not for the men in the audience, I could have believed that women had indeed waged a nuclear winter in a retaliatory rasp.
The people present were moved between solutions to the world’s problems through rehearsed performance, unscripted speeches and silences and a recreation of the Dr Strangelove set.
"No fighting in the war room".
Nobody laughed. The message was already imprinted.
In today's UK, a population census shows women outnumber men. New York shares the same social symptoms. Here we consider what a world would look like in which men were found in a major minority of 10:1.
In a time where news about bombs, is sent, through space, before watershed, as standard. We meet mention of drones derelict of conscience killing to cracked calls. Our humanity, even death, allegedly, functions uncensored, yet women's nipples, somehow can't. This is decided by a virtual society we have no vote in. The production places that premise in our laps.
Algorithms and science identify a momentum towards disaster. But we've pressed snooze on the alarm. And now we're late.
What if women ruled the world?
What if nobody did?
What if we shared?
What if we rid ourselves of the Machiavellian, neutering language we've come to accept? What if we stop seeing men and women as alien entities? What if we ignore this Freudian foolery for what it is? Archaic logic. Simply a theory based in divisional language. Daring us to destruction.
Surely, there are other genders that must also accelerate to acceptance? Our society, sadly, sees mainly male and female. Blinkered to most intersex or non-binary identities. Shaking hands with trans is not necessarily affirming an acceptance. Especially when the other hand is prescribing a diagnosis, devoid of empathy, yet promising that principle.
A suggestion came from a human rights barrister: "Empathy screening for people in power" and struck a resonating string. People clapped. I did too until my neighbour opined "Nobody with autism could assume such roles in this future then".
Do we not have empathy for those without? That's a paradox. Screening tests make a medical model of society. Medical models, despite degrees of insight, are not future focused. They are one size. And our future (if we don't personally propel ourselves to extinction) needs to be inclusive. Not exclusive.
Positive change start with us. Regardless of gender or geography. It can happen microscopically. But the important thing is it happens. What we mustn't do is scapegoat and scandalise people to promote power. This is our collective future and we who steer the handles.
We must be wise. We have one world only. (CM)
- Clare McNulty
Links relevant to this diagnosis:
Fog Of War - Eleven Lessons From The Life Of Robert S. Mcnamara
Apocalypse 30 seconds Closer - Doomsday Clock
Gender Identity Research and Education Society - http://www.gires.org.uk/
People with Autism Can Read Emotions, Feel Empathy - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-with-autism-can-read-emotions-feel-empathy1/