Women's Ways of Learning LO24638

From: Sajeela M ramsey (sajeelacore@juno.com)
Date: 05/19/00

Replying to LO24633 --

Preview: three paragraphs

Dear Winnifred and Co-learners,

Your post (see below) --- seems to me to be very sweet and personal ---
leaves me smiling --- AND it strikes me as a story of how genders can
behave when they get caught in a dualistic framework---and then realize
they are really coming from a similar place in their intentions. Which
makes me think of Fitjof Capra's "Web of Life" --- and his ideas around
diversity; essentially that the greater the diversity of elements within a
self-organizing system (and I suppose this can be applied to any social
system, including a marriage) the greater the system's chance to survive
shocks and maintain stability. Maybe this is where Senge's idea (which you
aptly mentioned below) on making a distinction between agreement and
alignment applies. I know I personally feel that diversity is best
aknowledged, celebrated and encouraged (rather than feared and suppressed)
because in so doing there is room for difference and alignment.

My other personal thinking in these areas (and I want to thank and cite my
good friend Lethea Fay Erz for her direct influence on my own set of
contextual assumptions herein) is that humans are part of Nature, neither
superior nor inferior to other life-forms, that no human being is separate
and independent of other people or other beings, that people are by
original nature kind and generous, and want to be useful and helpful to
each other, that people do cruel things out of woundedness, fear, or lack
of awareness, not innate meanness, that partnership is the most prevalent
dynamic in all of Nature, and that women and men are natural allies, not
"opposites." I also believe that the way a culture shapes relationships
between women and men is a model for all forms of relationship between
groups perceived as different: adult/child, racial groups, social
classes, human/animal, human/Earth.

Having said this, I also feel that all of us are inevitably affected by
"isms" whether we dominate others, are dominated by them, or have no
contact with them, and that each of us has understandable and valid
reasons -- based in our cultural and family learning and individual
experience -- for the ways we think and act. Thus your Mom and Dad's
struggles, Winnifred. Along this same vein, I believe our conceptual
systems and ways of communicating are based on metaphors that reflect our
culture's view of power (either domination- or partnership-oriented),and
that our society's institutions (religious, economic, social, educational)
reflect this basic orientation toward either domination or partnership.
I'm not sure if whether the Granny's words of wisdom encourage partnership
or reify cultural polemics between men and women. I'm curious what other
co-learners think. In any case, considering that the survival of humanity
and many forms of life on Earth probably depends on a shift away from
domination and towards greater partnership on all levels, we had best be
thoughtful about these things!

Wind in the trees,

PS - I am attaching a poem I wrote recently for your enjoyment

[Host's Note: Sorry, I don't distribute attachments. Sajeela, if you like
you can just reply to this msg with the poem in-line. ..Rick]

On Thu, 18 May 2000 16:51:28 +0200 "Winfried Dressler"
<winfried.dressler@voith.de> writes:
> Dear Sajeela,
> my mother and my father really had to struggle throughout their
> marriage,
> until my father died at the age of 65 four years ago. They wanted to
> teach
> each other so much. "I fully understand what you are saying, but
> look..."
> ending with something that showed the other that s/he did not at all
> understand. So the other started with "Yes, I fully understand, but
> see..." and so on and on.

Sajeela Moskowitz Ramsey, President - CORE Consulting
Center for Organizational Renewal and Effectiveness
2432 Villanova Drive/Vienna, VA. 22180
703 573 7050/ SajeelaCore @Juno.com


Sajeela M ramsey <sajeelacore@juno.com>

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