Posted by: devinvriley | February 4, 2016

Who Runs the World?… Girls

In her 2011 hit song Run the World, Beyonce asks “who runs the world?” and the reply is girls.  Beyonce must be misinformed because on average only 21% of the worlds national parliament seats are currently held by women.  The United States is further behind with only 18%.  Inspired by Beyonce, I began to imagine a world that was completely run by women.

This idea became a slight reality when after the recent snow storm in Washington DC only females in the senate chamber showed up for work.  Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke about it during her time at the podium.  In this video she can be seen commenting on how all the senators present were female, all the parliamentarians were female, all floor managers were female, and all of the pages were female.  Senator Murkowski goes on to further mention that it was not orchestrated and she believes it is different in a good way.

One of the major complaints about the United States congress is that nothing gets passed because the members can never agree on matters and do not compromise.  If congress was all females would that change?  Woman are known to be more communal, relational, and collaborative.  Women are more likely to not leave the table until a compromise is made; whereas men are more likely to not budge from what they want and what they think is right.  It would be interesting to see what would happen if only women were present at congress for an entire week or longer.  Would more bills be passed or would things remain at the same stagnant pace?

Another question that came to my mind is: If all the world’s leaders were female would there be war?  Women tend to be nurturing figures and more hospitable to peace.  Rather than go to war over conflict, women could possibly come to compromiseable terms or find alternative solutions to fighting.  This is not to say women are soft or incapable of war, they may just be more willing to find other solutions.

All of this is hypothetical speculation because it is not realistic.  In no foreseeable future do women take over the world.  However, steps need to be taken for even representation.  I feel more women in power would be beneficial in the United States and around the world.  In the words of Beyonce “We have to step up as women and take the lead.”


  1. This is such a fun post! It is really interesting to imagine a world with only female leaders! I remember last semester, my American Studies professor shared a story with us about when he used to live in DC, and he told us that pretty much all of the congressmen/women have drivers that chauffeur them to work in armed vehicles. They don’t even have to drive to work themselves, and yet they still didn’t show up, when people all over the world who rely on working every day to make ends meet fought through the terrible weather to earn a living…definitely interesting.

  2. Your hypothetical about women leaders and the correlation to war had be wondering about whether that is our interpretation because the military is so poorly represented by women. If there were more women in combat, would we still view women as nurturing? Maybe women’s underrepresentation in the military is the reason we view them as peacemakers.

  3. It would be very interesting to see if women were in all the seats of congress but I wonder if that will be a possibility in the near future. Although leadership styles are tending to move more toward a typically feminine approach of having leader-follower relationships and being collaborative, in places of government, men are still seen as superior. Also, in my mind anyway, there is a very specific, generally more authoritative type, that tends to be elected into government positions. Would the women that were elected have those traits regardless because that is what we value in government leaders? I’m not disagreeing that it would be very interesting, I’m just wondering if it would ever be possible (which I hope it would be!).

  4. My first instinct to the beginning of this post was: “Beyoncé is a goddess, she is never wrong”! She is just so fierce, you know? Womanpower and all that! But then, I read on. The statistics regarding women’s vocational paths are startling. The recent snow storm incident you mentioned immediately struck me as strange. I realize people must take safety precautions when inclement weather happens, but for only one gender to show up, that’s just nuts. Really, what are the odds of that happening? Although it was on coincidence that this happened, it brings a good point forward— women are resilient in all situations, this one being no different. As noted, I too have pondered weather war would be waged if women ran the world. The pro-feminist would say that more women in power means less war, no questions asked. I however, being a realist, believe that if not only would women taking up all the political positions ruin the point of a feminist movement— equality for all— but also we would be just shifting power to another gender…which is not the point. Plus, if women we running the world, then they would probably take the competitive place that men usually hold in power positions. That sweet, communal, relational baby-barer becomes an aggressive head of state. And we know how they are criticized (i.e. Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin). Plainly, what this article reminds me of, is the fact that we need to empower women to step into power positions traditionally held by men through encouraging them and giving them opportunities. #GIRLPOWER

  5. I feel that a world ruin entirely by women may turn out a lot like the world run by men. That being said, a push toward equality may deter from several of the problems you note that male-dominated politics perpetuate. I’m currently in a class where a topic does not change until everyone has had a say and a compromise is made, but nothing really gets done. I think a stronger balance is necessary for more change.

  6. First off, props to you for using a Beyonce reference, but I think it is an even cooler reference after her recent song release and Super Bowl show. At this point, it is pretty clear that her portion of the halftime show was a dedication to Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. It is also clear that she was making a huge political stance with the music video she dropped on Saturday. However, if you listen to the song, it is all about her. She wants everyone to know that she came from nothing, that she worked her way to the top, and it had nothing to do with the Illuminati. I just love the buzz that has come up around this song. These people call her out for not using her fame to address political and social issues, so she goes out and makes a big statement. This song is her statement to the world that she is in charge of her life and the haters can get out of the way. She is most definitely an influence in the music world, she is a role model for many girls growing up, and now she has made her mark in the “real world.” This statement is a big one and I don’t think we should write it off too quickly as just one about race, because I think it has just as much about gender and the power of a woman. #SheSleys

  7. I do not see congress changing as much as you have described. I think there would be a change but on some topics women can also be stubborn and refuse to compromise. Also I believe there would still be war as long as there is something to fight for weather that is justice, or religion, or control over land. One of the most praised warriors in Great Britain was a woman named Boudicca. Boudicca was queen of a tribe back before the Romans were able to gain control of England. She took charged and united several tribes against the Romans in hopes of driving them out. She won several battles and actually brought same of several Roman Generals for her leadership. She was later defeated however and the Romans eventually took over Great Britain. She is the one who started some of the battles, therefore I believe there would still be war if women ran the world.


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