From the beginning of human existence we have wondered how to share power amongst peoples.  As history has developed, we have come to the decision that it is in man’s best interest to develop a democracy, a society where the collective vote of the individual shapes the nature of the government and society.  But the question soon became: who gets to express this vote?

When democracy first began, it was the only the rich males that held any power.  Overtime, however, law and public opinion have decided that every person, no matter their race, religion, creed, or sex could bar them from expressing political power.  To do this, those in power had to distribute the ability for others to join the group; in order for that to work, those in power had to define the characteristics of other people in order that the power bestowed went to the right person.

A key example was when women in the United States were given the same right to vote that men held for many years.  In order to do this, a lawful definition had to be developed to let “women” vote.  While much of society believes that it simply takes a person with an XX chromosome pair to make a woman, there are still many people who don’t take that definition to be entirely fair.  With sexual variants and gender disputes the lines that define a women are more blurred.

Fast forward several years and we see that women continued to fight for lawful and societal equality including equal pay for equal work, abortion rights, and fighting sexism.  Against this entire struggle, a feminist movement arose.  However, for the movement to rise, once again the plight of “women” had to be defined.  Those who took leadership positions thought their opinions were ones that would categorize all women but of course dissent developed.  How can someone express the thoughts and feelings of a people that they think can be boiled down into a singular position?

Thus the tradition of discovering the nature of people continued.  Perhaps it is impossible to categorize people because it is against the nature of people to remain stagnant.  How I feel or who I am today will change.  It may change tomorrow or be a slow, continuous change over time.  To be able to understand my opinion and stance on societal or political issues is possible on a moment’s notice, but to hold to those opinions indefinitely would be irresponsible.  I believe this is the same with all people, and to assume people’s opinions based on general characteristics is irresponsible.

Of course the logical response is to continuously poll people and vote on decisions individually.  However, this will be very complicated due to the sheer number of people; thus, we have developed a represented power system where a group of people is represented by a fewer number.  Those who seek power will tend to take power.  By human nature there are those who wish to dominate and make decisions.  This more “masculine” nature has been associated with men for most of existence, however, this doesn’t mean that only men are able to be dominating; there are also men who don’t hold this personality trait.  Along the same lines, not every woman has a submissive personality—some are driven to dominate as well.  To make things more complicated, people still change and these characteristics will change as well, even on a daily basis.  There are days that, as a “man”, I don’t want to fight, or argue, or debate my position on issues as a person and will take on a more submissive stance on topics or issues that I don’t have either vested interest or energy.  I would be willing to bet that most people can feel the same way.  The bottom line is that every individual is different from other people and even different from themselves as time passes.

–Brian Falatko

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