In 2009, the Dalai Lama said “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” This fired up many of us feminists and women’s coaches. He gave us a new slogan to believe. And if the Dalai Lama said it, surely it can hold weight. And I too, believe that women are going to play the leading role in helping us move from the old to new paradigm, but I want to add a few important caveats to this statement before I can fully get on board:
Some (not all) men will play an equally big role, especially men who fully honor women. Some of these men are in positions of influence and power and their understanding that it’s time for women to step up. It will be important for these men to make room and in some cases, recede so women can lead.
The world will be saved by all women, Western and Eastern, present and past. I know the Dalai Lama is an Eastern figure who made the statement while in the West. Surely, he has met women from all over the world and in his own way felt impressed by the Western woman. But when I think of some of the most paradigm-shifting and ground-breaking women, many of them hail from the East or from indigenous lands (which could be Western or Eastern). Take Vandana Shiva and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi as glaring examples. In other words, all women will rise; many in their local areas to assist this shift. When I was in India, I was blown away by a strong villager woman who literally made her entire household run (her husband was an alcoholic).
I wish the Dalai Lama had said, “Women everywhere will lead us in saving the world, alongside men.” It would have felt more inclusive.
What do you think? Comment below in this post.