Law School Discussion

Powerful Women: Sign of the Times?

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Powerful Women: Sign of the Times?
« on: April 24, 2006, 07:23:35 AM »
In the past six months, something happened in Germany that had feminist organizations across Europe – and the world – cheering.

First, last November, Angela Merkel was elected Germany's first female chancellor.

Then last month, Monika Harms became Germany’s first-ever female federal prosecutor general.

In and of itself, there is nothing surprising about these two political choices. What is surprising – and what got a lot of Germans thinking that times may be changing – is the fact that never before have women held those positions.

Germany has traditionally been “a country in which most top political and business posts are held by men” (Deutsche Welle). Women hold only ten percent of top business jobs in Germany. While the situation is better for women in politics, the ratio of men to women is still far from parity. Too bad for Germans, some say: By concentrating authority in the hands of men, they have only been utilizing half of the country’s talent pool. But the decision to give two of Germany’s top jobs to women is making people wonder if “things are changing for women.”

From an Elliott wave perspective, they may very well be.

When R.N. Elliott first discovered Elliott Wave Principle back in the 1930s, he used it to forecast the stock market. It was only later that Elliott's successor, Robert Prechter, observed that the stock market records far more than just price moves. First and foremost, it reflects the ups and downs of society's overall mood state, or social mood. Prechter called this application of the Wave Principle socionomics, the study of social prediction.

In a nutshell, socionomics teaches that the trend in stocks reveals the state of social mood, and thus serves as a leading indicator of coming social trends. When social mood rises, stocks rally, the economy improves and shared feelings of optimism emerge. When social mood worsens, stocks fall, the economy sours and common feelings of pessimism overtake a society.

Yet how a society “feels” not only dictates trends in the stock market and the economy, but also in music, fashion, sports, religion, politics…and gender roles “assigned” to men and women at different periods.

In bull market times, socionomists have observed a shift towards stereotypically masculine and feminine fashions and lifestyles: men are “real men” and women are “real women.” However, in bear markets, these stereotypes and gender roles soften and blur. When social mood is on the decline, an “ideal” male image acquires “feminine, caring” features, while women strive to be more “masculine, liberated.”

Which brings up a very interesting question. Could there be a connection between the growing number of “powerful women” in Europe and the state of the continent’s collective spirits?

Quite possibly. Politics aside, women are also challenging men on their own turf – sports. In the U.S. and Europe, “female athletes – from golf’s Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam and auto racing’s Danica Patrick to bowling’s Liz Johnson and minor-league hockey’s Angela Ruggiero – are taking on the men and receiving their greatest receptions.”

Conventional social scientists typically say that the success of the feminist movement is responsible for this change. To a large degree, it’s true. However, as socionomic research demonstrates, it is also undeniably true that  “In every field, women gain dominance in bear market periods.”

What’s the explanation for this? Trying to answer this question in a short column won’t do it justice. And maybe it’s for the better, because it so happens that our friends at the Socionomics Institute have recently released a movie called History's Hidden Engine that explains this revolutionary idea better than I ever could.

Watch, download and share this fascinating documentary online now –  for free.
It may just be the most eye-opening film you’ve ever seen.