Crowdsourcing the Genders
How Gender Equality can Save the Planet
by Roger Eaton
The Big Picture
The world, our world, Earth is in trouble, a trouble of our own making. Humanity, by a combination of population growth and an ever more powerful technology, has overstepped Nature’s limits. Civilization as it goes is not sustainable and will collapse, and in the non-linear way of things, all too likely sooner rather than later.
The peaceful transition to a sustainable world requires global trust and cooperation between the nations and religions, and also the active support of the people everywhere. We love our nations and our religions, and won’t give them up, so in this shift to a larger sense of unity, we need to be thinking how we can motivate the nations and religions to be willing partners.
What Does it Mean, Crowdsourcing the Genders?
Gender crowdsourcing is simple: women elect a message to represent their gender and the same for the men. The participating women write “candidate” messages and then rate each other’s messages online. The highest rated message written by a woman and rated by the women is taken as the “voice” of the women. Ditto for the men. Participants determine their gender identity for themselves.
Gender Crosstalk: a Safe Format with Gender Equality Built In
A “Gender Crosstalk” is a particular format for gender crowdsourcing, a format which guarantees gender equality within a greater sense of common humanity.
The Gender Crosstalk format proceeds in rounds from new moon to new moon. Each round, one message is chosen to represent the women and one to represent the men. The participants read and rate messages from both genders. Importantly, the gender of the authors is hidden during the voting. At the end of a round the winning women’s message and the winning men’s message are featured, and the overall winner representing humanity is also available. In each succeeding round of a gender crosstalk, the two gender winners from the previous round are prominently displayed and the participants are invited to respond to those two messages.
A Gender Crosstalk is not a direct back and forth between the genders. The fact that messages are read and rated by both genders gives the participants a choice of perspective. They may respond to either the women’s or the men’s message from the previous round, and they may pitch their message to their own gender or to the opposite gender or to everyone. When they rate the messages, too, they may be thinking in terms of what is best for their gender, but given the setup, they will often be thinking in terms of what is best for humanity. As a result, though the winning messages will represent the genders, they will also represent our common humanity.
The Gender Crosstalk format gives us a fluid bottom-up humanitarian basis for a conscious civilization with gender equality built in to replace the static top-down male dominated nation-state system that is steering the world towards runaway destruction. That is a simplistic picture, to be sure. In fact we are making a lot of progress in a number of ways, and things are not all that static, but as things go, without some kind of transition to an integrated and conscious global culture built on trust between the nations and religions, civilization will collapse.
The Formula for Success
Gender Crosstalk has gender equality built in and the potential to rise above the existing political and cultural divisions at every geographic level. Therefore women particularly, but also men who support the women’s movement, will support crowdsourcing the genders. With such massive backing, an online Gender Crosstalk platform has a real chance to take off.
Crowdsourcing the women will create a powerful voice that transcends the nations and religions and which will naturally support peace, human rights, social justice and sustainability. Unlike the women, the men do not naturally transcend the nations and religions. However, men do share a common humanity, and the crowdsourced voice of men will empower that sense of humanity. Therefore those men who already support our common humanity will join with the men who support the women and with other men personally brought in by the women in their lives to create a powerful crowdsourced voice of men. Together, the voice of women and the voice of men will weave a suspenseful tale of love and wit, capturing the heart and mind of the world.
A Gender Crosstalk will provide a dynamic bottom up source of authority and morale for humanity. It will naturally bring forth a nonviolent global citizens movement (GCM) that will take political control of humanity’s future, and it will do so with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of kindness and intelligence. Love and wit are what we all appreciate, so at the level of humanity only messages reflecting that generosity and understanding have a chance to be selected. As we read these messages month after month, we will come to see the human race as our ally. We will experience a welcome salutary shock and something akin to a conversion experience as we realize that a world where people are respected and take an overall kindly view of each other is within our reach.
Bringing in the Nations and Religions
To this point we have been discussing a global gender crosstalk, but there is no reason we cannot also give a voice to each nation and religion, round by round. Notice, though, that these national and religious voices will be contained within the context of the overall global Gender Crosstalk. Hardline nationalists and religious extremists will have a choice of participating in a process that has a built in edge for humanity, or not having any say at all. In other words, they will be marginalized. This is how we can motivate the nations and religions to be willing partners in the building of global trust and cooperation.
And the Generations and the Issues
Moreover, we can easily break out the discussion by age group as well as gender, giving youth, middle-age (“voice of experience”) and seniors (“voice of wisdom”) their own say in matters. Finally, various issues can also be broken out – such as nuclear disarmament, or climate change.
Crowdsourcing the genders is technically feasible. We have a working prototype in the InterMix Voices of Humanity Software. The prime motivation for getting the Gender Crosstalk in play in a big way is its potential role in promoting gender equality. In keeping with that motivation, we should aim to build a large team of chiefly female volunteer programmers coordinated by a smaller paid staff, also mainly women.