Ida Miro Kiss, Hungary

Gustav Klimt

Musical notes define the line of the melody -- its rhythm, pitch, and dynamics. They apparently describe what should be performed and how. Still, the same piece can be played in a thousand ways -- the result of the musical experience of the audience depends on the individual musicians, and the fine fabric of the orchestra.

The know-how of exercising power in most societies is written down in statutes, by-laws, rules, and regulations. These form the framework of the decision-making process. Seemingly, they are as precise as musical notes.  However, a final decision on any topic is as much the result of the formal rules as of the individual features and the collective behavioral codes of the participants. These factors, just like music-making, fall in the sphere of culture, in one sense or the other.

When we are thinking about the reasons, why women play a lesser role in decision-making than men (every and each statistic shows this), we have to take into consideration these unwritten cultural codes.

English clubs, village pubs, or hunting scenaries provide the "rehersals" for the political "orchestra."  However, these are not places and occasions where women are welcome. And, even if women were allowed to be present, the interactions are organized around "masculine" themes and actions: especially alcohol intake and relationships with pretty "escorts."  The capacity to drink without being "knocked out" is an important tool to gain valuable information, and control over the weaker partners.  Jeltsin is not just an alcoholic. To reach the position where he is, he had to get through one thousand and one nights -- instead of tale-telling, drinking vodka with political enemies and allies.  At this point, women are but losers, as they are able physiologically to bear much less  alcohol than men. And, anyway, who would like to compete with those drunken lords, be it in rural pubs or elegant nightclubs. . .

Ida Miro Kiss, clinical psychologist and journalist, was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1949. Today she lives in Berkenye, Hungary, with her husband and two children. Ida is associated with the Green Spider Communications Network in Hungary.

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