Riane Eisler on NPR: How Domination and Partnership Systems Shape Us

January 22, 2020

In this interview on NPR radio’s 51%, Alison Dunne talks with Riane Eisler about how domination and partnership social systems shape us. Based on research such as the CPS study Women, Men and the Global Quality of Life, Eisler comments that “The status of women is a powerful predictor of general quality of life of a nation. The Global Gender Gap Report shows that the Nordic nations regularly have the lowest gender gap by far. These are also the nations—Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark—that appear regularly in the top tiers of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.  So in terms of economic health, these nations which have a higher status of women—about 50% of the national legislature is female—not coincidentally, have more caring policies”.

Riane Eisler talks about about her latest book, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future. She points out how the domination system fragments all facets of society and culture: politics, education, race, gender, economics, and the environment. “Progressive movements in the last few centuries have focused on dismantling only the top of the domination pyramid—political leaders in power—but that’s not enough”. Eisler emphasizes that an atmosphere of authoritarian rule starts at home, in childhood and family relations. This is the foundation of the domination system, and this is where we need to begin to put into practice more caring and compassionate partnership values.






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We create culture. We can bring about positive change, and we have to look at the four foundations of partnership systems: family and social structure, gender roles and relations, economic and social relations, and narratives and language, and how they affect the majority of humanity: women and children.

From WAMC Northeast Public Radio:
“In America, women make up more than half the population. Worldwide, women are expected to outnumber men within the next fifty years – and every issue we face is one that affects us all. Whether it’s the environment, health, our children, politics or the arts, there’s a women’s perspective, and 51% is a show dedicated to that viewpoint”.


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