If you've been keeping up with the news, you know that the issue of women's roles is a hot potato right now on two fronts: political, and religious.

I want to comment on the current furor from a neurological viewpoint. I believe it's crucial for the future of our world that we acknowledge what brain research is showing us—that men's and women's brains are not the same. When we finally wake up to this reality and structure society to take advantage of it, we will all benefit. It may just be the salvation of our species, if not of the entire ecosphere.

On the political front, looming in the U.S. Senate is a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a follow-up to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that represents a major steppingstone in women's march to equality in terms of remuneration. Currently women are paid 77 cents for each male worker's dollar. If the act passes, the pressure is going to be on employers to prove that wage differences between men and women aren't rooted in gender differences.

Given that women consistently turn out to vote in greater numbers than men, where the candidates come down on women's equality in the workplace could prove to be a crucial factor in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election. There's little doubt we'll hear a lot about the "war on women" between now and November.

The issue of women in the workplace burst into the headlines of the nation's media when Hilary Rosen told Anderson Cooper on CNN that Mitt Romney's wife "has actually never worked a day in her life." Michelle Obama came back with an assertion that housekeeping and childcare are a lot of work. (Ann Romney manages five children and three or four houses.) The outcry had Rosen apologizing to women who labor in the home.

Meanwhile, there's a fresh furor on the religious front. The Vatican has taken a scolding in a column in the Washington Post in response to the Holy See's chastising of American nuns. The column is entitled, "After Vatican's rebuke of nuns, time to hear Mary's voice."

Writes Lisa Miller, "When I see that a department of the Vatican, in Rome, has rebuked a group of American nuns for 'radical feminism' and for speaking out of turn and has called in a man—a superior—to set things right, I think about Mary. When I see American bishops wanting to make rules about sexuality and contraception for ordinary people, I think about Mary." Miller adds, "A woman is at the very center of the Christian story, yet that story has been told and controlled for millennia by men."

Commenting on how nuns are taking time to think about their collective response, The Chicago Tribune asked, "How should they handle last week's announcement that the Vatican has deployed an archbishop—male, obviously—to correct the doctrinal errors of the largest organization of U.S. Catholic nuns?"

Responded one prominent Chicago nun to the Vatican's actions, "It's just that here is another chapter in a long history of struggle between church leaders and church women."

In recent times we've moved beyond the idea promoted by a number of feminists a few decades ago that women and men are the same. We now know that women and men are different—not just in their physical makeup and hormonal factors, but also in the structure of their brains.

What's at issue in the current debate over women's roles in the public and religious arenas is a failure to recognize the brilliance of the design of the female brain when it's balanced and harmonized.

In some ways a woman's brain gives her an advantage that, if utilized appropriately, can be of tremendous benefit both in the corporate world and in the Church. However, for society to reap the advantages of male-female brain differences, males in positions of power will need to recognize the likely capability and be open to including the potential of female attributes in positions of power.
The occipital lobes of the male brain are 30% larger than those of the female brain, which means that males are visually stimulated far more than women. The male's brain tends to make him a "sprinter" instead of the more long-distance capability of the female brain.

When a man's brain is balanced and harmonized, he doesn't allow his tendency to sprint to cause him to dominate women. Instead he views collaboration for the best possible solution to be most important.

As I comment in my book Limitless You: The Infinite Possibilities of a Balanced Brain, "Men with a balanced brain, in which all the neighborhoods are in harmony, don't tend to exploit the power differential between themselves and females. They don't misuse their physical strength, and they don't manipulate a woman for self-gratification." I might add that a balanced and harmonized brain doesn't fear a woman, either. It enjoys male-female interdependence.

Balance and harmony in the brain reflect in a balance of power in relationships between the sexes. Because the brain is in balance, with all aspects of the neural system functioning harmoniously, there is sharing in mutuality. Males who don't appreciate respectful sharing of power are invariably misguidedly attempting to correct an imbalance in their brain! Think about that the next time you hear a politician or religious figure oppose women's equality.

Let me be clear what I'm saying. The assumed right of males to dominate women that has been perpetuated for thousands of years is a brain imbalance—a deviance cloaked in "patriarchy as a God-given right."

When women's brains are balanced and harmonized, they have certain skills that are more suited to leadership than the male brain. One reason for this is the difference in the corpus callosum, which is more permeable in females than in males, making it easier for women to use both sides of the brain and move from left-to-right hemisphere thinking usually faster than a male.

While the male brain is a powerful analytical tool, able to home in on an issue, the female brain is better at moving back and forth between the context and the detail, which is a vital trait for effective leadership. Quite simply, women's brains give them better perspective because they can go from functioning mainly on the left to functioning on the right, back and forth, much quicker than males.

In Limitless You, I explain that when a man's mind is on cars, it's on cars. When he's focused on football, that's his world for the time being. In hunting season, he's all about hunting. There were advantages to this when a lion attacked or the tribe was under threat, but it's also a reason that five times more autistic children are male: the male brain becomes "locked down" more easily.

In terms of the political and religious systems that are in upheaval over the equalizing of the sexes, I comment in Limitless You: "Today, more women are in positions of leadership in the world than ever in history. This is a good thing for the future of the planet…"

The more women operate from a balanced and harmonized brain, which Brainwave Optimization® is helping women do all around the world, the better our species' chances of turning the self-destructive tide that patriarchy has bequeathed to us.

Author's Bio: 

Lee Gerdes, Founder and CEO of Brain State Technologies® (www.brainstatetech.com), is the creator of the patented process of Brainwave Optimization with Real-Time Balancing™, which is transforming lives all over the world.

As the author of Limitless You: The Infinite Possibilities of a Balanced Brain, published in 2009 by Namaste Publishing and now in soft cover, Lee's work emanates from a combination of his interests in how the brain works and its effect on mind, body, and spirit, coupled with his personal experience of trauma in the form of a violent assault in 1992.

This effort has now evolved into the neuro-technology known as Brainwave Optimization, which is produced and distributed by Brain State Technologies, with nearly 200 provider offices in 18 countries worldwide serving over 50,000 clients.

As a result of this trauma, in 2000 Lee began working with his own brain to relieve post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His success in overcoming the effects of trauma led him to dedicate his life to understanding neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change itself) and how the breakthrough insights of neuroscience can be applied to improve peoples’ lives. His work is daily proof that by optimizing our brain, we can optimize our entire life, empowering us to "at last be the limitless individuals we were born to be."

Self Growth Expert (http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/lee-gerdes)