Mother’s Day and Women’s Brains | Commentary in support of Christy Smith

In 1915, right in the middle of World War I, songwriters Alfred Bryan and Jack Wells penned a poignant tune named “When Our Mothers Rule the World.” It was dedicated to the belief that if more women were the leaders of governments, fewer children would be sent off to die in battle. Our matriarchs would be our arbiters of peace.

As with most of the sheet music from yesteryear, the cover graphics told a beautiful story. This one revealed a pensive mother and her beloved brood – with bombs blazing in the distance.

Fast forward to the 1990s. I had begun collecting old sheet music, and one day I discovered this paper treasure at an estate sale. I quickly bought it, and that evening, “When Our Mothers Rule the World” found a home atop my piano where it sat for many years.

Some of its lyrics: “There would be no sweethearts crying if our Mothers had their say. There would be no lovers dying in the trenches far away. There would be no armies marching and no battle flags unfurled. Let us kneel and pray we’ll live to see the day when our mothers rule the world.”

Decades after acquiring this distinctive sheet music, I began donating some of my collectibles to charity auctions. I framed “Mothers” and placed it in the annual Elks Club dinner-auction, benefiting the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers. Before attendees started bidding, I had the pleasure of standing at the podium and explaining this sheet music’s touching human backstory. Some highly spirited hand-raising quickly ensued. I was happy with the results. The buyer was, too.

Despite the sheet music’s departure from my home, its message has played on in my consciousness.

If only more mothers and women ruled the world…

World War I certainly produced many “pacifistic” songs. Pretty much every war or conflict throughout history does that. But nothing changes. Ironically, if the current pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the most goliath of military machines is useless in battling micro-terrorists.

With this unique Mother’s Day upon us, my heart aches as I think of all the moms across the continents and what they are suffering through because of COVID-19. Many are grieving for lost family members. Many families have lost their matriarchs.

This mom and grandma will spend the day solo as I have throughout the previous 60 calendar days, tucked within my abode, doing my best to hide out from the novel coronavirus. I will gratefully see my beloved kids behind a large glass window, and that will be better than any gift they have ever given me from Macy’s or Nordstrom.

This is also the Sunday before an important voting opportunity on Tuesday – the 25th Congressional District special runoff election. If you have not already mailed in your ballot or gone to a voting center, please be a responsible citizen and do it right away.

As for me, I’ll be voting for Democrat Christy Smith, who has successfully served as our California state assemblywoman since 2018. She is a bright, empathetic, open and hard-working politician, someone who sincerely wants to reach across the aisle to help our communities heal and thrive.

Throughout the pandemic, she has passionately assisted people, from individuals to businesses to nonprofits, as well as up in Sacramento, trying daily to ease our challenges, promote sound and responsible public health practices, and get the economy back on track.

Christy is very much an optimistic, can-do, “let’s take the high road” kind of person. I appreciate her style of leadership, her humanistic core, and her calm, sunny nature.

I also appreciate that she is a devoted mother and education-focused, longtime Newhall School District board member. Christy has been highly praised for her years of board contributions by former NHD Superintendent Marc Winger. She has also been endorsed by local firefighters, nurses, teachers and the Los Angeles Times.

I would very much like to see her bring her ethics and compassion to Washington. We desperately need that.

Speaking of women as leaders, many years ago I wrote a column for The Signal about a study of Fortune 500 companies that examined how male and female middle management employees (gender-wise) rated their bosses. There was clear agreement: Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman. Both sexes felt the women at the helm of their companies or departments tended to be better leaders, stronger consensus and common-ground seekers, less apt to fire or shame people and more inclined to communicate with them actively on how to make their jobs and companies more successful, together. There were even some biological reasons cited for this. One involved women’s cerebral hemispheres being better “wired” for freely accessing both sides – the right side creative and emotional, the left side analytical and methodical.

None of this information is to throw men away as effective leaders or politicians. Far from it. Some of our greatest chiefs and heroes throughout history have been men. I’m just saying, I’d like to see more women “rule the world,” whether through congressional seats, corporations or leaders of nations. I am doing my part in this mission by voting for a deeply caring and capable American politician, Christy Smith. I hope you will too.

Diana Sevanian is a retired nurse and former features writer for The Signal.

Published in SCVNews on May 10, 2020

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