Thursday, October 15, 2009

Smart women get real

Tina Brown had a great essay on Hillary Clinton, "Hillary and the 'Woman Thing,'" few days ago.  Having gone after the presidency -- the presidency -- with all her strength, and lost, she simply turned around and, Brown observes,  pressed "the reset button."

To a remarkable level, Hillary, writes Brown,
... communicates a deep lack of insecurity. Locked in the Situation Room with alpha dogs all day and going home to the biggest alpha dog of all at night (on the rare occasions the two are in the same hemisphere), it’s as if she has learned how to circumnavigate that tiresome phallic competition and acknowledged what’s different—and valuable—about her own female nature. If they’d been translating her thoughts as she spoke to Curry, the subtitle would have read: “Don’t you understand? I don’t have to do that shit anymore.”
Smart women, in other words, know that sexism is out there. They are pros at working the system and walk away if and when they need to.  They count the years they have left, they count the cards that have been played, and they make the best deal for them.  They don't stay stuck in the chipper carefully-vetted hype from headquarters, pretending that sexism doesn't exist, but they don't give in, either.  They cope, they re-frame, they find a way to do their best work.

They also speak up for other women.  Clinton has not been in the least bit quiet about the sexism she sees as crippling the world's women, naming this as an outrage is inscribed on her soul.  Women are obligated to keep this issue out there, but they name it for others, progress in this area is usually at a bit of a remove.

When it's close to home, use your head.

Today's Reading:  As an alum (Ph.D. Theology, plus 3 kids, 1993), I receive a quarterly magazine from Notre Dame.  It's usually good reading, but the closer today is worth passing along....Brian Doyle, class of 1978, lists "The order by which people are admitted to heaven."  Next time someone asks you what it means to be Catholic, here's a start.