“The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.”—Warren Bennis. Welcome to the Sum, where I share my take on the meaning of sum of the week’s parts. I want your voice too. Leave comments here or @GloriaFeldt. The word of the week is MOVE. As in a movement has to move to be…Read More
“The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.”—Warren Bennis. Welcome to the Sum, where I share my take on the meaning of sum of the week’s parts. I want your voice too. Leave comments here or @GloriaFeldt. The Sum of this week is voice. To put a positive spin on it, we’ve had many…Read More
Katha Pollitt, The Nation columnist and author of a new book of poetry, The Mind Body Problem asked a great question today on a media listserv we’re both on. She wanted to know what we thought were the places where women and/or feminism made advances, went backward, or were treading water.
How do you think women advanced during the last decade? (We can deal with the backward steps in another post…at the beginning of a new year and new decade, let’s start with a nod to the advances.)
Here are my two top-of-mind, unfiltered answers that I sent to Katha, mostly to the positive.
1. The rise of social media has given women the opportunity for a much bigger voice individually and collectively. The asynchronous, information-rich technology and the ability to create “rooms of one’s own” appeal to women who have for so long been overtalked by louder male voices. As a result women are over 50% of bloggers and 57% of the people on Facebook and Twitter. Social media offer a way to connect, share, find support systems, and organize. Women tend to isolate and think they have to solve their problems–often problems caused by systemic barriers–alone. But with social media, they can find answers to their questions and if they choose they can organize to solve problems whether in the private sector or politically. Having been recognized by advertisers as the purchasers of over 80% of all consumer goods, women could also use their online and social media presence to reshape the consumer economy.
The bad news is that this power remains largely in the potential category because women have not used it strategically to mass their voices. Power unused is power useless. This is the name of a chapter in the book I’m writing now and I am sad to say I have all too many examples.Read More
Last night’s presidential debate on CNN was some of the best theater I’ve seen (watch clips). It had everything–a room packed with celebrities there to see our hottest political performers, snappy scripts well delivered, a spectacle much like top flight tennis players volleying at the height of their game, lights-camera-action.
Finally! Wolf Blitzer opened with the question that I’ve been giving the answer to since the campaign begain when he observed that Obama and Clinton look like the American dream team. It wouldn’t have been too seemly to ask who’d be on top, but the implication was obvious. They both gave the only answers they could, which was to say how much they respected one another and “here’s why I should be president”.
Obama is better with facile phrasemaking and people love that; nevertheless, Clinton got the best line–and biggest laugh–of the evening when asked whether the Bush-Clinton sequence should continue, she said “It might take a Clinton to clean up after a Bush again.”Read More