Musings: Women in Politics

NPR played this discussion and this phrase really struck me:

I have a view that I just have to do the best I can, get the results I can, make a difference in people’s lives.

This was part of a soundbite of Hillary Clinton speaking of her time as a senator. I was absolutely struck by these words because they echo so much of what I’ve been hearing in management & engagement discussion on how women approach work:

I work really hard, do the best I can and want/hope/expect to be rewarded accordingly for it.

Women in the workforce are being told to Stand Out, Speak Up, and Lean In. At the same time, when I hear women who honestly do and can say amazing things about themselves with confidence and authority… almost universally they are seen as a things like “hardass” or “cold” or … well it has yet to be a positive phrasing when people talk about her.

There is a lot of discussion about Hillary Clinton – her un-likability and her inability to win people over. And yet… Hillary keeps Standing Up. She keeps Speaking Out for her constituents. She keeps leaning into the work and hoping to “make a difference in people’s lives.”  And yes, she could just be pandering with “oh I’m just a regular old gal…” but honestly when I look at her history of work – what she has campaigned for and what she has tried to do – she has a hell of a better track record than my senators.

It actually makes me a little upset – not just angry because there is a huge serving of grief in my turmoil – that people hate Hillary Clinton.  Is she perfect? Nope, not in the least.

But you know what I know she isn’t? She isn’t a braggart. She tries (and god it hurts when she tries) to brag on herself, but she is struggling with the same thing I see a lot of women struggling with: being able to name her accomplishments without being called narcissistic.   You know what I know she is? Damn determined to change this world and strong enough to keep coming to that microphone…

Honestly, she kind of reminds me of FDR in that she just keeps trying shtuff and she is determined she’ll eventually find the working formula. She may not be perfect, but I think she is a role model I can look up to.


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