Thursday, May 5, 2011

Glass Ceiling



Ever get the sense that there's still a glass ceiling?

White House photos of the Situation Room during the SEAL Team assault on the Bin Laden compound

It looks to me as if
 there are an awful lot of "boys" in power central.

But right now, even the women
 have to think and act like men
to gain access to power. . .


and I'm not sure that we exercise it differently

than men do, especially when we're so new
to top level governmental decision-making 
and our only models for how to do it
 have been powerful men..


Baby steps. . . .


p.s. The other woman in the situation room photo 
is 34-year old Tufts University graduate
and Harvard Kennedy School of Government alum
Audrey Tomason, Director of CounterTerrorism.


And
if you want to read about what it was like
to be one of the first wave of women
going in respectable numbers to law school,
click HERE to read one of my old posts.

7 comments:

Expat From Hell said...

I think that your "newness" is a gift. Not that men have excelled by any means in this level of control. I am encouraged by the Geraldine Ferraros and the Hillary Clintons who will - soon, I trust - break that glass ceiling to bits. It's the only hope that this country has of avoiding becoming the uber-military neo-Sparta that seems to be what everyone else thinks of us. Thought-provoking post. EFH

ellen abbott said...

yes, way to heavy in the male energy level.

Boonie S said...

Interesting that the lady looks to be the only one who’s particularly concerned or moved by what’s being shown.
The UK’s former PM Margaret Thatcher showed that political judgment is not gender specific. She was as cruel, heartless, and arrogant as any of them – as too were Joan of Arc and Bodicea.
I think that sooner or later you’ll have a woman in the White House – and you won’t notice the difference.

Have a good weekend, Boonie

Bill said...

A theory exists ... the best and brightest don't enter politics - instead, they go into the business world. I notice there's an increase (some, that is) of women in management positions.

Then again, some types of power and brawny chest poundings simply aren't worth pursuing. Kinda like violent video games, monster pick-up trucks and chewing tobacco ... I doubt those have much of a female demographic.

I agree with Boonie, when a woman is elected president, she will sound and act like her male predecessors.

Meri said...

Bill and Boonie:

I agree with you that some types of power (and "entertainment") aren't worth pursuing. And I think it goes without saying that the first woman elected president will act like her male predecessors -- you saw that in Hillary Clinton's run in which she had to out-tough the big boys just to be taken seriously. With the continued emphasis on military might and save-the-world bravado, "male think" is required in candidates because a new way of thinking would undermine or destroy the status quo. . . with untold impact on the military-industrial economy. And Obama is proof that real change is harder to achieve than it looks.

BUT - I was in the first wave of women going to law school after race and sex discrimination lawsuits convinced law school administrators that they should let in more women than the token 1 - 2 % that had been standard. The class two years before mine had been 2 percent female, the class the year ahead was 25% female and mine was 40 %. (The almost wholly male faculty still didn't quite know what to do with us. . . and if you saw the post I did about how they just alloted us half the men's rest rooms, complete with urinals, you'll know the admin didn't know what to do with us either.) We certainly felt the pressure to "think like men" and act like men during that experience. When we graduated, we took jobs to which we wore mannish suits and blouses with floppy ties so we'd look as much like men as possible. And because we had to be, we were more driven and obsessive than our male counterparts. Eventually -- and I mean over a period of about 15 - 20 years -- women became more numerous in the profession and started reclaiming fashion. Unfortunately, there also began to be as many crappy women attorneys and men ones. . . but at least they weren't trying to pretend to be crappy male lawyers. It takes a certain numerosity and working your way up before women can show their more holistic, collaborative sides in the workplace.

EPH: we may live to see the first woman elected President, but she will be more Ares/Mars than Aphrodite/Venus. . . not at all a threat to neo-Sparta.

Ellen - in the last election cycle, I thought Obama had more feminine energy than did Hillary Clinton, who to me exudes male-think.

Bill said...

What bothers more than the perpetual male-female employment differences is reading articles about the views of many of today's young women concerning Feminism.

There's a dismissive air concerning the Gloria Steinem era, and in some there's a total buy-in to male sexual fantasies - all of which indicates what? Perhaps it's the typical mental retreat after a period of social turmoil and change.

Carmen said...

baby steps are wonderful
as long as we don't forget about beautiful feminine side i think it is okay to act and think like men