I've had it-----really had it. What is the problem that women can't support women-----at all???? I get that we can't support every single women. I have conceded the point that there are just some women that we can't get behind. But seriously----where does one draw the line? Do we support no women on principle? HUH???????
I have awakened this morning to the news that the California chapter of NOW is not endorsing the woman in the L.A. mayoral race. Read about it here. There is a perfectly wonderful woman, two in fact, who are running for mayor. The organization's statement said that the man had a better track record supporting women. This group also supported Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008.
I've been also reading this week about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to end working at home in her company and also about Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book Lean In about things we need to do to get more women to the top. Read more about Mayer here, here, and here, and Sandberg here and here.
I'm linking all of these things together because a trend emerges bright as day, a trend that has always been there. This trend is when women sharpen their knives to take down anyone who raises the bar and tries to get ahead. I have written several times about how we women often sabotage our own efforts to get to the top, and this week we have now seen this whole syndrome illustrated in neon. We need to do some deep soul searching and quickly to stop ourselves from this act of self immolation.
I'm no psychologist, pop or otherwise. I've read theories as to why women are often our own worst enemies. Google "Why women are their own worst enemy" and you get 5.3+ million entries, many of them right on the mark identifying the problem better than I can. I am however, a results oriented person and I am very persistent and stubborn working toward goals I pursue. And I can tell you that this trait in women is seriously hurting us.
If one is really interested in breaking glass ceilings and getting women into power for real, there is simply no justification for not making a supreme effort to support as many women as possible. This knee jerk reaction to take women down, whatever its cause, is simply doing us in for two main reasons.
First of all, when the people in charge who make top management decisions, mostly men, see that we women can't agree on anything, it gives them less reason to pick women to lead. If also provides the perfect cover for NOT picking women CEO's.
But the second reason that ends up kicking us to the curb every single time is that the media LOVE a good cat fight. I am reminded in every media training I ever had being warned constantly about the fact that "the media is not your friend." It is soooooo true when it comes to women. As long as we women have the long knives out to punish any women who tries to get to the top, the media will caricature us forever. We play right into their own ugly, not so subliminal meme that women can't get their act together and so the glass ceilings shouldn't be broken until we do. And I might that the media doesn't have such a hot record for promoting its women either.
Well in that regard the meme is right!!!!We women don't have our act together-----not by a long shot. But I am of the opinion that we women can do better than we are doing and we can overcome some of our own deeply rooted hesitancy and even hostility towards supporting women who aspire to the top. We need to stop being jealous and resentful. Sure we can't support every woman, but we don't need to take down EVERY woman just because of our own insecurities. How in the world will women ever rise without some solidarity from our own ranks? This week showed me more clearly than ever that women haven't advanced in great numbers to the top because in the face of all other obstacles, and they too are considerable, we fail to do any of the work to help ourselves. Once we decide to empower ourselves to help one another, well, maybe things will stop being so frustrating and we will hear that wonderful sound of shattering glass----in spades.