What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Women Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Cynthia Ruccia

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.


  1. What I hear most often is "I am not going to vote for a woman just because she has girl parts". I hear it from women on the right and the left.
    What that really means, and I don't think women realize it, is "I am not going to vote for a woman specifically because she has girl parts". Women on both sides are afraid to be seen as voting with their vagina because the boys won't like it. Women are still pathetically tied in to the need to gain approval from the guys for their political acquiescence.
    Women will, over and over again vote for a man who is inferior just because he is a man and they do not see that this is what they are doing. It's pathetic.
    I have come to the conclusion that the 30 percent solution is real, that if we get at least 30 percent women in congress it will move left....so I do not worry about the political affiliation, I just vote for women.

    Also, I have promised myself that if there is not a woman on the top of the ticket I will write one in, but I will not vote for another man for president until there is a female president. I don't even care anymore which party she is. Republican women are women too. I would much rather have a moderate republican woman president than Barack Obama in the White House.


    1. I'll write in a woman too Teresa. Period.

  2. Ditto to both Cynthia and Teresa!!


  3. It's worse than women not supporting women. It's at the point when women are stepping up to be attackers, using sexist tactics, against other women of opposing politics & ideologies.
    It's women doing the dirty work of men against other women.

    1. I know----where's the line? How have we gotten to this point? To paraphrase Confuscius, feminism has become its opposite

  4. I belonged to and marched with NOW in the 80's and early 90's. I marched when republican Sen Bob Packwood kissed a women in an elevator. (Although at the time didn't know teddy kennedy was molesting waitresses on a regular basis with other senators calling it waitress sandwiches/ and it was unwelcome).

    I had my awakening when the media and democrats hauled out Monica Lewinsky's high school teacher and his wife. They proclaimed student Monica was a fiend/home wrecker for having sex with high school teacher. Since when is the teacher the victim? Womens groups/NOW absolutely silent as they set about and destroyed this young intern to save Clinton.
    Where were the analysts telling us this HS teacher was a criminal, and that his molestation of Monica likely contributed to her learning to relate to men in power by using sex.

    It was the most reprehensible thing I have ever seen.

    Now the first thing Obama did, first year in office that is, was to cut frequency of mammograms and pap smears, then cut AVASTIN for treating breast cancer, (although still can use to treat testicular cancer) More deaths in women but to him it was cost/benefit.

    The war on women is in the democrat party. Republicans have a better record all around on hiring, pay and so on. As if anyone ever wanted to take away birth control. How gullible are dem women to actually believe or repeat that?

    The war on women is in the dem party. I realized I was a puppet to help men in that party succeed when Clinton was in office. That wasn't the only miserable example, but the most blatant.

    Women need to wake up. Here is a statistic you should know. Almost 1/3 to 1/2 republicans pro choice. 1/2-2/3 democrat women prochoice. Abortion is here to stay. It is dragged out ONLY AT ELECTION TIME to manipulate women to vote for D's. Women never fail to fall for this.

    The idea that republicans, or Fox New or others are demons is fear mongering ..poison gas at Fox News....poison gas at republican party.... If they can keep you from actually hearing the truth, or the flip side to an issue they can manipulate you further. Therefore demonize demonize demonize. Women fall for it.
    It is ridiculous. I woke up at the age of 35.

    Democrats have war on women and are masters at manipulating them. IF you don't wake up you and your kids will have shorter, more difficult lives. Democrats are not all rainbows, and republicans are not poison gas.

    1. thanks for those comments. Both parties have an ongoing war on women. But the R war on women isn't what the Dems claim it is. It is because the R's are failing to highlight the amazing female elected officials they have

    2. In fact they do promote the women. The Republican convention was one minority women after another as speakers. They just won't get any press in the democrat media. If they reported on this you would not believe the smears.
      Mary Fallin: Governor of Oklahoma
      Nikki Haley: Governor of South Carolina (mideastern descent)
      Ludmya “Mia” Bourdeau Love: Mayor of Saratoga Springs (african american)
      Susana Martinez: Governor of New Mexico (hispanic)
      Condoleezza Rice: Former secretary of state (african american)
      Are any of you familiar with the group JournoList?
      They formed in the 2008 election cycle. They would connect secretly and decide how to smear republicans and promote dems. Their first target was Sarah Palin. When their emails were finally exposed we learned they thought that she gave such a good speech they would have to kill her quickly. Well, you saw what happened.
      The media smear women and minorities who leave the democrat plantation to keep discourage others from doing the same.

    3. Another example of how the media will steer the conversation took place when hispanic Senator Marco Rubio took a sip of water. Media discussed this as a career ender. They made him look like a fool and did not report the content of his rebuttal.
      Meanwhile hispanic Dem Senator Martinez, at the very same point in time, is being investigated for child sex trafficking. Having sex with underage girls in the Dominican Republic. Victims have given interviews. While he has not been convicted I have to ask how the press totally ignores, or barely discusses this information. If this had been a republican we would have had wall to wall , night and day coverage. Women should be outraged. Child advocates should be outraged. All we get is silence.

    4. I've written about those women when I wrote about both conventions this year. You are correct about these wonderful women. However, we have heard little to nothing about them since the fall elections and that is a shame. I wrote recently that the Republicans having decided to shore themselves up with hispanics have put Rubio front and center (I bought one of his water bottles btw). I would love to see them do the same with their women but it is not happening.

      But the Democratic "war on women" is toxic BS

    5. Correction: the dem Senator currently being investigated for child sex trafficking is NJ Sen Menendez. (not Martinez)

    6. The republicans put women, hispanics and minorities forward at every turn. Media blocks them.
      Bush had an hispanic candidate for the Supreme Court. Chuck Shumer was exposed for sending a letter to staff/other senators that we cannot allow republicans to appear to promote hispanics. They smeared and killed the nomination.
      Shumer was exposed when a computer one of his staffers used was recycled to a republican, forgot to clean hard drive.
      The media reported at how horrible republicans were. They should have respected Shumers privacy and deleted the mail

      YOU CANNOT see what the media/dems decide you cannot. Women and minorities feature strongly at every turn in this party and do not tolerate the sexism that goes on in dem party. The media/dems could not hide the convention, therefore you saw and were able to report on itm but short of that you will never hear of them again.

    7. mnm---I understand your dislike of the Dems and the MSM----I share it. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I am a proud Independent. And I must say I watched both Conventions gavel to gavel on CSPAN. I know that the wonderful women were highlighted. You can read my pieces on these women in my archives.

      All I am saying is that the R's have opportunities to put women front and center----much as the breakthrough coverage Rubio is getting, and they aren't doing it. Although I must say that I believe I saw Cathy McMorris Rodgers deliver the Republican weekly message today, so at east for today, I may have to eat my words.

      I also saw a piece on "The Hill" where Condi Rice states that she is NOT running for president in 2016. Wish someone would convince her to run....

  5. Women have always been the enforcers of the patriarchy.

    1. myiq---you can be such a provocateur!!! Your comment reminds me of the time I was having a meeting of my all female investment club, and one of my sons, who was probably 9 at the time, came into the meeting and said that there was a rat in the kitchen. All of the women started screaming and climbing on the furniture. It turned out to be a tiny tiny baby mouse (gross enough), and we took care of it. So I asked my son why he chose to use the "rat" word, and he said that if he was going to upset the women anyways, he might as well have some fun doing it!!

      What you say might well be true, but if the women enforce the patriarchy, they are forced into doing so for the most part. Women who didn't didn't fare well.....

    2. and of tradition.

  6. Being supportive of women doesn't mean we can never be critical of decisions they make. Sometimes women make bad choices, and when they do, they don't deserve a pass any more than a man making the same decision would. If electing a woman to office or promoting her to a high position means I can never disapprove of anything she says or does, then I don't want any part of supporting a woman because she's a woman. And if she hurts the prospects of other women to follow her into success, then there's that place in hell that's been reserved for her.

    1. Eleanor, I am so glad you brought up this point because no one is asking anyone to vote against their consciences. However, the point is that if we are going to not support certain women, it ought to be for good reasons not nasty ones. No one is trying to stifle anyone's free speech.

      IMHO one needs to ask oneself if that vote against a woman is worth it, and try to weight the importance of the ascension of women into power accordingly. If as women we care about taking our rightful place at the top, we need to do some serious calibrating.

      I have written this quote on several pieces, but it is worth mentioning again. Michele Bachelet, the first woman president of Chile said that having a woman president did more for the equality of women than all of the laws that "pro-women" men could pass. I believe her.

  7. Putting up with the serious flaws of male pols. Demanding perfection for female pols. Unfair inequality!

  8. I don't demand perfection, but I reserve the right to call Maxine Waters an idiot.

    1. I get that. Unless you live in her district, you don't have to worry about whether to vote for her or not.

    2. In my first comment I was referring more to the decisions made by Marissa Mayer at Yahoo. The criticisms I'm hearing at work about her are not directed at her because she's a woman. They're being directed at her because they're decisions people don't like. Most of the people I work with are saying she's trying to do a layoff w/o taking financial responsibility for it by forcing people to quit, that a technical company that can't handle telecommuting is a joke, and that she is moving the "work/life balance" back for families, not just women. Most telecommuters are, in fact, men. Those same criticisms would be leveled against her if she were Martin Mayer as well. Nobody has mentioned she had a nursery built next door to her office so she can bring her own child to work. But then we have an on-site day care center where I work, which our CEO uses along with the rest of the people who need day care. While women should support other women, we should, as women, be able to handle reasonable criticism of ourselves or we're not ready for prime time yet.

  9. NOW didn't endorse BO until Hillary had dropped out.

    Perhaps (I do not know this) some individual chapters did, but not the National.

    Much better to have local women's groups not make any endorsement (do not endorse men) if the women candidates in their judgement aren't good enough. Very disappointing to read that L.A. Now endorsed a man.

    Sheryl Sandberg enthusiatically endorsed BO over HRC. Said he was the "most inspiring X that she had seen." I won't forgive her for that.

  10. HIllary vs Barak Obama is another den/media aberration.
    Clintons campaign put out a video in several parts
    "We will not be silenced"
    If you care about democracy and women you should find and view it. It is documentary evidence of stealing the nomination and media/dem bosses silence as it happened. He has won every campaign through trickery. Believe Hillary's campaign. Here is a quick link to just a portion of it:

    1. most of the people who come to this site are Hillary supporters who left the party over the sexism, and I for one am familiar with the Gigi Gaston work. Of the estimated 4 million who left, there were two factions. Those, like myself, who couldn't abide the sexism against Hillary and then against Palin, and those who felt that the party cheated.

  11. I have to support Mayer and her no telecommuting stance. Yahoo is a failing business model and she was hired to turn it around. Continuing to do the same old shit that had always been done would not be effective. Yahoo needs to have people who write innovative content....if women consumers don't click on stories they are not women's content and Yahoo knows who is clicking on what. There is no reason Yahoo should be bombarding heterosexual women with offensive tit and ass ads and acting as if Hollywood women are "leaders among women" when it is clear this does not generate article clicks. It is asking too much to expect women consumers to support women in media who have done nothing but reinforce stereotypes of women and women's content. I look forward to a time when I can get innovative content selected for me by Yahoo rather than the sexist drivel that has passed as "women's content" for far to long.

    1. I agree that as the CEO she was hired to turn the company around first and foremost. Why should a woman CEO be any different than a man in this regard?