A Tale of Two Leaders
This week, the news was momentarily ruffled by Hillary Clinton who after several days of campaigning with pneumonia needed to take a break from the 9/11 ceremonies to actually rest. Immediately everyone has an opinion about what she should have done that ran the gamut from is she physically stable enough to be POTUS to a real leader would have taken time for herself.
Well, which is it folks?
I'll get to the point.
If you want to take a day off for your health, you had better make it safe for everyone--especially female leader--to do it too. You do that by giving them support--not by taking swipes at them for not being perfect.
The presidential campaign has gone beyond the pale on what is tolerated by our general society in terms of violent language and female denigration. Its always been there, but because a woman is running for the highest office in the land, and has a good chance of winning, the contrast is blazingly, disturbingly clear.
Ideally, our candidates would be evaluated on their experience, their abilities, and their platform for service. Campaigns would not be run like a cross between a rugby match and a bombing raid. And because this is the highest office in the land, and arguably the most influential position in the world, taking a day off from campaigning (even when you are sick) is not a light decision.
Just yesterday I saw an article where some guy in Oregon thought it would be clever to hang a topless Hillary in effigy--making his "point" about his dislike of Hillary using a combination of sexual violence and simulated lynching. A few weeks ago, at the Trump immigration rally, someone was seen waving a Hillary mask as if it was impaled on a pike.
Can she take the day off? Would you?
Hillary is back at work. Pneumonia be damned. Effigies be damned. Criticism be damned.
I want to give her a hug and a month off, but she is signing up for 4-8 more years of this intensity.
A little over a year ago, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's husband died after taking a fall. In a moment, her life and how she would approach it was changed forever.
Despite her desire to get back into the stream of life and work, grief was going to have it's way with her. How differently things would have gone for her if she wasn't held up by the many people who surrounded her with real emotional and physical support.
She is still dealing with grief. She is still held up.
Because I just re-edited my book, I'm often thinking about Hillary and if anything I said in my book that applies to her situation.
If we want to see a change for women, we have to stop blaming women and calling individual women out on not "doing it right". We have to stop blaming each other for not taking perfect measures as individuals--not being strong enough or not resting enough or not doing enough of whatever. I'm tired of the blame. Until we look at the system as being so cleverly stacked that we can't even be on our own side, nothing is going to change.
What can you do today to change the game for all women? Who can you hold up?