As I continue to research for my book about GUTSY WOMEN LEADERS have such a sense of pride looking the progress we have made to stand and be counted. Our revolution has, at times, been angry; yet, it has maintained dignity and a deep desire for continued dialogue.
If you have not yet read “When Everything Changed” by Gail Collins grab a copy and take the journey back to the time when turmoil was front and center on the world stage. It was not so long ago, the upheaval of the 1960’s. Most of the women in positions of leadership today can remember, or their mothers can remember that time when only the men wore pants.
Men provided and protected; women served and deferred. While women could not wear slacks outside the home, they had their place on the pedestal of morality and ethical behavior. As Collins points out, that gave women elevated status yet, precious little room to maneuver.
The backlash to the prissy mothers on “Leave It to Beaver” and “Happy Days” are the “Desperate Housewives” of today. Somewhere in the middle is the balance point where we are all searching for the right way to say what we want to say and do what we want to do.
What women of today really want and need is to be real. The search for the authentic self is a lifelong one and it takes courage and determination to challenge the familiar and cultural ties that bind. In my book “Don’t Bring It to Work” I tackle this thorny subject of behavior patterns that are often carried from generation to generation and stay underground in the unconscious until stress and anxiety cause them to swirl to the surface.
Now I am looking at the challenges for women leaders to help carve the way for authentic relationships with our male partners as well as with all the children, (be they biological or environmental in nature), for generations to come.
As Collins says at the end of her book “American women had shattered the ancient traditions that deprived them of independence and power and the right to have adventures on their own, and done it so thoroughly that few women under 30 had any real concept that things had ever been different.”
What are the key issues you think still need to be tended so that we can lead the way to a world that works for all of us? I look forward to your replies.