Power and Sexual Misconduct

Power and Sexual Misconduct
Today the media is filled with pundits talking about sexual misconduct. Examples drawn from Capitol Hill include Roy Moore (Senate candidate from Alabama), Al Franken (Senator from Minnesota), past Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, and current President Donald Trump. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner recently started a 21-month prison sentence for sexting with a minor. We also watched Fox News terminate CEO Roger Ailes and political commentator Bill O’Reilly for their ... Read more
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Finding Authenticity at Any Age

Finding Authenticity at Any Age
It must be a terrible burden to live “in the public eye.” Every time you leave the house, your appearance is noted and scrutinized. Every wrinkle and sign of aging is documented. Popular magazines have sections devoted to catching stars without make-up, or when they are wearing sweats, or when their hair is less than perfect—when they look like most of us do on the weekends and in our daily lives.   This fits right in with our “gotcha” approach to celebrity. Given ... Read more
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Transfer of Power and Transfer of Responsibility

Transfer of Power and Transfer of Responsibility
Regardless of political affiliation, many women, especially those age 50 and above, were disappointed that Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to crack that glass ceiling once and for all. It’s an effort that has been underway since Shirley Chisholm ran for President in 1972.  It’s easy to say, “We’ll get it the next time,” but we all know that’s a long shot. As we watch the transfer of power in Washington, perhaps it is also time for a transfer of ... Read more
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Help for the Little Woman

Help for the Little Woman
I wonder if, sometime in the next four years, I will hear a statement about women from President-Elect/President Trump that is not colored with a sexist crayon. Today, when speaking about Hillary Clinton, Trump announced that he will “help her heal” instead of “locking her up” like he promised during his campaign. The implication is that Clinton is so devastated that he is being magnanimous. She needs Trump’s help to heal—that poor little woman. Hearing that ... Read more
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Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.
The first time I read Samuel Beckett’s quote “Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better” I did not fully understand it or grasp the importance of those words. As a young social worker, a client painted this quote for me. It took years (and mistakes, setbacks, and disappointments) for the meaning of this sentiment to fully sink in. I was reminded of this quote again this week, upon hearing that Hillary Clinton would not be our first female President. Despite all of our hope—and arguably our need—to ... Read more
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What’s Wrong with Ambitious Women?

What’s Wrong with Ambitious Women?
Recently, while on the campaign trail, President Obama noted differences in perception that still exist regarding ambitious men and women. Ambitious men are seen in a positive light, while ambitious women are suspect. For some reason, the motives of high-achieving women are challenged. Their talents are questioned. Their leadership skills are downplayed. Their success is discounted, attributed to others, or chalked up to luck. Women and their ideas and achievements may be accepted as part ... Read more
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What’s in Your Red Envelope?

What’s in Your Red Envelope?
The first woman was appointed to a Cabinet position when Franklin Roosevelt was elected President in 1933. The appointment caused a great outcry and much resistance from male counterparts who objected to Roosevelt putting a woman in such an important role, especially when the country was struggling to find a way out of the Great Depression. Roosevelt held firm, and Frances Perkins, a social worker, became Secretary of Labor. Many people wondered why Perkins would want or accept such a ... Read more
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Are Strong Women Always Nasty?

Are Strong Women Always Nasty?
In the final presidential debate, Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton “a nasty woman.” The comment was made after heated exchanges on a variety of topics. Secretary Clinton was forceful and fearless throughout the debate. She didn’t appear cowed; she never backed down. In fact, the consensus was that she won the debate, the third in a row that she has won. What is the definition of “nasty?” What makes someone “nasty?” Clinton was talking about ... Read more
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What Should a President Look Like?

What Should a President Look Like?
One of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign tactics is a repeated question to audiences about his opponent. “Do you think she looks presidential?  I don’t.” His audience always shouts,”No.” What Trump is asking with this question has more to do with gender than actual appearance. The implication is that Secretary Clinton doesn’t look like she can (or should) be the President of the United States because she is a woman. In past campaigns, we have ... Read more
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The Politics of Grief

The Politics of Grief
In 1955, British anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer coined the phrase “pornography of death,” one aspect of which is using death to sell movies, magazines, and other products. It is an exploitation of personal loss and grief. It generally includes horrendous pictures of tragedy and violent death and often is accompanied by pictures of an individual’s intense reaction to seeing or learning about the loss of the loved one. The first night of the Republican National Convention ... Read more
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