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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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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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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But Can She Type?

But Can She Type?
As a young professional woman in the early 70s, it was difficult to find women leaders at the national and international levels, During that time, I came across a poster with a picture of Golda Meir who had been elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969. She was holding her purse on her lap, and she looked kind and grandmotherly. What was most remarkable about the poster was the caption which read, “But can she type?” Perhaps one had to be a feminist to understand the ... Read more
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Speak Softly and Wear Lipstick

Speak Softly and Wear Lipstick
Trump has never seemed older than he did this week when he said he was having a hard time getting beyond Hillary’s shouting. His comments seemed like a throw back to behaviors of many decades past when girls when supposed to be seen, not heard. A time when girls who were “tomboys” might be tolerated, but were a bit of an embarrassment to their families. When girls didn’t engage in organized sports but stood on the sidelines cheering on their boyfriends (and, by the ... Read more
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Smarter Than Hell

Smarter Than Hell
The other night, while stumping for Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made an unfortunate comment when she paraphrased Dante: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” I felt myself recoil when she said it because it’s the type of rhetoric that pushes women away. It sounds like she is requesting “blind faith,” or that she believes a women should win on the basis of her gender. If that were the ... Read more
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Competency Has Its Critics

Competency Has Its Critics
On Tuesday night, the first Democratic Presidential debate took place. Fifteen million viewers tuned in. Normally after such an event, there is a winner, and, for a short time anyhow, the winner takes a victory lap. Not this time. Most media reports indicated that Hillary Clinton did the best job. Various pundits described her as a “skilled debater.” Others noted that she had “command of the issues,” she “threaded the needle,” and she “did what she ... Read more
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Turn Down the Volume

Turn Down the Volume
Yesterday Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump referred to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as “shrill.” That got me thinking about words that are used to describe powerful women. I looked up definitions of “shrill” and some of them made me smile. One described it as a sound that is high pitched and sharp, “like the squeak of a mouse in your cupboard.” Another source said shrill is a loud and high sound that “is unpleasant or painful ... Read more
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