Thursday, September 30, 2010

There's A Place...

"There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help other women." - Madeleine Albright

Last night, I was able to see Madeleine Albright at the Mondavi Center. One of the questions asked at the end of the discussion section was how Albright felt about this quote and thoughts she had upon it. Her answer: Well it's true.

She found that in the context of diplomacy, women are under-represented but not limited in their position. The most interesting aspect of this experience she stated as the first woman Secretary of State in the United States was that she never felt any less respected because of her status as a woman by other nations - specifically conservative nations like Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Rather she said, it was the men she worked with in the United States that actually placed her in such a position, because they felt they rightly deserved the job over her because she used to be their subordinate.

As a woman, Madeleine Albright not only became the first woman Secretary of State but more importantly a role model for all of us. She stated that when she was hired by Georgetown University as a professor, they hired her because they wanted her to be a role model for the women at their campus. I have to say that even though I never got to take a class with her, seeing her around campus was enough for me to feel empowered all the same. Last night's talk proved that women can not only talk "shop" but can also support each other in the national and international context.


Yazzyjazzy said...

Apparently, that quote has made it on to Starbucks cups!

2elle said...

This is a really interesting post, I always wondered how conservative countries across the world treat American women in positions of political power. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised to read that they are treated well even by countries that strongly promote traditional gender roles. I can't believe that the sexism is coming more from male co-workers in the US!

This is yet another example of western culture being quick to point out sexism in other countries without thinking about how we need to worry about our own conduct. It's sad to see that these things happen at such a high level of political office where professional conduct and respect should be a given.

Rebecca said...

Madeline Albright’s quote is poignant. I have found that it is women ourselves that are most critical of each other in our attempts to shatter the glass ceiling. Women have long had the practice of standing behind their men. They encourage and support the men in their lives in a myriad of different ways. Where are the daily practices for encouraging the women that are part of our lives? Worse still, why do women have a tendency to tear each other down? Until we develop the Good Ole’ Girls mentality, men will continue to have an advantage over us in career.