Thursday, November 3, 2016

Holding up half the sky

No matter what you may think of any of the candidates running for U.S. president this year, I hope you agree with me that it is significant that a woman is one of the major party candidates. It's a first. I think of the fact that when my beloved mother was born in 1911, women didn't even have the right to vote. And several women suffered greatly so we could, finally, attain that right. I think of the fact that some other countries of the world already have had a female leader, and we haven't. I think about the fact that none of us is free until all are free—and that in many parts of the world, girls cannot receive an education and they aren't free. In many places around the globe, girls are viewed as property and have no rights or voice. They are trafficked all around the globe, including right here in our own country. I think of the ancient Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky" and its image of women fully bringing their gifts to the task just as do men.

Some days I just don't know what to make of all this. I rejoice in the victories women and girls attain. I celebrate with my five granddaughters that they're able to imagine and dream things I couldn't—and that my mother never dreamed possible. And yet I still carry the scars of women saying behind my back, "Who does she think she is?" as I tried to move from a magazine managing editor into the editor position. And I cringe when today I hear hateful comments such as, "Trump the _itch!" We've come far. And we have so, so far to go.

Where do we go with all of these extremes? How do we reach a point where all the world's girls and women receive education, respect and every opportunity afforded the other half of the world's population? What will it take? How might we ensure this? I am so passionate about the importance of this. I would dearly love to hear your ideas in the Comment Box below. Or if not there, send your ideas to me at:


  1. I can only speak from experience, but I believe that many women maintain a biblical view of the woman being submissive and that men should be leaders - even if they have no idea of political policy or ways to make our country "great". Powerful women may intimidate them b/c they have not thought to learn about other women outside of the bible or religious readings - in present day or ever - who have been wise, thoughtful and moved their lives forward without being hateful or a manipulative. You don't have to be a man-hating feminist to be a solid female leader who wants good things for women and girls (equal pay, respect, education, leadership positions, etc.) My prayer is that all women (myself included) strive to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly - using love as motivation, with God as our leader.

  2. Thank you for such a great insight. Perhaps we need to present alternative models of power? I know many women who don't even like the word "power"—and it's likely because that has typically meant power OVER others. It has meant manipulation and domination. Power WITH others (power that empowers others) looks so different. So as you say, we can be solid female leaders who want good things for women and girls—and also for men and boys, I might add. It doesn't have to be one or the other—either men or women ruling. (We're better together.) And I do know some "man-hating feminists" but most of us love the men in our lives and simply want the same opportunities for girls and women. I so appreciate your thoughts. Let's hope and pray that we can do as your final sentence suggests—with love as our motivation! You've given us a lot about which to think. Thank you.