GenderGappers 2007 – 50
PLAYING TO THE PREJUDICE
Norman Vincent Peale didn’t invent the concept; the origin of that is biblical and beyond. But he did write a book that reached millions of people all around the world, called “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
Dale Carnegie [“How to Win Friends and Influence People”] took it to the forum level, making millions by offering interactive seminars that eager businessmen flocked to. He was followed by many others as television opened the doors to the great unwashed and untapped millions looking for a power fix.
In short, bookshelves, television and radio are rife with advice about how you can succeed in anything as long as you positively believe that you will.
You are encouraged to set goals and believe absolutely that you will accomplish them. Now a word of warning – WOMEN are not allowed by our prejudiced society to announce this surety of one’s self to the world of people out there.
Robin Gerber, Senior faculty with the Gallup Organization writes in Newsday.com, “Dominance, authority and ambition are widely viewed as essential leadership characteristics - as long as you're a man. When Clinton displays this ‘masculine’ style, she loses the public trust.”
Gerber discusses the reasons why Hillary Clinton is being portrayed by Edwards and Obama as untrustworthy – it plays to societies prejudice against strong women:
“A study earlier this year by Catalyst, a nonprofit business research organization, showed the stark dilemma that competent women face. In "The Double-bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership," women were criticized for being "too aggressive and self-promoting," but men with similar styles were praised for being direct.” http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opger045486775dec04,0,7259476.story
Those of us who discovered self-empowerment on our own will confirm the truth of how our society punishes women for exhibiting the same leadership styles men are expected to show.
Our society allows women to follow traditional paths to limited power. Some may gravitate to self-help advisors like Oprah who is celeb-driven. Some say she buys her audiences with new cars, but she also attracts by preaching success through religion and directed action. The “free” tickets to her appearances with Obama require one to pledge to vote for Obama. A vote buying scam that the media has not felt necessary to divulge.
Oprah and her disciples teach one to depend on someone to tell them what to do and think – directed by a God, doctor or some rock star. This use of crutches defeats the whole purpose of becoming empowered – making women take their traditional role of followers rather than leaders.
Self empowerment formula/advice cannot just be read, it must be internalized. There lies the rub. How does one teach how to internalize the information? We can only say that total understanding just suddenly comes like the turning on of the proverbial light bulb. We take responsibility for our actions and are empowered by this. As women, our conversion frightens those who dare not leave their long held gender prejudices. So they punish us by insisting that we are untrustworthy.
You may have noted that Bush and his Band of Botherbots continually say “Democrat Party”. They leave “ic” out when they should say Democratic. They have been told that the word Democratic gives too much power i.e. it brings all of the positive features and energy of a democracy together to label their opposition.
We can’t stop them from doing this but we can draw attention to it. Start calling and writing REPUBLAN/REPUBLANS – leave the IC out of their Party name. Use the power of these two little letters, say them out loud – IC – and soon you will - clearly.
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