Two powerful women, close in age, not the best of friends. The pundits are predicting that, if Hillary wins, she and Elizabeth Warren will resume being at loggerheads.
That’s pretty close to the stereotype that you can’t have two powerful women in a room without triggering a cat fight.
We have a long way to go, as a culture, in understanding powerful women. Even though we now have women in top leadership roles, they tend to be “one-of’s”. I can’t think of a single corporation, even one with a female CEO, where the majority of top execs are also female. Ditto for the military, higher education, the courts, or anywhere powerful and successful women are found.
Here’s the thing: career politicians, male and female, are probably more alike in thinking and behavior than Hillary Clinton is similar to a traditional corporate wife or home maker. We assume women are relational and need to form bonds in order to work together. Nah. I think Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren are perfectly capable of relating on a transactional basis, just like guys do, to come up with a workable agenda.
Once this ugly and divisive campaign is over, and I fervently hope we are celebrating President-elect Clinton, we’ll all begin another kind of journey: seeing what it’s like to have a woman at the top. Hillary has said she wants half of her cabinet to be female, which will help. The more powerful women there are around, the less Hillary will become a stereotype or a measure of “what powerful women do”.
I’m eager for the country to have that learning experience.