An Excellent Question

Fri, June 22, 2007

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“Everytime I spend a hour or two with a room full of women, I find myself asking the same question: Why aren’t we running the world yet?”

This comment comes from the wonderful Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer-prize winning columnist and an amazingly insightful writer.

I’ve had the pleasure of E-mailing with her recently in connection with scheduling an upcoming event sponsored by a news women’s club here in the shadow of the nation’s capital. Her E-mail quote sprung from her excitement over the opportunity to talk with a few dozen women writers.

Connie Schultz
has been a great inspiration to me. Her column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer proves that women can write about topics that are both politically and personally relevant and that such a voice will be heard by both men and women.

The Pulitzer validates that her approach is a powerful one. So when Connie talks, I think we should listen.
Her question is one I’ve thought about myself. But the thing I found striking about the way she put it was its obvious simplicity — why aren’t we in charge? What’s stopping us?
One thing I’ve noticed in life (and I know this is an over-generalization) is that men state and women ask.

Mr. PunditMom tends to say, “I’m going for a run.” I usually say, “Do you mind if I go for a walk?”
If I start announcing my exercise plans, instead of asking permission, where will that lead me? Maybe I’ll find the ability to announce other things, and where could that power — the power to take charge instead of asking permission — lead me? Where could it lead all of us if we tried it on for size?
I’m not talking about any big, sudden movements.
But if we let Connie’s words linger in our minds, maybe we’ll find a way to get ourselves a little closer to running our worlds, and then maybe the world.

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6 Responses to “An Excellent Question”

  1. Lisa Giebitz Says:

    I think I can answer that with this:

    After about 20 minutes in a room with a group of women, I remember why I don’t like being in a room with a group of women.

    There are still terrible stereotypes of women that many play into, but the difference is we’re mostly inflicting them upon ourselves and each other.

  2. Absolutely Bananas Says:

    mmm very very good point. I made it my philosophy long ago to state rather than ask… and I think it is good for my marriage. Like you say, too many women are too tentative with the things that they care about.

  3. Mom101 Says:

    Great line, great points.

    I think the issue isn’t that women ask (although that’s so true – Nate gets crazy when I say “do you want to make a bottle?” when what I mean is “Make the bottle!”) I think the issue is that men set the paradigm which makes the asking secondary to the stating. Among other things. If we valued discussion more than dictating, relationships more than domination…I think you’d see more women in power for sure.

  4. Lawyer Mama Says:

    I try not to “ask” at work. I’ve found that if I just speak as if I assume someone will do as I ask I get taken seriously more often. At home though and in my personal life I tend to revert to asking.

    You may be on to something here….

    Oh & my word verification is
    gtfoxy – get foxy!

  5. karrie Says:

    Ugh. I used to be really good about asserting myself, but lately I realized I end almost every sentence with “Ok?”

    Why the fuck do I suddenly feel the need to ask permission? I even do this with my son, for pete’s sake.

    If anyone hears me uttering “Ok? Ok?” do me a favor and tell me to stop.

  6. Gunfighter Says:

    Mrs G never asks me anything… she’s a big girl… she does what she wants.


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