I am writing this with tears in my eyes. I am profoundly sorry. I am sad today because my 30 years of working to make the world a better place for girls and women wasn’t enough. I thought I was brave and assertive. But I realize today that my generation didn’t do enough. We were burdened with archetypes that no longer serve us, that we thought had evolved but still clung. I bought into it slowly, a death of a thousand cuts, a thousand sideways glances and moments of discomfort, apologies if I offend, if I am too loud or opinionated or take up too much space.
There is a book called, Good to Great that we all read about business. The idea is that a good company can’t become great because it won’t sacrifice that which makes it good, to become great. Even those of us who worked on behalf of Hilary, who reject the hateful rhetoric and actions of Trump, have been complicit - we have been careful in our communication, respectful so as not to ruffle feathers and maintain relations. We have let the slights against gender and race go unchallenged. We decided not to run for office because the sacrifice of the personal attacks seemed too much. We couldn’t risk enough to become great and we let you down.
We have had some fun ‘owning’ the Nasty Women comment. What does it really mean to step out of the box for our gender, the gentile, lovely, legs crossed stance and careful language. What if we challenged loudly and we had an agreement that each of us all stepped up and amplified what the other said? My generation didn’t do that. We actually sat back and judged strong women, finding her flaws, asking her to walk an impossible line. We left Hilary hanging out there with tentative support. We asked her to wear her hair in a more feminine way, to reduce the sharpness of her voice, we judged her over 40 years until a general ’sense of unlikeability' put a racist, hateful misogynist in the most important office in the globe.
My commitment is to be stronger and better for you. My hope is that you will be embolden by this so that you can lead greatly, feel great, be great.