Come on CNN…

I was perusing to find a topic to get fired up about – CNN usually provides me with many opportunities to get fired up and today was no exception.  On the left-hand column of their website, an Opinion article was listed: “Women need to man up”.  Well of course I had to click on it furiously and see how CNN was proposing we women do this because, being America’s most trusted news source, I couldn’t wait to learn (please insert heavy sarcasm here).

What I found was not an article that made me rage and tremble like the title did.  What I found was wisdom: Nancy Pelosi shared at a TED conference for women, that “women need to be leaders in their own way, not necessarily following in men’s footsteps”.

I encourage you to read the article and formulate your own opinions on some of the materials covered (because I know I have formed mine!).  But overall, I am surprised to see that CNN needed to tease people with the title they chose…it isn’t the title of the opinion that the author himself gave it.  And it actually isn’t what the article was saying at all.

Women don’t need to “man up” (whatever the frank that means).  Women need to recognize their capabilities, their skills, their talents.  Women, like Pelosi said, need to find their own ways of doing things, their own ways to succeed.  Success is measured by checking accounts, houses, cars, material wealth… until we redefine success.

One other piece I found interesting and need to quote here fully is some thoughts from Hanna Rosin, author of the controversial (in my opinion) article in an issue of The Atlantic called “The End of Men”.  This is Richard Gallant’s take on Rosin’s thoughts:

Rather than the concept of a glass ceiling that women could shatter on the way to advancement, she preferred the image of a high bridge, a place where women could show their confidence and courage — but also move forward with their male and female friends, families and co-workers.

I would like to challenge women, including Rosin, to expand this idea of a bridge.  Instead of bringing friends, family, and colleagues to the top with you, consider widening the bridge for people you don’t know.  Advancement should not be selfish: only a way to gain more, and expand a resume.  If we do not see those around us as important enough to bring along on the bridge, we are not working for advancement – we are working for ourselves.

Woman up.  🙂

Liz Steinborn


About Margaret Sloss Women's Center - ISU

The Margaret Sloss Women's Center promotes equity on the Iowa State University campus. Through a feminist lens, the center advocates for individuals and groups; provides support, referrals, community and programming; and maintains a safe space in the Sloss House.

Posted on December 8, 2010, in Activism, Feminism, News and Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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