Originally published May 23, 2013.
Updated and republished September 15, 2015.
Think about this observation from a male PhD in a LinkedIn discussion about women in senior management:
“…the most successful women leaders emerging these days
tend to be politically conservative…”
Conservative women are probably moving into senior management positions because conservative organizations encourage women to speak their own words and take their own actions in their daily lives. Conservative women gain experience, confidence, and a track record of success they can bring with them to senior management positions. For instance, during the 2012 presidential campaign, the conservative group Smart Girl Politics did all of the following:
Offered free online activist training, candidate training, and media interviewing training for any member
Trained thousands of women and men online and offline
Encouraged members to host house parties to introduce their friends to Smart Girl Politics Action (no longer in existence)
Celebrated women who “stepped up to the plate to make a difference in their community and in their state”
Celebrated women who became candidates for political office
Asked for women in almost 20 states “to step up as local and district leaders”
Asked for women to become “district leaders, volunteers, activists, researchers, and more” or to just say how they would like to get involved
Educated and mobilized women “across the country to help them voice their concerns in their communities…”
Smart Girl Politics Action also had a college smart girls page. SGPA leaders sought “self-starter” college women for internships that would give them “experience in community relations, marketing, new media and many other aspects of a nonprofit organization.” Interns would have “opportunities to work and interact with women from a variety of backgrounds across the country.” The internships would give them “experience to add to their resume before they begin a job search.”
Interns should have:
Interns would be able to:
Intern projects included:
political and legislative research
drafting articles for the SPGA website
Feminist organizations like the National Organization for Women, on the other hand, do none of the above. Feminist leaders expect supporters to remain silent and passive. Feminist leaders reserve speaking and taking action for themselves. They train only national and state chapter leaders and people NOW leaders choose to be activists. (I suspect that NOW leaders carefully choose activists who will faithfully follow orders.) Feminist leaders expect supporters to donate money so NOW staff and the chosen few can travel around the country for training and socializing.
Leaders at the National Organization for Women do not even allow NOW staffers who are younger and/or women of color to attend important meetings (as told by Jessica Valenti to More Magazine, November 2010). The January 14, 2013 issue of Time Magazine includes an article about abortion. Reporter Kate Pickert wrote that the older feminists are “reluctant to pass the torch” to younger feminists, creating a “power struggle”.
SPGA leaders pass power to young women while NOW leaders hoard power for themselves. The conservative young women who learn to hold and use power become the women who have the experience, confidence, and track record of success necessary to move into senior management positions.
Whether you want abortion legal or illegal is not my concern. My concern is moving progressive women into senior management positions to create another kind of diversity. Just as gender diversity, racial diversity, and ethnic diversity are important for senior management to be effective, political diversity is also important. But according to that observant male PhD on LinkedIn, we do not have political diversity among women in senior management. The better we are at collaborating with a variety of perspectives as coworkers, the more effective we will be at collaborating with a variety of perspectives as citizens.
This kind of collaboration has already produced life improvements for millions of women. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe and Democratic Senator Pat Schroeder were co-chairs on the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. They disagreed on abortion, but set that issue aside and worked on other issues. Their collaboration produced legislative funds to research and treat diseases affecting women. Support from the caucus “became a kind of Good Housekeeping seal of approval for legislation…” All women in the United States have benefited from the Good Housekeeping seal of approval created by two women who collaborated despite different political views.
We don’t have to wait for feminist leaders to start helping ordinary women move into senior management positions. An example of how anyone can encourage women to speak their own words and take their own actions so that they develop experience, confidence, and track records of success comes from Patty Dreier, County Executive in Portage County, Wisconsin. Portage County is a hotbed of spectacular success. The longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world takes place in Portage County, as does the world’s largest Trivia contest. It is also the birthplace of Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, which now holds workshops around the world. Other spectacular successes exist there.
Patty Dreier is lucky because she is surrounded by people who use their passions, talents, and ideas to create spectacular success. Dreier is smart because she makes connections between people with similar passions, talents, and ideas. When Patty Dreier connects people, she creates success opportunities. The people Dreier connects have the opportunity to collaborate and create various successes.
When Patty Dreier connects women with similar passions, talents, and ideas, she creates opportunities for women to develop the experience, confidence, and track record they need to be ready to take advantage of other success opportunities, including senior management positions. Patty Dreier is helping ordinary women move up in the world while the National Organization for Women is holding ordinary women down. You can read more about Patty Dreier in my blog post on “3 Styles of Best & Brightest Leadership”.
If you are already doing what Senator Olympia Snowe, Senator Pat Schroeder, and County Executive Patty Dreier do, please contact me so I can consider writing about you. If not, please start following their examples for increasing collaboration between ordinary women, between ordinary women and senior management women, and between senior management women. Snowe, Schroeder, and Dreier all demonstrate Girl Goodwill, at least at times. If every woman acted with Girl Goodwill, all women would benefit.
To encourage leaders at the National Organization for Women (NOW) to create success opportunities for women, contact them with these two questions:
1. Why does NOW deny its ordinary members equal access to
the training they pay for and equal opportunity to take action?
2. Why does NOW deny young feminists and feminists of color
equal access to important meetings and equal opportunity to
express their opinions?
For background information on the questions for NOW and more about conservative organizations, read these four posts:
Keep checking the “Feminist Leaders” category for more blog posts exposing how feminist leaders create inequality between women.
January 14, 2013
“What the New Feminists Look Like”
News & Politics Editors
Pat Schroeder: A Woman of the House
Joan A. Lowy
University of New Mexico Press, 2003, quote from page 8
Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
All rights reserved.
Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.
Standards For Success Posters
Resource Rock Star Details
For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily
As an American, I have freedom of speech.
As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.
In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.
The National Organization For Women
National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.
Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.
Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!
My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:
“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”
NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:
NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.
In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.
“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.
“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
University College Cork, Ireland
This project is no longer available online.
Updated April 30, 2017.