My cousin recently shared an article with me that she found in Elle Magazine entitled “The Scarlet A.” I thought, due to the usual nature of Elle, that it would be uplifting and an article that was somewhat empowering. However, I found it to be quite the opposite. The more I read the more I was shaking my head and talking back to each letter that was printed before me. Leslie Bennetts has spend a very long career interviewing famous women and I was shocked to hear that throughout her career she’s only had one ever, and it sounds to be somewhat accidentally, that she was ambitious. Seriously?
She recounts her interviews with some of the world’s most known women from every industry and walk of life imaginable. They all share one thing in common; an inability to admit their ambition. She continues on to say that each of these women portrayed themselves as passive and reactive. I would understand that from someone I might be working with but not from royals or Secretary’s of State. What on earth is up with that?
Henry Kissinger once noted that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” as the article explains, but then it goes on to explain how there is a double standard that demonstrates how that phrase doesn’t apply to a powerful woman. I was raised in a time where women have always been able to vote, work in the workforce alongside men and I was always told there isn’t anything I can’t do. Never once was I told that my place in life is in the kitchen tending to dinner and the children. That’s just not the way I was raised.
I’m sure I’ve ruffled a few feathers along the way by taking charge and not letting someone else decide my career path for me, but my demeanor has always balanced that out. This has allowed me to be powerful in my decisions, but heartfelt and genuine in my delivery of such. Can’t all women in the workforce be like that? Is there some reason that we have to come off as a b!+©h in order to be respected as powerful? I sure as heck don’t think so and don’t believe that it really gets anyone all that much further in their career path then someone with an approach like mine. What do you think, are “ambition” and “powerful” dirty words for women?