Watching coverage of the government’s shutdown for 16 straight days was a nightmare. Viewers of channels like CNN heard worldwide, angry accusations made by lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. The world was laughing at us, and who could really blame them? Our government looked ridiculous.
Behind the scenes, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) took to the Senate floor to demand an end to the shutdown without blame for either party; she was the first person to do this.
Two other female Senators, a Democrat and a Republican, joined her for support, asking for compromise from the two dueling groups. The night before, most of the 20 women in Senate met to discuss terms to re-open the government with compromises from both parties. Later, more female, and even a few male, senators joined the conversation.
Why is it that these women who began talks for compromise were not mentioned on television, and why haven’t the women in the Senate been recognized for passing the great majority of legislation this year?
It is incredible that women of different parties can work together to progress forward, but men of differing parties in the Senate find themselves not being able to do the same.
Roger E. Olson, a theology professor at Baylor, wrote a blog last week entitled “A Modest Proposal for Fixing the World: Let Women Run It.” He maintains that women are usually more morally superior than men are, and several social science studies have shown this, from suggesting women are better doctors to showing that women will distribute food more fairly during crises in all countries.
Olson proposes that, in the United States, we should give women all public leadership positions for 10 years to see how they do; our country is in an awful state as it is currently. Of course, we would have to end this eventually, so we don’t cause reverse discrimination (women still do not hold nearly as many leadership positions as men do, even though society has come very far).
First of all, to hear a man suggest that women take all of these positions was incredibly inspiring, but I believe Olson makes a fantastic point. I don’t think we can necessarily say that women are better leaders than men are, simply because not enough women have been allowed the opportunity to take on major leadership roles around the world for a long period of time. I can confidently say that women tend to have many spectacular qualities for leadership: compassion, collaboration and great listening and reasoning skills.
In group settings in college, when I am among men and women, I notice women taking charge. I see this in the way that they form the group’s opinions together and form a fair compromise. These are essential qualities for an effective leader to have.
The problem that women trying to gain leadership positions, or any other important positions, have is that women often will not support other women. If we want to see the world gain more female leaders, women have to encourage and support, with confidence, the women in their lives who want to do something better for the community with any platform.
If women will not even support women, why would men bother with it, either? The next time you learn your female friend is running for SGA President or volunteering with a local organization, support her. She is on the path to making the world a better place for women.