Posted by: corim2010 | September 10, 2012

Leadership on 9/11

With the 11th anniversary of the tragic 9/11/01 looming tomorrow, I found myself watching a TLC tribute television special about the individuals stuck in the upper levels of the North Tower. They are discussing the heroism of those who took the initiative to help people out and survive near death. However, out of the five or six leaders that they are featuring, I noticed one particularly strange thing. They are ALL men. Most of the images in the dramatizations are of these men holding hands of the women, helping them remain calm, and risk their lives to save them. It was not until this special that I realized that I had never seen any interviews or stories from female heroes or leaders on that day. Even pictures and videos from the weeks after only showed male firefighters digging through the rubble to find survivors and the dead. The only examples of women during this chaotic time that I could recall were those who had gotten out that attributed their survival to the brave men of that day. Out of curiosity I googled “Women Leaders on 9/11” and found ONE article on the subject.

The fact that women have been so underrepresented on a day that we consider the darkest hour in our countries history shows just how unequal the gender equality is in the United States. Even though three women hold high positions on committees about intelligence and terrorism, they were hardly even interviewed or referred to in round table discussions. This act of war is strongly regarded as a “man’s” topic that the “gentle sex” should not take part in. If we can’t even talk to or refer to women about the most tragic day in recent history, then have women really made true progress in our country?


  1. Very interesting! It’s not something you think about when everything is happening because it was so chaotic around that time. But reflecting on it allows us to view the extraordinary leadership on that day. Regardless of whether they were a man or a woman, that would be a tough position to lead. Women are completely capable of the job, but that was 11 years ago and we have made significant strides toward women as leaders since then.

  2. I actually had never noticed this phenomenon myself. Good work sleuthing it out, with the one lonely article you found on the topic. I wonder if not only does the general non-invitation of women to news shows play into the issue, but also if America does not want to see evidence of “the gentler sex” being endangered – harkening back to the days when the military and other dangerous lines of work and service were no place for a woman. The media may again be delivering what “they” think “we” want to see: neatly and safely divided sex roles.

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