Posted by: susanpatriquin | November 8, 2012

I don’t understand the Klondike situation.

Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t really understand how this relates to leadership. I think we need to spend more time looking at the differences in male and female leadership, discussing how women lead, or significant female leaders as opposed to gender inequality. I feel as though we are perpetuating the “women victim” idea, and straying further and further from the discussion of leadership. Is it realistic to look at leadership in a way that removes the “women victim” ideal, and moves further into the discussion of women as leaders? I don’t know about you guys, but the people that I have talked to seem to think that gender is less of an influence and that leadership (be it male or female) is about authenticity, authority, and personality. Has anyone else seen this? Am I being unrealistic?

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Responses

  1. Susan, I completely agree with you on all accounts. Both my interviews so far focused more on their specific leadership styles than being a woman. And neither of them played the victim role, felt like they were owed something or had any harsh feelings to all men in leadership positions. I think that when it comes to actually being in a leadership position and enacting these theories people focus more on being a good leader than being a good WOMAN leader. But that doesn’t mean that I feel like a women’s class is unnecessary. I think it’s a good analysis of leadership and can help others identify their own leadership styles and quirks to make sure that they can be an authentic leader.

  2. Great points, Susan and Maryssa. I agree with you regarding content and I have also found similar concepts in my interviews with women leaders, which is a very pleasant surprise. The klondike commercial was not intended to perpetuate the “female victim” role in our discussion, rather point out the way the media perpetuates the role. These roles still have an undeniably large presence in popular culture, which does relate to our course content- particularly the work of the Miss Representation campaign. I apologize for not explicitly verbalizing my connection to leadership and course material- will keep that in mind for future posts.

  3. A lot of my interviews have gone the same way as well. I believe too many people focus on the struggles women face (which are important to discuss as well) and not enough on the successes women have obtained and the obstacles they have overcome. I think it is important to focus on both aspects, but if society spends too much time dwelling on the “victimized women,” the stereotypes about women leaders will remain. If we got away from this, we could eventually steer away from these stereotypes and society will become more likely to accept women leaders as a whole.


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