Posted by: anniesheahulcher | January 15, 2015

Getting frustrated by Women and Leadership Theory

As I was finishing up the reading, I found myself getting incredibly frustrated with what I was reading in the book. It seems as though there is not way for almost anyone to accurately describe the roles of women in leadership and why gender roles exist the way they do. As I was reading, I asked myself a series of questions, that weren’t quite fully answered as I continued reading on. While I understand that studying women and leadership is important (obviously – or I wouldn’t be in this class), I just keep getting frustrated by frankly the little knowledge that exists about the topic. I just have to keep asking myself the question – why can’t society just break down these stereotypes? Why do these stereotypes exist? They are so NOT prevalent anymore, yet more prevalent than ever because society (aka ourselves) has made us so aware of them and so aware of those going against the norm. I also can’t help but wonder if it is possible for women to find a perfect balance between the so called “feminine qualities” and “male qualities” to make them, “the perfect leader”, or is this impossible because of their gender?

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Responses

  1. I agree completely with this and with what was posed in class about having a “Great Leader Theory” instead of limiting to a great man or woman. I’m not sure we will ever be able to unlearn gender or detach our preconceived opinions of those in leadership positions based on their gender. However, I am not totally convinced that all gender separations and differences are a negative thing. I do think that unless there is a way for society to wipe the slate clean and completely start over from the ground up, perhaps by retraining the younger generations, men and women will not be seen or treated equally. Even though women’s rights are so passionately fought for every day, with the way things are going currently, we may reach a day where women are treated more highly than men. But that is not gender equality either.

  2. I agree that it seems frustrating that women are still limited in so many ways, and that due to gender stereotypes women, and men, are not afforded certain opportunities since they don’t have the “innate” qualities. I agree that gender stereotyping is crippling the leadership capacity of both men and women, and that there has to be an understanding that men can be relational and sensitive, yet tough, as well as that women can be stern, decisive and caring while not being the Hillary Clinton-esque “bitch.” I do think that the stereotypes and strong push towards gendering certain things as feminine or masculine are dying out. Though gender will always be a part of society I do think that the lines will continue to blur and then progress can be made in examining god leadership, regardless of gender.

  3. I agree with this too. I found this reading incredibly frustrating. It seemed like it was encouraging women to play into their gender role. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, but it was telling us that BECAUSE we are women and we have these “innate characteristics”, and that is why we should become leaders.

    There is a need for more women leaders, or we need more women leaders in the workforce to make the male:female ration more equal. I also believe that there should be a “Great Leader Theory” that encompasses all kinds of traits, masculine and feminine, that make for a great leader.

    I also believe that gender stereotyping is inhibiting the leadership capacity of both women and men, and there needs to be a healthy area. It seems like it is either “black or white” and no grey area in between. My question is how can we achieve a “Great Leader Theory”? I propose it through the “de-gendering” of leadership in itself. The definition of leadership is gender neutral, nowhere in the definition does it state “feminine” or “masculine” qualities. The lines need to blur, the grey area will appear, and progress will be made.


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