"I wasn't the first woman to be the first woman, of course. I stand on the shoulders of the countless others who stuck their necks out -- and sometimes got their heads knocked off -- for going where no woman had gone before. Not all of them were trying to advance the interests of the sisterhood. Still, because of them, those of us who followed have had more, different, and better opportunities. I know I have."I highly recommend Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee Dee Myers (2008) to everyone, but especially to those who have taken on the Women Unbound reading challenge. This book is an eye-opener and a consciousness raiser.
She starts with why women DON'T rule the world, moves on to why women SHOULD rule the world, and then give us her ideas about how women CAN rule the world. I especially like her sense of humor.
"In her fascinating book The Female Brain, Dr. Louann Brizendine explains that male and female brains are indistinguishable in the weeks following conception. Then, at about eight weeks, the male baby gets a dose of testosterone, which literally begins killing off cells in the communication, observation, and emotion processing centers of the brain -- and growing cells in the sex and aggression centers. It's sort of like "Wow!" and "Duh!" all at the same time" (pp. 70-71).Sometimes she states the obvious (obvious to most women, anyhow) and then shares her story.
"'If the three wise men had been women, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts, and there would be Peace On Earth' [she quoted]. Of course! But they weren't women, so the wise men got there late -- and brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Can you imagine what Mary -- who's just delivered a baby on a bale of hay without an epidural -- must have thought about that?" (p. 103).
"I often felt that I had to work harder than my male colleagues to be heard, a frustration I know so many other women have experienced" (p. 177).She also clues us in on what we're doing wrong.
"Still, lots of my female friends have chosen to downshift or suspend their careers at different points in their lives, for a variety of reasons, in ways that men just don't" (p. 160).
"Unlike the men in the room, she had to fight like crazy just to be part of the conversation" (p. 40).
"Headhunters say that women often come off as less confident because they are more honest about their weaknesses, while men talk only about their strengths" (p. 191).At the beginning of each chapter is an interesting quote:
"I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and career." -- Gloria Steinem (p. 153)I could go on quoting from this book, but I'll just encourage you to read it. This is an excellent book, and I rate it 9 of 10.
"When a man gets up to speak, people listen, then look. When a woman gets up to speak, people look; then if they like what they see, they listen." -- Pauline Frederick (p. 15)
"It may be the cock that crows, but it's the hen that lays the egg." -- Margaret Thatcher (p. 129)