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Women And Power: Their Journeys To the Top
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Women still have an uneasy relationship with power and the traits necessary to be a leader. There is this internalized fear that if we are really powerful, we are going to be considered ruthless or pushy or strident-all those epithets that strike right at our femininity. We are still working at trying to overcome the fear that power and womanliness are mutually exclusive.
This year, as Americans contemplate making Sen. Hillary Clinton our first female president, it is instructive to look back at Elizabeth and other women who wielded power long before the age of speechwriters, personal stylists and YouTube campaigning. Cleopatra, for example, ruled ancient Egypt with fierce political savvy while giving birth to children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony (twins in the latter case). If she worried about balancing work and family, she left no record of it. This was a woman who understood the importance of the grand gesture. Once, according to a history by Pliny the Elder, she bet Antony that she could spend 10 million sesterces (a Roman coin) on dinner. In the midst of a pedestrian meal, she dropped a valuable pearl earring into a cup of vinegar, watched it dissolve and drank it.
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Are Women Better Leaders than Men?
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